For two quarters, Deering was frustrated by Cheverus in a Class AA North boys’ basketball quarterfinal Wednesday night.

Then the Rams came to life in the third quarter, and as a result, they’ll move on to next week’s semifinals.

Clinging to a 25-22 halftime advantage, third-seeded Deering erupted for 21 points in the third quarter, opening up a 14-point lead on the way to a 61-46 victory over the No. 6 Stags.

Darryl Germain led Deering with 20 points and two other Rams finished in double figures as Deering (14-5) advanced to meet defending state champion Bangor next Wednesday at Cross Insurance Arena.

“We talked at the half about simplifying,” said Deering Coach Todd Wing. “Rebound, value the basketball, taking good shots. We shot 56 percent from the field tonight.”

Deering got out to a fast start, as five points apiece from Loki Anda and Germain produced a 10-4 lead. But after Askar Houssein and Mike Randall each picked up a pair of fouls for the Rams, Cheverus rallied behind a pair of baskets from Nick Galli and another from Macklin Kelly to tie it after one quarter, 10-10.

Cheverus (4-15) took its lone lead early in the second quarter on a putback by Bryant Nsengiyumva. The score was tied 22-22 before Max Morrione’s 3-pointer in the final minute gave Deering its halftime lead.

The Rams then got in gear in the third quarter, as Houssein returned to the floor and helped engineer an offensive eruption.

Morrione hit a 3-pointer, then blocked a shot, leading to a Houssein layup. Houssein followed with another layup after a steal.

Mpore Semuhoza added to the lead with a layup. Semuhoza played a key role with Jesse Kamalandua serving an automatic one-game suspension after receiving two technicals in Deering’s last regular-season game.

“Knowing Jesse was out, I knew I had to come in and do something,” said Semuhoza. “I just wanted to help the team.”

After Germain sank a pair of 3s, layups from Anda and Houssein made it 46-32 heading into the fourth quarter.

The Stags crept within 11, but it was all Rams from there. The lead grew to 61-40 on a Morrione layup before Cheverus closed with six points.

“It feels good to get to (Cross Arena),” said Morrione. “We’ll study film and refocus and get ready for Bangor.”

Morrione (13 points) and Anda (11) also finished in double figures. Semuhoza added nine points and Houssein finished with eight.

Cheverus was paced by 17 points from Galli, who was sidelined by injury most of the season. Dylan Morrison added 11.

“We missed some easy buckets in the third quarter, and our misses were compounded by (Deering) getting out in transition,” said Cheverus Coach Ryan Soucie. “They came down and made 3s and we didn’t.

“I’m proud of my guys. We were the underdog, and I hope we made them think a little bit.

“It was a trying year with Nick being out a lot. We battled some illnesses. We didn’t have much experience. I think we grew and gained valuable experience.”


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