SOUTH PARIS — It wasn’t a championship, but the Oxford Hills’ girls’ basketball team took a step in that direction Saturday afternoon.

The Vikings put their undefeated record on the line when they hosted reigning Class AA champion Cheverus, and thanks to strong defense and sizzling outside shooting, Oxford Hills trailed for just 28 seconds in an impressive 61-50 victory.

Tristen Derenburger sank seven 3-pointers and led the Vikings (11-0) with 21 points. Oxford Hills made 11 3’s in all as it earned a bit of revenge from last year’s loss to Cheverus in the Class AA North final.

“We told the girls that this wasn’t the state championship,” said Oxford Hills Coach Nate Pelletier. “These are games for us to build on what we think are our positives and what we know at times are our negatives.”

Emma Lizotte put Cheverus (11-2) on top with an early layup, but Derenburger made three 3s and Sierra Carson hit another during a 16-2 run that put Oxford Hills in control.

“I’ve had to step into a shooting role this year and I came in knowing I could shoot,” said Derenburger, a junior. “I try to hit my first shot, then I go from there.”


The Stags drew within 16-9 on a Maddie Fitzpatrick 3-pointer just before the end of the first quarter. It was 25-19 late in the second quarter, but Carson made a layup, then stole the ball and converted another layup for a 10-point halftime advantage.

“I pride myself on my defense,” said Carson, who will play at Dartmouth College next year. “You can’t get open shots without defense. It’s a huge part of our game.”

The Vikings then returned to their sharp-shooting ways to start the second half, as Derenburger sank three more 3s and Ella Pelletier added another for a commanding 42-23 lead.

Cheverus cut its deficit to 10 on a Fitzpatrick basket, but layups from Pelletier and Carson made it 46-32 heading to the fourth.

The Stags then got as close as 52-44 on a basket from Megan Dearborn, but Derenburger’s final 3 and a layup from Pelletier slammed the door.

“We lost to (Cheverus) last year, so we wanted to come back today and get business done,” said Derenburger. “It’s fun playing in these tough games.”


Pelletier finished 17 points and Carson scored 15.

Cheverus was paced by 21 points from Fitzpatrick and 10 from Ruth Boles, but the Stags turned the ball over 20 times.

“I’ve told everyone who will listen to me how good (the Vikings) are,” said Cheverus Coach Billy Goodman. “If you shut two players down, two others will score. There’s a lot of scoring ability on that team. It’s probably one of the most potent teams I’ve gone against in 20 years.

“I was happy with the heart and hustle of my team, but we turned the ball over a lot. We couldn’t handle their pressure. We need to keep working on that.”

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.