Gorham boys’ basketball coach Ryan Deschenes talks with his team during a practice Wednesday at the University of Southern Maine. The Rams are playing in a state championship game for the first time in 19 years. Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer

GORHAM — With both the girls’ and boys’ teams playing for Class AA state championships on Saturday, Gorham High has been in the full grip of basketball fever.

Gorham’s Ellie Gay looks for an open teammate during a practice Wednesday at USM. Gay and the Rams are in the Class AA state championship game for the third straight year. Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer

Ellie Gay said teachers have offered a steady supply of congratulations. When Gay, a finalist for the Miss Maine Basketball award, has been out to dinner in town this week, younger kids have approached her, thrilled to see a Gorham basketball player out in the wild.

“Everybody is happy and talking about it. Definitely our community is very supportive,” Gay said after a practice this week at the University of Southern Maine.

Ashton Leclerc, a senior standout on the Gorham boys’ team, said there’s a buzz around school that he hasn’t seen before.

“We have a great student section, and they’re ready to come support us. I think the whole community’s coming to support us. We had a great crowd (at the regional final),” said Leclerc, a semifinalist for the Mr. Maine Basketball award.

The Class AA doubleheader begins at 7:05 p.m. Saturday at Cross Insurance Arena with the girls’ final between Gorham (18-3) and Cheverus (20-0). That’s followed by the boys’ final between Gorham (18-2) and Windham (18-2), which are tied for first place in the latest Varsity Maine boys’ basketball poll. Cheverus is ranked first and Gorham second in the girls’ top 10.


Gorham is one of three schools with both boys’ and girls’ basketball teams playing in state championship games this weekend, joining Oceanside (Class B) and Valley (Class D). Such a feat is unusual in Class AA, the state’s largest enrollment class. The last time it happened was in 2018, when Edward Little won both state titles.

This is the third straight Class AA championship game for the Gorham girls, and sixth in eight seasons. For the boys, it’s been a longer drought. They’re in the state final for the first time since playing for the Class B title in 2005. Gorham’s last boys’ basketball championship came in 2000, also in Class B.

Gorham’s Summer Gammon passes the ball during a practice Wednesday at USM. She and her brother, Griffin, both will be playing in state championship games on Saturday night. Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer

The epicenter of Gorham’s basketball renaissance isn’t the high school’s gym, it’s the Gammon home. Summer Gammon, a senior, is a key player on the girls’ team, while Griffin Gammon, junior, is the leading rebounder for the boys’ team.

Gorham’s Griffin Gammon:  “Last year, it was all about my sister. This year, it’s about the both of us.” Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer

“Last year, it was all about my sister. This year, it’s about the both of us,” Griffin Gammon said. “Now me and my sister are even. My parents are proud of me and my sister. It’s great we can both share this thing.”

Summer Gammon said she and her teammates are thrilled the boys get to experience what the girls have the last two seasons.

“We have a lot of family coming to watch,” she said. “I think it’s exciting. We both want to win. We both want each other to win. We’re cheering each other on and we’re both playing the best basketball we can.”


As soon as their win over Scarborough in the regional final was complete last Saturday, the Gorham girls turned their focus to the boys, who also played Scarborough.

“All day, we just wanted both teams to win. After our game, especially, we were like, the boys have to win. We wanted to celebrate together. I think they deserve it,” Gay said.

Gorham’s Ashton Leclerc says the boys’ team was motivated after watching the girls win the Class AA South championship last Saturday. “We (wanted) to get up on that ladder and swing the nets and have everyone ready for the state game,” he says. Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer

Waiting to take the court for warmups, Leclerc watched the girls’ team celebrate their win and found motivation.

“We saw them win, and we were like, that’s what we want to do. We (wanted) to get up on that ladder and swing the nets and have everyone ready for the state game,” Leclerc said.

Laughn Berthiaume, coach of the Gorham girls, also teaches geometry at the high school. He said there might have been a little more video watching in his classroom this week. Students know his role with the team, Berthiaume said, and have been good about getting their work done, knowing he has work to get done with the team.

“Regardless of which teams are in what events, I’ve found that our student body is really supportive of one another. You’re going to get a crowd out, whether it’s soccer or basketball or a spring sport,” Berthiaume said. “I feel like the playoff atmosphere is something that’s really exceptional at Gorham. It’s even better when it’s both teams together. The boys have been very supportive of the girls, and vice versa.”


While not a teacher at Gorham High, Ryan Deschenes, in his first year as the boys’ head coach, said the community support is one of the things that attracted him to coaching the Rams. He previously coached at Gray-New Gloucester, which is playing for the Class A championship on Saturday afternoon.

“There’s been a packed house every night for our home games,” said Deschenes, a health coach at Bath Iron Works. “Just a lot of good, positive support. We know they have our back and will be there Saturday.”

The excitement at Gorham High comes with a caveat, Leclerc said. Just getting to the state game isn’t the goal.

“Around school, everyone knows the job’s not finished. We have one more game,” Leclerc said. “Everyone’s excited, but they’re ready for Saturday.”

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