SCARBOROUGH—Entering play Thursday afternoon, Cheverus’ boys’ basketball team was receiving an abundance of attention.

And the Scarborough Red Storm noticed and didn’t particularly like it.

So they went out and did something about it.

And in the process, served notice that it’s time to pay the Red Storm their due.

Well into late-February and perhaps, even longer.

Scarborough never trailed after the midway point of the first quarter and behind six points from 6-foot-9 sophomore Spencer Booth, took a 12-8 advantage after eight minutes.


In the second quarter, the Red Storm went up by as many as 13 points, 24-11, thanks to a 12-3 run, highlighted by Booth slam dunk, before the Stags crept back within 26-20 at halftime.

Cheverus then drew even three times early in the third period before a 3-pointer from senior Liam Jefferds sparked a 16-6 run, which featured another Booth dunk, giving Scarborough a 46-36 advantage heading to the final quarter.

Where the Stags appeared to at last figure it out, as they scored the first 10 points of the frame to tie the score once more, but with 6:13 to play, a Jefferds 3-pointer gave the Red Storm the lead for good and they pulled away to prevail, 59-51.

Booth led the way with 19 points and Jefferds added 16 as Scarborough improved to 5-1,, dropped Cheverus to 5-1 and made a powerful statement in the process.

“(Cheverus being undefeated) got us fired up,” said Booth. “We deserved our recognition and we wanted to show that. We were confident too. We knew we could be great. Nobody else knew, but they do now.”

Take them seriously


Cheverus opened with a 58-49 home win over South Portland, then rolled past visiting Oxford Hills, 74-36, before holding off host Thornton Academy, 66-64, Portland, 49-44, and Deering, 67-60, in the pre-Christmas portion of its schedule.

Scarborough started with a 40-35 home win over Deering and after a 49-41 setback at Windham, defeated visiting South Portland (55-52) and Lewiston (47-27) and host Kennebunk (58-40).

A year ago, Cheverus rolled at Scarborough, 71-50.

Thursday, the Red Storm came out strong and every time the Stags surged, they countered and earned a Heal Points-rich victory as a result.

Scarborough sophomore Spencer Booth goes up over Cheverus senior Maddik Weisberg for two of his game-high 19 points in Thursday’s 59-51 victory. Hoffer photos.

Cheverus struck first, when sophomore Jameson Fitzpatrick drained a 3-pointer from the corner, but at the other end, Jefferds set up senior Nate Glidden for a 3-ball to tie the score.

After Fitzpatrick put the Stags back in front with a putback, Booth scored his first two points, at the free throw line.


With 4:51 left in the opening stanza, Fizpatrick made a free throw for Cheverus and what proved to be its final lead and with 3:39 on the clock, a leaner from Booth put Scarborough in front for the first time.

After Jefferds set up Booth for a layup, senior Liam Garriepy spun and made a layup and senior Blake Harris added a free throws after a steal to cap a 7-0 run.

As time wound down, junior Leo McNabb hit a jumper for the visitors, but that only pulled the Stags within 12-8 after eight minutes.

The Red Storm started the second period strong, as Booth drove for a layup, then sophomore Carter Blanche set up Jefferds on the fastbreak for another layup and a 16-8 advantage.

Junior Sammy Nzeyimana stemmed the tide momentarily with a 3-point shot, but Glidden answered with a long-range bomb, then, on the fastbreak, Blanche set up Booth for a breakaway dunk to make it 21-11 with 5:04 left in the half, forcing Cheverus coach Richie Ashley to call timeout.

It helped initially, as Booth picked up his second foul, but Garriepy managed to add a 3-pointer to give Scarborough its biggest lead of the game.


McNabb then single-handedly cut a 13-point deficit to six, in just 32 seconds.

First, McNabb drained a 3-pointer while being fouled and he added the and-one free throw for the rare four-point play.

Then, after freshman Quintin Eason, who gave the Stags some key minutes off the bench, grabbed an offensive rebound, McNabb got the ball and buried another 3 to make it 24-18.

With Booth sitting, senior Brayden Couture scored on a putback to end the 7-0 run, but with 22 seconds remaining, junior Gio St. Onge drove for a layup and his first points to pull Cheverus within 26-20 at the break.

In the first 16 minutes, Booth led all scorers with 10 points, while McNabb paced the Stags with nine.

Cheverus carried its momentum over the second half, where it scored the first six points to draw even.


Cheverus junior Leo McNabb defends Scarborough sophomore Carter Blanche.

First, Nzeyimana drove for a layup. After St. Onge made two foul shots, a St. Onge jumper tied it, 26-26, with 6:17 left in the third quarter.

Thirty seconds later, Booth scored on a leaner to snap the 15-2 run, but a putback from Eason evened the game again.

After Harris scored on a putback for Scarborough, Nzeyimana found Eason for another layup to tie the contest, 30-30, with 4:48 remaining in the frame.

Fourteen seconds later, the Red Storm responded again, as Jefferds buried a 3.

After Booth added a foul shot, St. Onge lunged and laid the ball in, then junior Rocco DePatsy made one of two free throws to pull the Stags within a point, but with 2:11 on the clock, Garriepy set up Booth for another dunk to turn momentum.

“I’m just ready to throw it down,” said Booth. “It does so much for our team energy and shifts the game. Liam’s vision is great. He contributes to our team in so many ways, whether it’s scoring, passing, rebounding, he’s everywhere.”


“(The dunk is) a momentum-changer,” said Jefferds. “Everyone loves it. It gets us in a great state.”

“I liked our transition today,” Scarborough coach Phil Conley added. “We had some nice dunks which helped. Spencer’s 6-foot-9 and the sky’s the limit for him. He’s worked extremely hard on his game. He needed to put on a little muscle and he did that over the summer.”

After a Booth block at the defensive end, Blanche drove for a layup, was fouled, then hit the free throw to complete a three-point play.

Junior Shema Rwaganje got two points back with a runner, but Garriepy set up Booth for a layup, Jefferds made two foul shots and after St. Onge hit one free throw, a Jefferds 3 (set up by Garriepy) just before the horn allowed Scarborough to take a 46-36 advantage to the fourth period.

“Garriepy’s so unselfish, which makes him the best player on the court,” said Jefferds. “He found me right away.”

“Liam (Garriepy) shared the ball so well,” Conley said. “A lot of defensive pressure is on him because he can go outside and inside and he understands that and finds guys for the open look.


Cheverus then roared back to life to start the final quarter, scoring 10 straight points, in just 49 seconds, to tie the score for the sixth and final time.

The rally commenced with a pair of free throws from Fitzpatrick. After Nzeyimana stole the ball, he fed McNabb for a layup, forcing Conley to call timeout.

It didn’t help, as after a turnover, McNabb found Nzeyimana for a 3 and with 6:34 left, St. Onge set up McNabb for a 3 and just like that, the score was 46-46.

But not for long.

The Red Storm remained poised and 21 seconds later, Booth set up Jefferds for a 3 and at last, the home team was in front for good.

“Liam’s not afraid to shoot it,” Conley said. “When he has the open look, he has the great light. He’s put a lot of time in. That was a huge 3. It was a 10-0 run and that settled us a little bit.”


The Stags had chances to answer, but couldn’t convert, and Booth extended the lead with a leaner.

After McNabb countered with two free throws to make it 51-48 with 4:19 on the clock, Blanche buried a crucial 3 with 2:42 to go, taking an inbounds pass from Garriepy and knocking down the shot.

Jefferds added a free throw with 54 seconds remaining, then Jefferds drained two more with 28 seconds left.

Cheverus’ final bid at a comeback saw Rwaganje hit a 3 with 19.9 seconds to go, but two free throws from Glidden with 7.2 seconds remaining brought the curtain down and Scarborough prevailed, 59-51.

“It feels great,” Jefferds said. “This will do a lot for us later in the season. It was a great team win. Everyone contributed. The bench energy was great.”

“I think our composure was really, really good tonight,” Conley said. “Cheverus is a really, really good team. They put a lot of pressure on you in the frontcourt and backcourt and we didn’t buckle, but that’s what I expect. We’re a veteran team with eight seniors. The two sophomores started as freshmen last year. Our composure was really a key for us.


“Our bigs played well tonight and you also have to give credit to our guards because they got them the ball. These kids practice extremely hard. The whole team, all 15 guys. We really push them in practice, so games are a little easier. I really like how our team is playing together, sharing the basketball. Any night, it could be anyone as the high scorer.”

This time around, Booth led the way with 19 points, as well as seven rebounds. Jefferds came up huge as well with 16 points and three assists.

Glidden had eight points and six rebounds, Blanche six points, seven rebounds, two assists and two steals, Garriepy five points, nine rebounds and seven assists, Harris three points and Couture two.

The Red Storm enjoyed a 36-26 rebounding advantage, committed 10 turnovers and made 12-of 17 free throws.

Cheverus got 16 points from McNabb, who also had six rebounds. St. Onge added nine points, while Fitzpatrick (five rebounds) and Nzeyimana (seven assists) had eight apiece. Rwaganje finished with five points, Eason had four (to go with seven rebounds) off the bench and DePatsy finished with one.

The Stags made 10-of-13 foul shots and only turned the ball over four times, but missed a lot of easy opportunities at the rim.


“It’s a learning experience,” said Ashley. “We had chances to make plays. We missed 12 layups today. We still have to learn how to win, but all the credit goes to Scarborough. They’re a good team. They’re well-coached. Phil does a great job. They played hard, they played well. They knocked down some tough shots and we couldn’t when we needed to. The Booth kid is a very good player. You can’t teach 6-foot-9.”

One more game in 2023

Cheverus hopes to bounce back Saturday at home versus Lewiston. The new year brings trips to talented Windham, Oxford Hills and Bangor.

“Nobody in this league can just walk out there and win because everyone is good,” Ashley said. “Anybody can beat anybody. (Lewiston’s) Elgin (Physic) is a great coach. If we don’t show up Saturday, we could be in trouble. We hope to get back on track.”

Scarborough, meanwhile, has no time to rest on its laurels, as it has another test Saturday at Bonny Eagle. The Red Storm then have a key home showdown versus Thornton Academy Thursday of next week.

“We have to keep our mentality and keep practicing very hard,” Jefferds said. “If we keep practicing hard, the games will be easy.”

“We’ve showed our resilience and character and grit that we’ve built the past two years and we’ll continue to build it for playoffs,” said Booth.

“The games are going to get tougher,” Conley added. “Saturday night at 7:30 at Bonny Eagle will be tough. If these guys continue to practice as they have been, we’ll continue to get better.”

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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