A sixth-grade girls’ basketball travel team from Biddeford won the New England championship last weekend at a tournament in Rhode Island.

The team, coached by Kerry Mariello, won four games in the tournament at the Longplex Family and Sports Center in Tiverton, Rhode Island, defeating a team from Southington, Connecticut, 37-28 in the finals.

“These girls have been together since the third grade,” said Mariello, who is the field hockey coach at Scarborough High. “Obviously with COVID, there was a little lag. But they got  back together and had quite a run.”

Mariello has a daughter, Mia, on the team and said, “There’s a special connection there with her friends. I see a lot of potential in this group. I want them to stick together.”

The team is comprised of students from Biddeford Middle School and St. James School, a small Catholic school in Biddeford. The roster includes seven sixth-graders from BMS (Lola Laverriere, Laken Mills, Natalia Silva, Gabriella Silva, Audrina Dore, Alivia Aberle and Mia Mariello), one sixth-grader from St. James (Olivia Hunter) and a fifth-grader from St. James (Rachel Lagasse).

The team also won the Southern Maine Event League championship, the Scarborough Holiday Tournament, the Glenburn Tournament championship and the Maine Hoops Town Team tournament.

The Biddeford team went 4-0 to win the Gold Bracket in the New England championships, defeating Fairfield, Connecticut, 40-38; B&G Club, Berkshires, Massachusetts, 51-25; and St. Theresa of Connecticut, 39-23, in advancing to the finals.

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