PORTLAND—What Phil Conley has known for awhile, the rest of us have learned this winter.

Scarborough’s boys’ basketball team, led by its senior class, is capable of doing memorable things.

Thursday evening, the Red Storm spoiled host Deering’s Senior Night.

Just barely, as the program’s best season in six years continued with yet another impressive, albeit narrow victory.

Scarborough shot to a quick 11-3 lead, then lost sophomore big man extraordinaire Spencer Booth to foul trouble, but thanks to a pair of 3-pointers from senior Liam Jefferds, held a 19-12 lead after one quarter.

Jefferds hit two more 3s in the second period, but the Rams, behind a breakout game from sophomore Tayshuan Cleveland, refused to buckle and they were down just six points, 36-30, at the break.


When Booth made a layup early in the third quarter, the Red Storm went up by a dozen and threatened to pull away, but Deering roared back and only trailed by three, 51-48, heading to the final stanza.

And there, while the Rams had ample chances to take the lead, they couldn’t do so and senior Nate Glidden first hit a clutch 3 to stretch a two-point lead to five, then with 7.8 seconds remaining and Scarborough clinging to a one-point advantage, Glidden made two foul shots and that was just enough to counter a late Deering hoop and produce a 61-60 victory.

Jefferds scored a team-high 16 points, senior Liam Garriepy added 14 and Booth had 11 as the Red Storm improved to 13-3 on the season and in the process, dropped the Rams to 6-10.

“I’m having a lot of fun with this group,” said Conley. “I knew when this group was in the fourth and fifth grade that it was a special group because of how close they were on and off the court. They get the young guys involved too.”

To the final second

Both teams are very much in the Class AA South hunt this winter.


Deering opened with a 40-35 loss at Scarborough. After a 52-50 buzzer-beating home loss to Thornton Academy, the Rams edged visiting Sanford (48-44) and after a 56-46 setback at rival Portland, edged host Edward Little (50-48) before falling at home to Cheverus, 67-60, and to Lewiston (44-43). The new year began with wins at two-time reigning Class AA champion South Portland (57-47) and at home over Bonny Eagle (63-50). After losses to visiting Portland (58-51) and at Gorham (79-59) and Cheverus (63-50), the Rams shocked visiting Gorham (62-61) and won at Bonny Eagle (62-54). Tuesday, Deering lost at home to South Portland (68-48).

Scarborough, meanwhile, started with a 40-35 home win over Deering and after a 49-41 setback at Windham, defeated visiting, two-time reigning Class AA state champion South Portland (55-52), visiting Lewiston (47-27), host Kennebunk (58-40), visiting Cheverus (59-51), host Bonny Eagle (56-51) and visiting Thornton Academy (62-37). The win streak ended with a 58-51 loss at Gorham, then the Red Storm won at Edward Little (56-44), at home over Sanford (70-53), at South Portland (54-49) and Thornton Academy (53-40). After a 64-59 setback at Sanford, Scarborough held off visiting Bonny Eagle in its last outing, 57-48, in double-overtime.

In the teams’ first meeting, way back on Dec. 8, Jefferds had 11 points as the host Red Storm rallied in the fourth quarter for victory.

Deering seniors Sam Anderson, left, Trip Marston, Rahim Shabani, Josiah King, David Zemanga and Dieudo Kalala, join coach Todd Wing for a photo prior to Thursday’s contest. Courtesy Deering Athletics.

Thursday, Deering’s six seniors, Sam Anderson, Dieudo Kalala, Josiah King, Trip Marston, Rahim Shabani and David Zemanga, were recognized in a pregame ceremony.

“Four of the seniors came in during the COVID year,” said Rams coach Todd Wing. “It was hard for everyone. They’ve shown resiliency and character and they’re great students. They’re the type of class I was glad to have.”

Deering then hoped to beat Scarborough in its home finale for the second year in a row, but instead, the Red Storm swept the regular season series.


But just by a whisper.

Scarborough looked to get Booth involved early and 36 seconds in, he drew a foul and made two free throws. After Kalala tied it on a leaner, off a pass from Marston, Booth sank another free throw, then Garriepy heated up, draining two 3-pointers in a 38-second span to make it 9-2.

Anderson got a point back at the line, but Glidden sank two free throws for the Red Storm.

With 4:27 left in the first quarter, Booth picked up his second foul and he wouldn’t return until the midway point of the second period and the Rams took advantage of his absence.

First, Cleveland hit a foul shot for his first point. Next, junior Mogga Yanga made a layup after a 3, junior Evan Legassey sank a 3, then with 1:22 on the clock, Cleveland converted an old-fashioned three-point play (putback, foul, free throw) to give Deering what proved to be its only lead of the game, 12-11.

Twenty-three seconds later, Scarborough went back in front for good, as Jefferds made his first 3.


The next time down the floor, Jefferds buried another 3, from the corner, then with 2 seconds to go, on the fastbreak, sophomore Carter Blanche set up Jefferds for a layup and a 19-12 advantage.

Cleveland started the second quarter with a jumper, but Jefferds made another 3 from the corner, then Glidden made a layup after a steal to stretch the lead to 10.

Cleveland then hit a jumper and Yanga made two foul shots, but Jefferds came through again with a shot from behind the arc.

“Liam Jefferds hit four 3s against (Deering’s) 1-3-1 zone and that helped us get momentum going,” Conley said.

After Cleveland drove and banked home a shot, it was Blanche’s turn to hit a big 3, but junior Justin Jamal drove for a layup, then scored on a leaner to cut the deficit to 30-24 with 4:18 left on the first half clock.

Booth then re-entered the game and after Jefferds hit a long jumper, Booth made two more free throws to make it a 10-point game again.


Jamal then hit a leaner off the glass and King set up Cleveland for a layup. After Blanche drove and scored on a pretty reverse layup, Jamal banked home a leaner to pull the Rams within six, 36-30, at halftime.

Jefferds’ 16 points helped Scarborough hold the lead, but a dozen points from Cleveland kept Deering within hailing distance.

The third period would see the Red Storm try to pull away, but instead, the Rams nearly came all the way back.

Garriepy started the second half with a foul shot, then Booth scored on a putback before Garriepy set up Blanche for a transition 3 and what proved to be Scarborough’s biggest lead, 42-30, forcing Wing to call timeout.

It worked like a charm, as 10 of the next 12 points went to the home team.

The rally started with a putback from junior Tavian Lauture. After Booth made a layup, Legassey scored eight points in 58 seconds, draining consecutive 3s, then hitting two free throws.


With 3:37 on the clock, Legassey set up Cleveland for a layup and just like that, the Rams were only down two, 44-42.

Garriepy momentarily stemmed the tide by driving and making a reverse layup, but Cleveland buried a 3 to make it a one-point contest.

Garriepy then took a pass from Booth and hit a 3 from the corner, but Jamal drove, hit a bank shot while being fouled, then added the and-one free throw to cut the deficit to 49-48 with 2:15 remaining in the frame.

Deering then had multiple looks at the lead, but couldn’t convert and with 2.3 seconds on the clock, senior Blake Harris’ putback allowed the Red Storm to take a slim 51-48 lead to the fourth period.

And there, Scarborough did just enough to escape with the victory

Layups from Booth and Garriepy stretched the lead to seven early in the final stanza, but Legassey hit two free throws, Cleveland made one, then with 5:20 to go, Yanga’s bank shot off an inbounds feed from Jamal made it 55-53.


Again, the Rams had chances to tie or take the lead but couldn’t do so and with 3:58 on the clock, Glidden hit his biggest 3 of the season, off a pass from Jefferds, to make it a five-point contest.

“It was my time then,” Glidden said. “I had to step in and shoot it. I trust my teammates just as much as they trust me and we got the job done.”

After nearly five scoreless minutes, Deering finally countered, as sophomore Rudwan Mohamud, who had just entered the game for the first time, took a pass from Lauture and calmly sank a 3 with 43 seconds to go to cut Scarborough’s lead to just two again.

With 33.1 seconds on the clock, Blanche made one of two free throws and after Legassey’s attempt to tie the score was a 3 was off target, Jamal put home the miss and the score was 59-58.

The Red Storm were able to get the ball in to Glidden and with 7.8 seconds left, Glidden went to the line for two critical free throws. He buried the first, then the second rattled around before dropping to make it a three-point game.

“I’ve been in similar situations,” Glidden said. “It’s just a ball and a basket. Mind over matter. Put the ball in the hoop and we win the game.”


“I’ve nicknamed him, Nate ‘Tough As Nails’ Glidden for a reason,” Conley said. “He played great defense tonight against a great guard in Legassey. He’s had a nice year and he knows his role.”

The Rams needed a 3 to tie, but Jamal found a hole in the defense and ran in and banked home a shot with 2 seconds left.

Unfortunately for Deering, however, the clock doesn’t stop after a made basket in the waning seconds in high school basketball and Scarborough was content to let the clock hit zero and celebrate its 61-60 victory.

“I don’t think we’ve won here since we were in high school,” Glidden said. “It feels good.”

“It was toughness and team,” Garriepy said. “We’ve only had close games this year, we battled and we pulled it out. Everyone had to pitch in. We all stepped up and held the fort. We’ve played together for awhile. We’re not worried about outside noise. We have our goals set. We’ve put the work in the offseason, during the season. This is what I expected.”

“We knew this would be a battle,” Conley added. “Deering’s played better basketball of late. We’re on the road and we had a little bit of a layoff, but the guys really responded. We wanted to treat these (final) three games like they were the playoffs. We prepared to play like that. We had some kids hit some big shots.”


Jefferds didn’t score in the second half, but still led Scarborough with 16 points. He also had five rebounds. Garriepy added 14 points, three assists and three steals. Booth also wound up in double figures with 11 points, as well as seven rebounds and two blocked shots. Blanche (six rebounds, four assists) and Glidden (nine rebounds, three steals) both contributed nine points and Harris had two. Senior Brayden Couture didn’t score, but played some key minutes in the post while Booth was on the bench in foul trouble and grabbed five rebounds.

“Brayden Couture came off the bench and gave us some great minutes, toughness, rebounds,” Garriepy said.

“We got into foul trouble early, but I thought Brayden Couture did a really good job coming in,” Conley said.

The Red Storm enjoyed a 38-29 rebounding advantage, made 11-of-16 free throws and overcame 15 turnovers.

“I’m proud of the guys,” said Conley. “To be 13-3 at this point is a credit to how hard they’ve worked and practiced every day. We’ve preached all year is, ‘next play.’ When we miss a shot, when we turn the ball over, it’s next play and this team has really matured in that aspect.”

Deering got a game-high 18 points from Cleveland, who also grabbed eight rebounds.


“Tayshaun has come on strong the second half of the year,” Wing said.

Jamal added 15 points and four rebounds, Legassey had 13 points, four assists and four rebounds, Yanga finished with six points (to go with four rebounds and two steals), Mohamud had three, Kalala and Lauture (three rebounds, two assists, two steals) two apiece and Anderson one.

The Rams hit 11-of-15 free throws and turned the ball over 16 times, but they took another top contender all the way to the wire.

“It was frustrating, but at the same time, there are lessons to be learned as we go into the tournament,” Wing said. “It’s a painful lesson, but it might be relevant later. We always battle. That’s what we do. We’ve put some victories together and we’ve had some games that were just outside our grasp.”

Unfinished business

Deering, currently ranked fifth in the Class AA South Heal Points standings, goes to Thornton Academy for a makeup game Saturday, then closes the regular season Tuesday of next week at Sanford.


“It’s a building process, but we’re confident going forward,” Wing said. “We hope we can move up to four and host a playoff game. We’ve got the pieces. Hopefully, we can put it all together.”

Scarborough, ranked second behind Gorham in Class AA South, welcomes Westbrook Monday, then hosts Gorham in a pivotal regular season finale next Thursday.

“We’ll take it one game at a time,” Glidden said. “We’ll play the opponent in front of us. If we take care of business, we’ll move on to the next.”

“We’re in a good spot,” Conley added. “We still have a lot to play for. We want to take every game and play as well as we can.”

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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