BOX SCORE

Deering 74 Lewiston 51

L- 15 11 10 15- 51
D- 22 15 22 15- 74

L- Omasombo 6-0-15, Foster 5-0-11, Mayen 4-0-8, Myers 3-1-7, Beauregard 1-2-5, Abdullahi 1-0-3, Williams 1-0-2

D- Germain 7-3-21, Houssein 7-0-17, Anda 4-0-9, Morrione 3-3-9, Semuhoza 3-2-8, Randall 3-0-6, Chikuta 0-2-2, Kamalandua 1-0-2

3-pointers:
L (6) Omasombo 3, Abdullahi, Beauregard, Foster 1
D (8) Germain 4, Houssein 3, Anda 1

Turnovers:
L- 24
D- 21

FTs
L: 3-6
D: 10-11

PORTLAND—Deering’s boys’ basketball team isn’t just good.

The Rams are also awfully fun to watch.

Friday evening, Deering welcomed Lewiston in an early-season Class AA North battle and three nights after losing at South Portland in a turnover-plagued affair, the Rams did a better job of taking care of the ball and let their athleticism and myriad skills leave the Blue Devils in their wake.

In a dizzying first quarter, which was played at a breakneck pace, Deering got 11 points from senior captain Darryl Germain and turned Lewiston over nine times as it opened up a 22-15 lead, going on top for good on a putback from senior Askar Houssein.

The action slowed slightly in the second period, but the Rams didn’t wilt and thanks to Houssein’s play-making and strong inside play from senior Loki Anda and junior Mpore Semuhoza, Deering was able to stretch its advantage to 37-26 at halftime.

Houssein, who transferred to Deering this year from Class C powerhouse Waynflete, then sparked a third quarter run with a pair of 3-pointers which helped the Rams open up a commanding 59-36 lead.

The Blue Devils never drew closer than 20 points from there and Deering put the finishing touches on its 74-51 victory.

Germain led all scorers with 21 points, Houssein added 17 and the Rams improved to 2-1 on the season, dropping Lewiston to 1-2 in the process.

“Even though we return a lot of seniors, we’re still trying to figure out who we are,” said Deering coach Todd Wing. “Tonight, we got up and down like teams of old and made it kind of messy, but I’ll take winning messy.”

Run, run, run

Deering rolled at Oxford Hills, 84-60, in its opener, then lost at South Portland, 74-62, Tuesday, as 37 turnovers proved fatal.

“Hats off to South Portland,” said Wing. “They played really well. The great thing about it was we came in the next day and we had a great film session and we responded afterwards. The guys are learning to trust each other.”

Lewiston, meanwhile, started with a 64-54 home victory over Cheverus, then fell, 62-43, at home to defending AA champion Bangor Tuesday.

The teams haven’t met often over the years. Lewiston beat Deering in the 1990 Western A semifinals (80-59) and again in the 2000 Western A quarterfinals (61-58).

Last winter, Deering won, 80-57, at Lewiston, to improve to a perfect 4-0 since the squads starting playing regularly again in the regular season during the 2015-16 campaign.

Friday, the Rams started out running and never slowed down as they got back in the win column.

Deering opened the scoring when senior captain Max Morrione took a pass from Houssein and converted an old-fashioned three-point play (making a layup on the fastbreak while being fouled, then adding the free throw).

After the Blue Devils got a jumper from sophomore Malik Foster and a highlight-reel soaring tip-in of a missed shot from 6-foot-6 junior center Chiwer Mayen for a 4-3 lead, the Rams went back on top on a corner 3-pointer from Germain and a layup by Houssein, after a steal from senior captain Mike Randall.

Senior Jabrie Myers made a layup for the visitors, but Germain buried another 3 to make it 11-6.

After senior Evan Williams scored on a leaner for Lewiston, Germain drove for a basket to restore Deering’s five-point advantage, but Myers set up sophomore David Omasombo for a layup, Mayen scored on a putback and a Myers free throw allowed the Blue Devils to pull even, 13-13.

With 1:35 to go in the first, Houssein scored on a putback to give the Rams the lead for good.

After a Houssein steal, Anda made a layup, then Germain spotted up and buried a 3-ball.

“We want to get out in transition,” Anda said. “We’re probably the most athletic team in the state and our goal is to get out and run.”

Myers got two points back for Lewiston with a layup, but in the waning seconds, Randall scored on a putback to make it 22-15 Rams after eight action-packed minutes.

In that first quarter, Germain’s 11 points set the tone.

Deering would go up by as many as 14 points in the second period, but couldn’t put the Blue Devils away.

After Germain fed senior Jesse Kamalandua for a layup, Mayen banked home a shot, but Morrione fed Randall for a fastbreak layup, Anda set up Houssein for a layup on the fastbreak and with 2:16 left in the half, Germain’s spinner in the lane made it 30-17 Rams.

Foster answered with a runner off the glass, but Anda countered with a 3.

After Myers fed Foster for a layup, two Morrione free throws stretched the lead to 35-21.

Foster countered with a corner 3-pointer and after Germain made a jumper, Myers set up Foster for a layup to pull Lewiston within 37-26 at halftime.

Germain scored 15 first half points, while the Blue Devils were paced by 11 from Foster.

Houssein then took center-stage in the third quarter as Deering ran away and hid.

After Myers scored a layup on an up-and-under move to open the second half, the next 10 points went to the hosts.

Houssein got things started with a pull-up jumper.

Houssein then set up Randall for a layup with a no-look pass, then he stepped back and hit a 3 and with 3:29 remaining in the frame, Houssein canned a long 3-pointer for a 47-28 advantage.

“I really like it (at Deering),” said Houssein. “It’s a lot of fun running up and down the court. I feel like another scorer and facilitator. I do a little of everything.”

Omasombo stemmed the tide with a 3, but Anda drove for a layup. Germain hit a 3, Germain made two free throws after a technical foul and Semuhoza’s two foul shots with 1:33 left put the Rams firmly in control, 56-31.

Omasombo ended the 9-0 run with another 3, but Semuhoza made a layup.

In the final minute, after a Omasombo layup, Germain sank one free throw to make it 59-36 heading to the final stanza.

There, Deering never let Lewiston make things interesting.

Omasombo opened the fourth with a 3, but Anda made a layup and Morrione finished a feed from Houssein with a layup for a 63-39 lead.

After Mayen scored his final points on a putback, Houssein buried another 3 and Houssein set up Morrione for a layup and a 68-41 advantage.

Senior Steven Beauregard made two free throws for the Blue Devils, but Semuhoza made a layup after a steal

After Omasombo hit a runner, Houssein fed Semuhoza for a layup.

Down the stretch, Beauregard made a 3 and after sophomore Max Chikuta hit two foul shots for the Rams’ final points, a 3-ball from Lewiston sophomore Ali Abdullahi brought the curtain down on Deering’s 74-51 victory.

“We just had to eliminate turnovers and get rebounds on the offensive glass and the defensive boards,” Houssein said.

“We’ll be tested every night and we’re 2-0 versus AA North opponents and with us playing each other twice this year, that matters a lot,” Wing said.

Germain paced the Rams with 21 points.

Houssein stuffed the stat sheet with 17 points, 10 assists, six rebounds and five steals.

“Askar brings explosiveness on both sides of the ball,” Wing said. “I’m still trying to figure out where to use him best. He’s a consistent scorer and he can find the open man.”

Anda (11 rebounds) and Morrione added nine points apiece, Semuhoza had eight, Randall (seven boards) finished with six and Chikuta and Kamalandua had two each.

Senior Vailliant Sheja didn’t score, but had four rebounds in limited time off the bench.

Deering made 10-of-11 free throws, overcame 21 turnovers and had a 46-36 rebounding advantage.

“We emphasized rebounding tonight,” said Anda. “It was hard against (Mayen), but we took care of it.”

“(Lewiston has) a big front line,”Wing said. “We knew (Mayen) had 20 rebounds in a game earlier this year. They can scrap and get rebounds and that’s an area we improved on tonight.”

Lewiston’s top scorer was Omasombo, who had 15 points. Foster added 11 points and five rebounds, Mayen had eight points, 11 rebounds and two blocked shots, Myers seven points (to go with five assists and five rebounds), Beauregard five points, Abdullahi three and Williams two.

The Blue Devils committed 24 turnovers and made 3-of-6 free throws.

“I don’t think we were ready for their pressure,” said Lewiston coach Ronnie Turner. “That’s on me as a coach. I didn’t get my guys situated enough to handle this environment. Deering did a really good job tonight. We like to play fast too, but we had yet to play a team that’s more organized than we are.

“We have to stay together. It’s a process. I got hired because I’m in love with the process. We’ll get there.”

Big test

While Lewiston returns to action Tuesday at home versus Noble, Deering will welcome defending Class AA South champion Bonny Eagle (3-0) for a pivotal early season test.

“We don’t say we’re a top team,” said Houssein. “We’re just trying to make a name for ourselves. It’s going to be a challenge (Tuesday)”

“We have to limit turnovers and get rebounds and get out in transition,” Anda said.

“Bonny Eagle is a team everyone is looking to beat,” Wing said. “They’ve got some very good players. We’ll have to get better (in practice) to compete.”

Michael Hoffer can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter: @foresports.

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