Massabesic’s Mary Duffy dribbles through the Gorham defense during the Mustangs’ 46-40 win on Monday in Gorham. Duffy scored 17 points. Ben McCanna/Staff Photographer

GORHAM — With the end of the regular season less than two weeks away, Massabesic High’s girls’ basketball team faced a daunting schedule down the stretch, playing some of the top teams in Class AA.

The gauntlet started Monday night at Gorham, the top-ranked team in Class AA South. And the Mustangs passed the first test.

Gorham’s Sophia Michaud looks to pass around Massabesic’s Micaela Jacobs. Ben McCanna/Staff Photographer

Massabesic stunned Gorham 46-40 as Hannah Samson and Mary Duffy each scored 17 points, combining for the Mustangs’ final nine points to hold off the surging Rams. Massabesic built an 11-point lead early in the fourth quarter, then had to rally in the final two minutes after the Rams surged ahead.

The victory lifted the Mustangs, ranked fourth in Class AA South, to 10-3 while Gorham dropped to 13-2. The Rams had beaten the Mustangs 61-40 on Dec. 20.

“It’s a bunch of Heal points but more than anything else it gives us the belief come tournament time that we can play with anyone,” said Massabesic Coach Chris Aube. “I think we proved it’s wide open. I think we match up pretty well with Gorham and we battle.”

Credit Massabesic’s 2-3 zone – a defense the Mustangs rarely play – for much of the win. It forced the Rams into a very cold shooting night. Gorham, which relies heavily on the 3-point shot to spur its offense, hit just 6 of 32 3-pointers in the game.


Massabesic seemingly took control late by scoring the final 12 points of the third quarter with Samson hitting two big 3-pointers to lead 31-22 into the fourth.

There, two foul shots by Duffy made it 33-22 just 29 seconds in. That’s when the Rams came back. Gorham started hitting its 3-pointers – two by Brylee Bishop, one by Nicole Walker – and went on an 18-6 run to take a 40-39 lead on two Anna Nelson foul shots with 2:11 remaining.

But with 1:46 remaining, Samson hit a long, no-hesitation 3-pointer from the left corner to make it 42-40 Massabesic. “I knew as soon as I was catching it, I was shooting it,” said Samson, who scored 15 of her points in the second half. “So I needed to be ready.”

After a Gorham miss, Duffy was fouled with 25.6 seconds remaining and she calmly knocked down both free throws to make it 44-40. “I struggled with my foul shots at the beginning of the season,” she said. “But I just had the confidence I could do it and knew my team needed it. And I knocked it down.”

Massabesic’s Lydia Desrochers maneuvers around Gorham’s Brylee Bishop. Ben McCanna/Staff Photographer

A Gorham turnover led to two foul shots by Samson with 19.9 seconds remaining to secure the win.

“This is such a great win for our team and our program,” said Samson.

“It’s a good notch in our belt and I think it will give us confidence for the next couple of tough games,” said Duffy. who five assists and five rebounds.

Gorham Coach Laughn Berthiaume was pleased that his team fought back in the fourth, but lamented the many missed inside shots early in the game that put the Rams down in the first place.

“As the score stayed low they gained a little more confidence,” he said. “I think you’ve got two teams  that are pretty evenly matched and play hard and we just struggled to score offensively.”

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