Edward Little’s Austin Brown dribbles at the top of the key, setting up the Red Eddies’ offense against Windham’s zone defense during Friday’s game in Windham. Adam Robinson/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

WINDHAM — A hard-to-believe half-court basket at the end of the first quarter boosted Edward Little in its 55-35 boys basketball win over Windham on Friday.

The Red Eddies started off slow and the Rams jumped out to an early lead thanks to a pair of 3-pointesr by Chris Naylor.

Austin Brown hit a pull-up 3-pointer in transition on a 1-on-1 fast break to get Edward Little’s comeback started.

Though important to jump-starting EL’s offense, Brown’s 3 wasn’t even the most impressive trey of the quarter.

In the closing seconds of the period, Storm Jipson raced towards the scorer’s table at half-court to save a loose ball and, aware of time ticking down, heaved a scoop shot towards the hoop. The shot hit nothing but net and gave the Red Eddies a 13-8 advantage. 

“Storm might be the best half-court shooter I’ve ever coached,” Eddies coach Mike Adams said. “(Assistant coach and former Edward Little player) Tim Mains might disagree, but he’s really good.”

Edward Little’s balanced attack, led by John Shea’s four points, kept Windham at arms-length in the second quarter, and the Red Eddies lead grew to 24-16 by halftime.

John Shea rises for a jumper as Windham’s Chris Naylor defends Friday in Windham. Adam Robinson/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

“It’s no secret that he’s not the most agile, so I think they took advantage of that on the perimeter,” Adams said of Shea. “What I did like defensively is that he’s been focused after the Bangor game to be a better defensive player in the post. I thought he did a much better job of hedging and helping in the post.”

Shea had a monster second half, tallying eight points in the final two quarters to finish with 15. 

Ball-movement was crucial to Edward Little (12-2) breaking down Windham’s suffocating 2-3 zone. 

“No one plays a zone like they do,” Adams said. “You can talk about it, prepare for it, but until you get in the game — they’re long and physical and take passing lanes away and you just can’t be ready for it. I was happy with how we improved our ball movement and player movement against their zone each quarter.”

Max Creaser (14 points) was the catalyst for Edward Little’s big third quarter. The senior hit a 3-pointer and two buckets near the rim for half of the Eddies’ points in the period.

Dan Milks (seven points) came off the bench and made plays on both sides of the ball for EL, which maintained its physical play well into the fourth.

Windham’s Chris Naylor sizes-up his Edward Little defender during Friday’s game in Windham. Adam Robinson/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

“It’s hard because they’re all sharing time,” Adams said. “It’s hard to get in a rhythm sometimes, but I think we have a good grasp of how to maximize (Milks’ and Creaser’s) playing time so they can utilize their strengths to help us. Tonight it was good to have all of our big guys so they can do the things they do well.”

Brown finished with six points and Jipson scored five for Edward Little, which remains atop the Class AA North Heal point standings.

Windham’s (5-9) Kaleb Cidre led the Eagles with nine points on the night, but EL put the clamps down on Windham’s offense for most of the night.

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