SCARBOROUGH—Scarborough coach Phil Conley told his team to keep shooting and his confidence was rewarded Friday evening at Alumni Gymnasium.

Hosting Deering in the teams’ mutual season opener, the Red Storm struggled against the Rams’ zone for much of the contest, but with the game hanging in the balance, Scarborough came up huge.

Just as it expects to do all season.

Deering went on top early, 9-2, and took a four-point advantage to the second quarter, but the Red Storm closed the first half on an 18-7 run, capped by three foul shots from sophomore Carter Blanche, to lead at the break, 20-16.

The Rams then controlled play in the third period, going on a 12-2 run before a layup from senior Nate Glidden pulled Scarborough within four, 28-24, heading for the fourth quarter.

There, Deering scored the first hoop to go up six before Red Storm senior Liam Jefferds heated up, draining a pair of clutch 3-pointers and scoring eight straight points for his team to tie the score.


Then, with 2:41 left, Jefferds set up Blanche for a 3-pointer which put Scarborough ahead to stay and the Red Storm went on to a 40-35 victory.

Jefferds scored a game-high 11 points, Blanche added nine and the Red Storm opened triumphantly for the second year in a row.

“We closed on a high note,” Conley said. “One thing I’m really pleased with is that we battled back. We stayed composed. We’ve worked a lot on that.”

A sign of things to come

Deering lost its first 17 games a year ago, then closed with a 68-53 victory over Scarborough to wind up 1-17. This winter, the Rams, who have been reassigned from Class AA North to Class AA South, expect to be vastly improved.

Scarborough, meanwhile, which upset Gorham in last year’s tournament and reached the semifinals before losing to eventual state champion South Portland to finish 7-13, believes it can be one of the region’s best teams.


“Last year gave us a lot of confidence,” Jefferds said. “It showed we can compete in the SMAA.”

“The guys welcome the expectations,” said Conley. “A lot of these guys have been on varsity for three years. It was important to get to the Civic Center last year. When we have big games in the regular season, it won’t faze us.”

Friday, Deering hoped to beat the Red Storm for the fifth consecutive time in the series, but instead, Scarborough downed the Rams for the first time since a 52-51 victory Jan. 7, 2019.

Scarborough sophomore Spencer Booth and Deering junior David Otti take part in the game-opening and season-opening tip in a game eventually won by the Red Storm, 40-35. Hoffer photos.

The season’s first points were scored by Scarborough’s 6-foot-9 sophomore center Spencer Booth, who took a pass from Glidden and made a layup with 6:23 left in the first quarter.

The Rams then came to life, as junior sharpshooter Evan Leggasey canned a 3-point shot and after Booth was whistled for his second foul and had to sit, junior David Otti scored on a putback, junior point guard Justin Jamal scored on a runner in transition and Jamal drove and got a leaner to roll home for a 9-2 advantage.

With 1:13 on the clock, a free throw from senior Brayden Couture snapped the 9-0 run and a 5 minute, 10 second scoring drought for the home team and senior Blake Harris added a putback to pull the Red Storm within four, 9-5, after eight minutes of play.


Thirty-one seconds into the second period, Booth set up Garriepy for a backdoor layup, but Jamal countered by driving and finishing with his left hand.

With 4:31 on the clock, Jefferds made his first 3, from the corner, then, 45 seconds later, a long 3 from Blanche put Scarborough back in front, 13-11.

Garriepy added a driving layup and after senior Trip Marston made two free throws for Deering, Harris scored on a putback.

With 54 seconds remaining, Marston sank a 3, but just before time expired, Blanche was fouled while shooting a 3-pointer and he buried all three ensuing free throws to make it 20-16 Red Storm at the half.

Deering senior Josiah King defends Scarborough sophomore Carter Blanche.

There wouldn’t be much separation in the second half either.

After almost two scoreless minutes, Otti finished a feed from Marston to cut the deficit to two.


Garriepy answered with a putback, but the next 10 points went to the Rams.

First, Otti hit a short jumper. He then banked home a shot after a nice spin move to tie the score. After Jamal drove for a layup and the lead, Leggasey got a runner to bounce home and with 1:40 on the clock, senior Josiah King stole the ball and made a layup for a 28-22 advantage.

With 26.3 seconds remaining, Glidden drove for a layup to snap a nearly five-minute drought and make it a four-point game heading for the fourth.

There, Deering got a putback from senior Dieudo Kalala to restore a six-point lead, but Scarborough would roar back.

Jefferds got the comeback started with 6:13 remaining, taking a pass from Blanche and draining a 3.

Glidden then set up Jefferds for a layup to make it a one-point game with 5:26 to play.


After Marston got two points on a tip-in, Jefferds tied it with another 3-ball, again from Blanche, with 4:12 left.

“Coach tells me to keep shooting and they’ll eventually fall,” said Jefferds. “We had the mentality to keep pushing forward and shots were going to fall. We crawled back.”

The Red Storm then went ahead for good with 2:41 on the clock, as this time, Jefferds fed Blanche for a 3-ball.

“I know we have good shooters on this team,” Conley said. “We had good looks, but we just weren’t hitting them. I told them as long as they’re open and it’s within our offense to keep shooting and they’ll fall.”

After an Otti shot went in-and-out, Glidden added two free throws with 1:47 showing.

Marston then missed a 3 and with 51.6 seconds to go, two Garriepy foul shots pushed the lead to seven.


The Rams had one final surge, as with 46.5 seconds remaining, Legassey sank a contested 3 and a foul was called after the shot, giving Deering another possession.

The Rams couldn’t capitalize, however, as Otti missed two free throws.

After Garriepy missed two foul shots, Legassey had a look to make it a one possession game, but his shot went in-and-out.

Deering retained possession, but again couldn’t take advantage, as a 3-point attempt from Jamal was off the mark.

This time, Scarborough got the ball and with just 6.5 seconds left, a free throw from Garriepy brought the curtain down on a 40-35 victory.

“It definitely feels great,” Jefferds said. “It’s a great team win. We had great energy on the bench tonight.”


“Deering’s a good team,” Conley said. “They’re long and quick. We attacked their zone pretty well.”

Jefferds finished with 11 points and a pair of assists.

Blanche (five rebounds, two assists and two steals) and Garriepy (three rebounds) added nine points apiece.

“Liam Jefferds made some big shots down the stretch that really helped us and Liam Garriepy did some things defensively and rebounding that were outstanding,” Conley said.

Glidden scored just four points, but he also had six rebounds, two assists, two steals and played superb defense on Legassey.

“My coach gave me the assignment last night and all night and today, I watched film and thought about how I’d defend (Legassey),” Glidden said. “I did my job and we came out with the ‘W.’ I definitely take pride in my defense. I wanted to make his life miserable.”


“The job Nate Glidden did on one of the best guards in the state, Legassey, was unbelievable tonight,” said Conley. “He had to work for everything he got. I can’t say enough about Nate’s defense and our team defense too.”

Harris contributed four points off the bench, while Booth had two, to go with a game-high nine rebounds, as well as two assists and two blocks. Couture finished with one point.

The Red Storm made 9-of-14 foul shots, overcame 15 turnovers and enjoyed a 35-30 advantage on the glass.

“We rebounded well and boxed out well,” Conley said.

Deering got eight points apiece from Jamal, Legassey (three rebounds) and Otti (six rebounds). Marston finished with seven points, six rebounds and a pair of steals, while Kalala (four rebounds) and King (seven rebounds) each had two points.

The Rams made 2-of-4 free throws and turned the ball over 12 times, but couldn’t come up with the key plays late.


“I figured this would be the game we’d play,” Deering coach Todd Wing said. “I didn’t think they’d blow us out or we’d blow them out. I thought it would be a fourth quarter game. They just executed better down the stretch and we need to be better. I think 90 percent of the game, our defense was very good, but execution offensively, it wasn’t there tonight. It was guys doing their own thing. Everything we need is within the scope of our offense. I think it might have been a case of fatigue. We were a little slow on rotations. I have to make sure I’m subbing a little more liberally. I have to give them some breaks.”

On to Tuesday

Deering plays its home opener Tuesday, against traditional powerhouse Thornton Academy.

“I’m not really into learning experiences anymore,” said Wing. “We had plenty of those last year. It’s about us taking this and getting a chip on our shoulder and not being satisfied. I told the guys to be angry, but to be angry in terms of getting up early and executing at 9:30 tomorrow morning in practice to get ready for Thornton Academy. That’s a big game. Our home opener. We need to start putting wins on the board.”

Scarborough will play at Class AA North contender Windham Tuesday of next week.

“We’re resilient,” Glidden said. ‘We’ve been battling the past two years. We haven’t had great seasons, but times are changing. We’ll take it one game at a time. Go to practice every day and keep grinding.”

“Moving forward, I think we’re a different team,” Jefferds said.

“There’s a long way to go,” Conley added. “I think we’ll shoot better. It will come. This is a solid start.”

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at For game updates and links to game stories, follow him on Threads: @foresports2023

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