Maddie Fitzpatrick dribbled the ball as the seconds ticked off, her game face still showing for all at Cross Insurance Arena to see.

Then she saw her joyous teammates, the smile broke out, and it was time to celebrate again.

Fitzpatrick capped her standout career with 14 points and 13 rebounds, fellow senior Ruth Boles had a team-high 17 points, and Cheverus finished a perfect season with a 38-24 victory over Gorham in the Class AA final Saturday night.

It’s the second championship in three years for the Stags (21-0), who also beat Gorham for the Gold Ball in 2022. Gorham (18-4), led by five points from Summer Gammon, closed to within four points in the third quarter but got no closer as it lost in the state final for the third straight year.

“It’s just so special,” Fitzpatrick said. “My senior year, the season we had, it’s just indescribable.”

Going into the season, another state title was far from a given for the Stags. Cheverus had to make up for the departures of two starters and three of its top six scoring options from last season. But the Stags spent all season building their case as the best team in the state. On Saturday, they settled it.


“I’m in shock. I can’t believe what we’ve done,” said Cheverus Coach Billy Goodman, who earned his second title at Cheverus after three with McAuley. “So many girls (in) different nights have stepped up around Maddie and Ruth and Megan (Dearborn).”

The Stags’ duo of Fitzpatrick and Boles were in top form. Fitzpatrick also handed out six assists, and Boles had five rebounds. Boles scored seven of her points in the fourth.

“We were in the gym at 6:30 (a.m., in the offseason),” Fitzpatrick said. “In the summer, we proved that we wanted this so bad, that we were willing to do anything.”


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Boles put Cheverus ahead in the final second of the first quarter with a steal and score that made it 10-9. Cheverus never trailed again.

“I just wanted to play as a team together,” Boles said. “This is my last time playing with these girls, and I just wanted to go out there, be aggressive and do all I can to help my team succeed.”

On defense, Cheverus prevented Gorham from finding a rhythm. The Stags stayed close on the shooters of a team that made 15 3-pointers in two previous playoff games, and brought pressure to hassle Gorham ball handlers all over the floor.


“We’ve been working on defense for a month now,” Goodman said. “The girls just rotated, they rebounded. I’m so proud of them.”

The Stags made Miss Maine Basketball finalist Ellie Gay, fresh off setting an AA South tournament record for points scored, their priority, and had Rachel Feeley and Addison Jordan face guard her everywhere she went on the floor. Gay finished with four points.

“She’s a very good player. … I just had to move my feet and move with her, and I think we did a pretty good job,” Feeley said. “That was our No. 1 assignment. … I was definitely looking forward to it. It was a good challenge.”

And yet, for all the struggles, Gorham fought through them to cut the gap to four on a Logan Doughty 3-pointer that made it 25-21 with 1:50 left in the third. Another senior stepped up for Cheverus, however, as Dearborn hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to send the game into the fourth at 28-21. The Stags then held the Rams scoreless for the first six-plus minutes of the final quarter to ice it.

“We did move the ball pretty well, and I thought we had some good looks, and I thought we competed and tried to battle for offensive rebounds,” Gorham Coach Laughn Berthiaume said. “I thought we were in it most of the way. … But we didn’t have enough shots falling, and that’s a tough team to play from behind against.”

Gorham’s senior class of Gay, Gammon and Kalin Curtis (eight rebounds), graduates after winning three straight regional championships.

“They’re the only team from the Southern region … that played into March three years in a row,” Berthiaume said. “Three regional finals is something that’s pretty special, but three state final losses is something that stings at the same time.”

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