One year removed from being unceremoniously bounced from the playoffs in the regional quarterfinals, Gorham High’s boys’ basketball team exacted a measure of revenge on Scarborough.

More importantly, the Rams earned a berth in the Class AA state championship game with grind-it-out, 46-33 win in the South final Saturday night at Cross Insurance Arena.

Gorham (18-2), the top seed in the South, will face neighbor Windham, the North’s top seed, at 8:45 p.m. next Saturday at Cross Arena.

It will be Gorham’s first state final since losing to Camden Hills in Class B in 2005. Its last state title came in 2000, also in Class B. Windham will be making its first appearance in a boys’ basketball state championship game.

“Gorham and Windham. I drive through Windham every day to get to Gorham,” said Ryan Deschenes, in his first season as Gorham’s coach. “It’s pretty surreal that that’s going to be the state final. It’s going to be heartbreaking to whoever loses it. I love (Windham Coach) Chad Pulkkinen and how they play, and it’s just going to be a super, super matchup.”

It’s especially sweet for Gorham’s trio of multi-year senior starters – Ashton Leclerc, Gabe Michaud and Caden Smith. A year ago, they led Gorham to a 13-5 regular season and the No. 3 seed in the South, only to lose at home in the quarterfinals to Scarborough, an unheralded sixth seed.


“Last year they upset us, so we needed to kind of get that revenge game, but the job’s not done. Our goal is states,” Michaud said.

Scarborough (16-5) reached the regional final with a scintillating shooting display against Thornton Academy, making 9 of 10 3-point attempts in the first half. Things cooled dramatically against Gorham. Scarborough made just one of its 15 3-pointers.

“Credit to their defense,” said Scarborough Coach Phil Conley. “But I’m proud of every one of those (Scarborough) kids in that locker room. They gave everything they had this year to have a 16-win season. We’ll be back next year.”

Gorham also struggled with its shooting, and the game was tied 18-18 at the half.

“Our defense kept us in the game,” Michaud said. “Usually we’re a high-percentage shooting team, and that didn’t happen tonight, but our defense kept us in the game.”

Gorham broke away with a 14-3 third quarter that featured seven points each by Smith and Leclerc, with Michaud setting the stage from the point guard position.


“It’s playing fast with purpose. It’s getting three guys to the baseline right away. It’s getting the ball in Gabe’s hands and having him make a decision and pitch the ball ahead and get a numbers advantage, and that’s what we did really well in the third quarter,” Deschenes said.

Smith finished with nine points. Leclerc led all scorers with 17, including 7 of 10 at the free-throw line in the fourth quarter, and was named the AA South tournament’s most outstanding player.

Griffin Gammon contributed 10 points, was strong as a rebounder, and threw down an exclamatory dunk midway through the fourth quarter.

Spencer Booth led Scarborough in scoring with 10 points. Liam Garriepy and Blake Harris each scored six.

Earlier Saturday, the Gorham girls won their third straight regional title (and sixth in eight seasons) by beating Scarborough, 46-37. After the boys’ game, both Gorham squads posed together on the court for photos.

Gammon’s sister, Summer, is a key senior on the girls’ team. He said it was important for the Gorham boys to step up and also reach a state final – at least in his house.

“I didn’t want to be trash-talked at home, not only from my sister, but also from my parents, probably,” Gammon said. “This is something we looked forward to in the earlier weeks of the playoffs. Now that we’re here, it’s a really great feeling.”

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