PORTLAND — Effort was the biggest difference between Oxford Hills’ recent regular-season loss to Bangor and its Class AA North girls’ basketball semifinal win Wednesday, according to senior guard Molly Corbett.

Corbett helped the top-seeded Vikings to a 50-45 victory over the fourth-seeded Rams, setting up a regional final matchup against No. 2 Cheverus (16-3) at 2 p.m. Saturday at Cross Insurance Arena. 

“I think it was our energy,” said Corbett, who finished with 13 points. “We played them at home and we didn’t have any energy. We came today and knew what kind of energy we needed and got it from the bench, the floor and the fans, and it was great.”

After the Vikings trailed by four points at halftime, Corbett’s big plays were key to Oxford Hills overtaking Bangor in the second half.

Following a block by teammate Maddie Miller, Corbett hit a 3-pointer that gave the Vikings their first lead of the game, 28-27, with 5:15 left in the third quarter.

“She hit a couple 3s today, but what she does for us on the floor as a leader is much more than just the 3-point shot,” Oxford Hills Coach Nate Pelletier. “She’s constantly communicating, always helping, and it’s great to see a girl like that that can give that energy but also hit the 3.”


Miller, a sophomore, also grabbed a couple of rebounds and hit a few free throws in the third quarter while filling in for Ella Pelletier, who picked up her third personal foul with a minute left in the first half.

“Maddie Miller had probably the best third quarter that we’ve had from a player all year,” Pelletier said. “I said in the locker room that we don’t win that game if she doesn’t do what she did. Defensively, she’s very undersized against (Amelia) Quinn, but got a bunch of steals, used her athleticism, and she came out and performed for us.”

With two minutes left in the third, Corbett hit another 3-pointer to put Oxford Hills ahead 39-34.

Oxford Hills junior guard Sierra Carson scored seven of her 16 points in the third, after which the Vikings led 39-36.

Carson answered a tying 3-pointer by Bangor’s Laela Martinez with a layup to give Oxford Hills a 41-39 lead with 7:12 left. On the Vikings’ next possession, Corbett used the backboard to hit a 3-pointer.

With 3:35 remaining and Oxford Hills leading by one, Corbett missed a 3-pointer but followed her shot and grabbed the offensive rebound. She then drove to the hoop for a basket that made it 48-45.


Corbett made a similar play in the first quarter. 

“I have my dad as a coach, and he’s been telling me a lot to do it,” Corbett said. “I knew my shot was off and I knew I could get that rebound. I just went for it.”

The Vikings made key stops down the stretch to finish off the victory.

With a minute left, Ella Pelletier grabbed a rebound that led to a foul and a made free throw by Gabbie Tibbetts, making Oxford Hills’ advantage 49-45 with 52 seconds left. 

Bangor turned the ball over on its next possession, then Pelletier was fouled and hit a free throw.

“Everything’s about getting quality shots and getting stops,” Bangor Coach Jay Kemble said. “As you look at how the game progressed, they had some opportunities where they were able to get the offensive rebound and score off those rebounds. I thought that was the difference. They had a couple longer rebounds that their guards were able to get and they were able to transition them into a layup.


“We played them twice within a matter of a couple days. We know them, they know us, and it’s a good matchup. If we play them 15 times, then one team will have eight wins. One team makes the extra shot, making foul shots are things that can change the complexion of the game.”

Bangor (13-7) was one of only two teams to beat Oxford Hills this season.

“It’s a great group, I’m proud of them,” Kemble said. “They play hard, work hard, and it’s a tremendous group to be around.”

Oxford Hills (18-2) now prepares to face the other team it lost to, Cheverus. The teams split their two regular-season meetings. The Stags won 62-59 on Jan. 22, but the Vikings got revenge nine days later, winning 49-48 in overtime.

“We’re gonna go to war again, I think,” Pelletier said. “They’re very similar to what we just played, they have great guards and great posts. I’m assuming at times they’re going to play different looks, whether it’s zone, full-court press, and we’ll have to work on those things to give ourselves a chance to win.”

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