GORHAM—Thursday evening, Scarborough’s girls’ basketball team shot the lights out in a surprisingly decisive win at Thornton Academy.

Saturday afternoon, the law of averages caught up with the Red Storm.

That and a very talented Gorham Rams squad.

In a compelling midseason Class AA South showdown, visiting Scarborough couldn’t muster a single first quarter point, but thanks to its typically strong defense, only trailed, 5-0, after eight minutes.

The Red Storm managed to put five points on the board in the second period, but the two-time reigning Class AA South champion Rams tallied 14 to enjoy a 19-5 advantage at the break.

Scarborough rediscovered its offense in the second half, but every time it was on the brink of making a run, Gorham senior Ellie Gay countered with a big basket.


While the Red Storm pulled within a dozen, 30-18, after three quarters and even got within seven late, the Rams got three late free throws from senior Summer Gammon to put it away and they went on to a 43-32 victory.

Gorham won its fourth game in a row, improved to 6-2 and in the process, dropped Scarborough to 7-2.

“It’s a huge win for us,” said longtime Rams coach Laughn Berthiaume. “We’ve talked about being consistent with our effort and today, we were consistent.”

Collision course

Scarborough and Gorham have emerged as top threats in Class AA South over the first half of the season.

The Red Storm started with a decisive 82-28 home win over Noble and followed that up with a 40-35 home victory over Windham. After downing host South Portland (45-40), Scarborough held off host Lewiston (58-51) and defeated visiting Massabesic (61-23) before finally dropping a 46-37 decision at Cheverus. After rolling at Bonny Eagle, 60-25, the Red Storm made a powerful statement Thursday with an emphatic 59-40 win at preseason favorite Thornton Academy.


The Rams, meanwhile, fell at home in their opener, 33-31, to South Portland. Gorham then defeated Greely (56-30) and Falmouth (55-29) and after a 38-36 loss to Edward Little, defeated Sanford (48-41), Thornton Academy (38-34) and Massabesic (68-27).

Last year, the Rams won both meetings, 38-29 at Scarborough and 55-49 at home.

Saturday, in front of a large and vocal crowd, Gorham locked in defensively and went on to make it three straight in the series.

Scarborough junior Ellie Rumelhart battles Gorham senior Summer Gammon for the opening tip of the Rams’ 43-32 win Saturday. Hoffer photos.

Offense was at a premium in the first quarter and it took 3 minutes, 34 seconds for the game’s first points to be scored, as junior Vanessa Walker set up senior Kalin Curtis for a layup to put the Rams in front to stay.

After Gay made two free throws, Walker add another to make it 5-0 Gorham after one period.

In the first eight minutes, the Red Storm turned the ball over eight times and weren’t able to find the net.


“I’m not exactly sure why we came out like that,” said Scarborough coach Mike Giordano. “Maybe we shot too well the other night and things balanced out. You can’t start like that against a good team. We rushed our offense and didn’t show the composure we should have had.”

Gorham continued to stymie the visitors at the start of the second period, as Walker made two free throws, Walker set up junior Julia Reed for a 3-pointer, then with 6:17 to go before halftime, Curtis set up Gay for a 13-0 advantage.

Finally, out of a timeout, Scarborough broke through with 5:49 remaining, as senior standout Caroline Hartley drained a 3.

The Rams quickly responded, however, as Reed kept play alive with an offensive rebounds, then set up Curtis for a 3 and after Hartley countered by driving and banking home a shot, Gay made another 3, from Curtis, to make it 19-5 at the half.

Hartly had all of the Red Storm’s first half points, while Gay singlehandedly outscored the Red Storm, 8-5.

Scarborough would return to life in the second half, but the deficit was too much to overcome.


Scarborough junior Emerson Flaker defends Gorham junior Julia Reed.

Walker opened the second half with a putback.

With 5:34 to go in the third quarter, junior Ellie Rumelhart made a free throw, then after Curtis picked up her third foul, Hartley hit a turnaround jumper and sophomore Helena Bukarac added a 3-pointer with 3:46 on the clock to pull Scarborough within 10, 21-11.

Gay then stemmed the tide with a putback and after junior Emerson Flaker drove for a layup for the Red Storm, Gay took a pass from sophomore Lauren Dunbar on the fastbreak and made a layup, then Gammon drove for a layup to make it 27-13.

Late in the frame, Hartley set up Bukarac for another 3, but Gay countered with a 3 from the corner and even after junior Megan Rumelhart set up Hartley for a late layup, Gorham took a 30-18 advantage to the final stanza.

The Rams added to the lead early in the fourth, as sophomore Zoe Dellinger drove for a layup, Gay made a free throw, then with 5:27 to go, Curtis set up Gay for a layup and the Rams’ largest advantage of the day, 35-18.

“We just had to stay composed,” Gay said. “We’ve had exposure to pressure and a high-energy crowd.”


Bukarac answered with another 3, but again Gay came up big, taking a pass from Dellinger and making a layup.

“Ellie’s coming around,” Berthiaume said. “She’s been our leader for a couple years now. We rely on her and when she does her thing, the other kids gain confidence too.”

After Flaker drove for a layup, was fouled and completed the old-fashioned three-point play with a free throw, Ellie Rumelhart made a layup, but a Dellinger runner in the lane with 3:28 on the clock made the score 39-26.

Scarborough attempted one final surge, as sophomore Avery Bastian made a 3 with 2:09 remaining, then with 48.8 seconds left, Flaker got the ball on an offensive rebound and set up Ellie Rumelhart for a 3 to cut the deficit to seven, but 10 seconds later, Gammon made a free throw and with 18.9 seconds showing, Gammon sank two more foul shots.

With 10.6 seconds left, Walker hit one more free throw and that made it official as Gorham closed out its 43-32 victory.

“We just came into the game knowing Scarborough’s a great team and that we could compete,” Gay said. “I think this game was a turning point. We came in with a lot of energy and we put it together today. We’ve been working on high-intensity defense and talking on defense. Little things like Kalin Curtis’ steals, Summer Gammon’s length getting little deflections. It added up to a lot of fastbreak plays.”


“I’m never comfortable against Coach Giordano,” Berthiaume said. “I thought their kids came out and tried to turn the game around. They clawed back in the game. Our defensive pressure is coming along. They have a number of different kids who can shoot the basketball, so they’re not easy to guard. We had to make sure on each and every pass, every kid was moving and knew where they had to be.”

Gay led all scorers 20 points and also had three rebounds. Walker added six points, six rebounds and two assists, Curtis (eight rebounds, three steals, two assists) and Gammon (11 rebounds) both finished with five points, while Dellinger had four and Reed three.

The Rams outrebounded the Red Storm, 36-27, overcame 17 turnovers and made 10-of-17 free throws.

Scarborough’s offense was led by nine points apiece from Bukarac and Hartley, who also had seven rebounds, two steals and two blocked shots. Ellie Rumelhart finished with six points (and four rebounds), while Flaker had five (as well as six steals, six rebounds and four assists) and Bastian three.

The Red Storm turned the ball over 16 times and hit 2-of-4 free throws, but couldn’t overcome its disastrous first half lack of offense.

“Gorham’s a really good team,” Giordano said. “We definitely struggled, but I liked our fight in the second half.”


Second half

The Rams and Red Storm meet again Jan. 19 in Scarborough, but both have some tests to pass first.

Gorham is now idle until next weekend, when it goes to Noble Friday and plays at Windham Saturday.

“There have been a lot of unpredictable outcomes,” Gay said. “We have to come with energy every day and play our best every play.”

“We need consistency with every possession,” said Berthiaume. “They sped us up some today and we made some bad passes. We’ll work on taking care of the basketball. I think the region is wide open. I think Scarborough will be much better in February and I’m hoping we’re much better too.”

Scarborough, meanwhile, plays host to Edward Little Tuesday and visits Sanford Friday.

“You have to know what you have to bring on a nightly basis to compete in our league and I think the girls learned that tonight,” Giordano said. “I still think it’ll come down to consistency on the offensive end. We’re in good shape if we get to 50 (points). It’s a process. We’re still learning about ourselves.”

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

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