Gorham Coach Laughn Berthiaume encourages his team before the fourth quarter of Tuesday’s 41-29 AA South girls’ basketball quarterfinal win against Bonny Eagle. Steve Craig photo

GORHAM — Gorham High’s girls’ basketball team once again produced in crunch time against Bonny Eagle.

For the third time in three meetings this season, No. 3 Gorham (10-9) used a fourth-quarter surge to dispatch the No. 6 Scots (8-11).

This time, the defending regional champion Rams ended Bonny Eagle’s season and booked themselves a trip to the AA South semifinals with Tuesday’s 41-29 quarterfinal win.

Ellie Gay was the spark, knocking down a 25-foot 3-pointer to break a 27-27 tie.

“I never know how far out I am,” Gay admitted with a laugh. But the junior and lone returning starter said she did know that she would need to take on a bigger leadership role this season after the Rams graduated six key seniors.

Gay did her job. Quickly after her tie-breaking trey, she grabbed an offensive rebound and set up Summer Gammon for a layup. Then Gay made another 3-pointer and the Rams were on their way to a 14-4 fourth quarter. Overall, Gay scored 10 of her 14 points in the fourth quarter. Julia Reed scored six of her eight points in the third quarter. Kalin Curtis added 10.


Gorham advances to the Feb. 22 7 p.m., regional semifinal at the Cross Insurance Arena. The Rams will face the winner of Thursday’s quarterfinal pitting No. 7 Noble (0-18) at No. 2 Sanford (12-6).

Gorham beat Bonny Eagle twice in the regular season, both times with decisive fourth-quarter surges. On Jan. 7, the Rams rallied from 10 down with two minutes to play and won 42-40 on a steal and buzzer-beating breakaway layup by Curtis. In the rematch in Gorham, the Rams broke open a close game with a 22-6 fourth quarter to win 48-31.

In addition to her offensive contributions, Gay was the primary defender on Bonny Eagle’s Ember Hastings, who combined with 6-foot-5 center Kaitlyn Bartash, make up the majority of Bonny Eagle’s offense. Bartash scored a team-high 13 points but was shut out in the fourth quarter, in part because the Scots chose to shoot 3-pointers and went 0 for 6 in the final quarter.

Hastings was held to four points.

“Actually it’s her and Hastings together. That combination was pretty effective all year long running high-low,” Berthiaume said.

At the other end, Gorham struggled from behind the arc and Bonny Eagle’s quick defenders forced 10 turnovers through three quarters. Gorham had six-point leads in the second and third quarters only to have Bonny Eagle close the gap to 18-15 at the half and 27-25 after three quarters.

“All that it comes down to is they start hitting their shots,” said Bonny Eagle first-year coach Danielle Pinkham of Gorham’s fourth-quarter successes. “My girls fight hard to the end every game and (Gorham) ended up putting some shots in and we couldn’t scratch back.”

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