One star was hurting, another was picking up fouls, and the margin of error against a resilient opponent was shrinking by the minute.

Still, the Cheverus High girls’ basketball team found a way to keep its Class AA title defense alive.

Maddie Fitzpatrick scored 17 points, Emma Lizotte worked through a bruised and swollen elbow to add nine, and the second-seeded Stags outlasted No. 3 Bangor, 38-29, in a North semifinal Wednesday at Cross Insurance Arena.

Emmie Streams and Abbie Quinn scored 10 points apiece for the Rams (16-4), who beat Cheverus by eight points in the season opener. The Stags improved to 18-2, and while many of the victories leading up to Wednesday were statements, win No. 18 was about survival.

“The girls don’t give up. They’re playing tough, they played tough all game. We had to,” said Cheverus Coach Billy Goodman. “Bangor is a very, very good team. … I told my team, they earned this. This was a tough one.”

Cheverus will play No. 1 Oxford Hills on Friday for a chance to return to the Class AA final, but getting there meant passing a series of gut checks. Bangor led by eight points in the first half and 19-16 at the break. Fitzpatrick picked up her fourth foul early in the fourth quarter with the Stags up six, forcing Cheverus to handle some of the endgame without its standout guard.


“It was a great experience,” said Fitzpatrick, who added 11 rebounds. “It was a crucial experience for us. It really was ‘Just survive.'”

The Stags got a lift from the presence of Lizotte, who was injured during a quarterfinal win over Edward Little on Friday and didn’t practice until Tuesday. She ended up playing 29 1/2 minutes, and though clearly limited and unable to snatch rebounds out of the air with both hands, she still managed to record five rebounds and four blocks.

Her padded sleeve was replaced by a bag of ice after the game.

“Battling in the post, I couldn’t do what I normally do, because every time I got hit, I couldn’t move my hands,” she said. “I just focused on the defensive end; you don’t need two working hands for that.”

Goodman praised his junior center.

“Emma gave it all she’s got,” Goodman said. “I didn’t know what she’d give us. Her defense was amazing. … I don’t know how she did what she did today.”

The Stags needed it. The Rams raced out to a 19-11 lead thanks to Streams, who scored all her points in the first half, before Cheverus went ahead 19-18 on a Fitzpatrick basket early in the third quarter. Fitzpatrick, who was held by Streams to six points in the first half, scored nine points in the third to help the Stags finish the quarter up 31-25.

The defense took over from there, and freshman Jaelyn Jensen’s 3-pointer made it 36-25 with 3:06 left, crippling Bangor’s comeback hopes.

“It’s been a haul, for sure, from the first game against Bangor to now,” Fitzpatrick said. “It’s amazing to know that all of our hard work has paid off at this point.”

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