PORTLAND — Oxford Hills recognized the gravity of the moment as its Class AA North girls’ basketball semifinal headed to overtime Wednesday afternoon.

“We really realized and understood that this could be the end of this season,” Vikings junior Gabbie Tibbetts said. “And, obviously, we don’t want it to end like that.”

Tibbetts hit the biggest shot of the game, and the second-seeded Vikings controlled the extra period to take down third-seeded Bangor, 47-42, at Cross Insurance Arena and advance to their eighth consecutive regional final.

Oxford Hills (15-5), the defending state champion, advanced to a regional final rematch with top-seeded Cheverus (19-0) at 2 p.m. Saturday at Cross Insurance Arena.

“It’s amazing,” Vikings junior Ella Pelletier said. “Every year that we get to go to the regional final, it’s just surreal. Being in this place is amazing – the crowd, everything. I can’t express it in words. It just makes me so happy, being able to go to the regional final, trying to get to the state championship again, it’s what I live for.”

Thursday’s win was the 13th straight for the Vikings, who opened the season by losing five of their first seven games.


“We’ve just, as a team, over the past three or four weeks, found ways to win games,” Oxford Hills Coach Nate Pelletier said.

Bangor built a six-point lead in the first half, but Oxford Hills battled back.

The Vikings went on a 9-0 run in the third to go up 29-23, but the Rams cut the deficit to 31-28 by the end of the quarter.

Bangor inched ahead in the fourth, but Tristen Derenburger, no stranger to hitting big shots in big games at Cross Insurance Arena, sank a 3-pointer that put Oxford Hills up 38-36 with 2:10 left in the game.

Avery Clark responded with a basket that tied the game with 1:26 remaining.

Neither offense generated a quality shot as regulation wound down, and the game went to overtime.


Tibbetts then put Oxford Hills in front with her 3-pointer. Moments later, Bangor standout Mimi Quinn fouled out, and Maddy Herrick made both foul shots.

“Losing that inside presence that controls – you know, any time we get an entry pass into the post and she’s got it, she gets double-teamed, which opens up someone else,” Bangor Coach Jay Kemble said. “And that was gone.”

Tibbetts and Pelletier led Oxford Hills with 15 points apiece.

Pelletier, a junior, scored 10 of her points in the third quarter after netting only one bucket in the first half.

“I think I just was a little nervous at first,” Pelletier said, “but I just had to lock in, realize that I got to take it to the hoop, get fouled, but I’ve got to kick it out to shooters, too. I think just having that mindset of, ‘I got to score,’ is what helped me.”

Nate Pelletier said the entire team needed a mindset change in the second half.

“I told them, ‘If you come out and take shots, I promise you things are going to start swinging in our direction,’” he said. “And they did.”

Clark kept the Rams in the game by scoring all nine of their third-quarter points. All of the sophomore’s 16 points were after halftime, as she and fellow sophomore Delaney Horr (seven points, all in the fourth quarter and overtime) paced Bangor’s offense in the second half.

“We were sagging off a couple of players – just like they were – trying to eliminate Pelletier. They were trying to eliminate Quinn,” Kemble said. “And it was just other people having to make shots. Both teams did. … Everybody on both teams made big baskets.”

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