Storm Jipson of Edward Little High School lays up a shot while being defended by Nick Galli, left, and Matt Duchaine of Cheverus during the first half in Auburn on Tuesday. (Daryn Slover/Sun Journal)
AUBURN — Cheverus’ Matt Duchaine posed a big problem for Edward Little in the second quarter of Tuesday night’s Class AA North quarterfinal.
The 6-foot-4 junior couldn’t miss, drilling five of six 3-pointers and scoring 15 points in a row for the Stags.
EL coach Mike Adams had an answer — 6-foot-3 senior Ibn Khalid. The Stags, meanwhile, has no answer for Khalid at the other end.
Khalid scored a game-high 24 points and held Duchaine to two points in the second half to help No. 2 Edward Little pull away from No. 7 Cheverus, 59-47, in the Class AA North basketball quarterfinals on Tuesday.
Wol Maiwen added 18 points, nine rebounds and six blocked shots for the Red Eddies (15-4) and Darby Shea chipped in with 10 points.
Duchaine led the Stags (6-13) with 17 points, but with Khalid face-guarding him all around the perimeter, he rarely touched the ball and didn’t score again until two minutes left in the game.
“(Adams) just told me don’t let him catch the ball and don’t let the screens go through me and stay really close to him,” Khalid said.”I knew he is a catch-and-shoot player first.”
“Khalid did a great job of limiting his catches and taking those shots away,” Adams said. “We did a better job as a team defensively.”
The rest of the Eddies’ defense buckled down, too, and pulled away with a 13-2 third quarter.
EL advances to the semifinals Feb. 20 at Cross Insurance Arena in Portland. It will face the winner of Wednesday’s quarterfinal between No. 3 Oxford Hills and No. 6 Deering.
Tobias Ephron put Cheverus in front, 31-30, to start the second half, but that would be it for the Stags in the third.
“They took Matt out of the game,” Cheverus coach Ryan Soucie said. “We really try to spread the ball, get to the paint and look for (kickouts to the perimeter), and I think they tightened up their ‘D’ and didn’t really allow us to do that.”
A pair of Tyler Morin free throws put the Eddies back in front to stay. A Khalid hoop, back-to-back 3-pointers by Shea and a 3 just before the buzzer by Khalid made it 43-31 heading into the fourth.
“They were face-guarding Darby, and Darby did a great job of being patient,” Adams said. “We put a little new wrinkle offensively for something like that, and the kids did a good job of getting what we wanted to get for shots.”
“We held (Shea) in check until that third quarter. Then he had a couple of 3s and that really kind of separated them,” Soucie said.
Cheverus got the margin back to single digits three times in the fourth, but never got closer than seven points after an Owen Burke 3-pointer with 1:32 left.
They had a chance to get closer after Morin missed a pair of free throws, but couldn’t secure the rebound. On the subsequent possession, Austin Brown fed a cutting Khalid for a three-point play that put the Stags away with 1:11 to go.
EL, which had beaten Cheverus, 64-54, in Auburn on Dec. 15, used its size and athleticism to attack the paint. The Eddies fed the 6-foot-4 Maiwen early and often for eight first-quarter points and a 13-9 lead after one.
“Coach always says ‘Paint wins,’ so that’s what we tried to establish early,” Maiwen said. “Last time we played them we just came out weak. We weren’t ready to play. Today, we came out ready to play. We knew what we had to do.”
“I usually look to attack, either create my own shot or find Wol on the dish,” Khalid said.
The Eddies (13-for-23 shooting in the first half) continued to attack in the second quarter, while Duchaine was just getting warmed up from the perimeter. He made his five 3’s in the less than four minutes to put Cheverus up 26-22.
Khalid put Edward Little back in front before the break with a 3-pointer and a layup with two seconds left.
The Edward Little High School bench reacts after the Red Eddies go up by one at the half against Cheverus on Tuesday. (Daryn Slover/Sun Journal)
Tyler Morin of Edward Little High School defends against a pass by Nick Galli of Cheverus on Tuesday. (Daryn Slover/Sun Journal)
Wol Maiwen of Edward Little High School puts up a shot over Owen Burke of Cheverus on Tuesday. (Daryn Slover/Sun Journal)