Edward Little survives Lewiston in AA North girls' basketball quarterfinals (WITH VIDEO)

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AUBURN — Victoria Harris and Lewiston pushed Edward Little to the absolute limit, but the Red Eddies made one more play than their rivals down the stretch to win 49-48 in a Class AA North girls’ basketball quarterfinal Wednesday night.

Hannah Chaput’s layup gave third-seeded Edward Little the one-point lead with 13 seconds left.

“I knew we needed to score,” Chaput said. “Honestly, I just wanted to go to the hoop and score for my team.”

Harris, a senior, was stuck watching from the bench as the Blue Devils tried to get a clean shot before settling for an off-balance heave from 3-point range that bounced off the backboard as the final buzzer buzzed.

Harris was brilliant in the final game of her high school career, finishing with 36 points.

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“Victoria played her absolute heart out tonight,” Lewiston coach Lynn Girouard said before pausing. “… She really put her team on her back and she wanted it tonight.”

Harris scored 18 points in each half, and scored a variety of ways. She drove for baskets, scored in the post and had several putbacks. She also made 8-of-9 at the free-throw line.

“She gave her absolute best, give her credit,” Edward Little coach Chris Cifelli said. “She did a lot of good things for them — obviously the scoring, but also some big rebounds, some big blocks for them.

“I’m thrilled we were able to fight over that type of LeBron performance.”

Harris’ final basket came after one of her many offensive rebounds, and gave Lewiston a 48-46 lead with 32 seconds left.

Nine seconds later, though, Harris fouled out. Edward Little’s Jade Perry made one of two free throws to cut the deficit to one point, 48-47.

As Harris left the court, most of the crowd cheered, even the Edward Little fans — either to applaud her performance or out of relief that she could no longer play.

Harris scored 13 points in the fourth quarter.

“Victoria definitely had a great game,” Chaput said. “We wanted to play harder defense on her, but …”

Still trailing by one, the Red Eddies made a defensive stop and called a timeout to set up a play.

Cifelli said the plan was to get the ball inside to Perry or another player in the post. That’s not how it played out, though, because Lewiston’s defense didn’t do what Edward Little expected.

Chaput caught an inbound pass at Lewiston’s end of the court, broke the press and split a pair of defenders as she drove the lane for the game-winner.

“I think Hannah just saw that opening, and she took it,” Cifelli said. “Give her credit, with everything going on in that game, I admire her confidence to put, in essence, the game on her shoulders at that point to try to get that basket.”

Chaput finished with a team-high 12 points against her former team. Eight of those points came in the fourth quarter.

Harris scored the Blue Devils’ first 12 points to keep them in the game. They trailed 16-8 at the end of the first quarter.

Slowly, though, Lewiston crept back into the game. Myah Nicolas’ jumper — the Blue Devils’ first non-Harris points — made it 20-14. By the end of the half, the Red Eddies’ advantage was down to 27-23.

Gabrielle Wilson, another Lewiston senior, picked up three fouls in the game’s first three minutes. In the second half’s first three-plus minutes, she hit a pair of base-line jumpers to tie the score 27-27.

And, with help from Wilson’s defense, Edward Little didn’t score for more than four-and-a-half minutes to open the third quarter.

Senior Grace Beaudet ended the Red Eddies’ drought with one of her two crucial second-half 3-pointers that made it 30-27.

“It was pretty nerve-wracking,” Beaudet said. “We knew we had to shoot (when we were) open, and I had Victoria on me, so I had to stay on the outside so our post players could go down and post up.”

The lead changed hands twice, and then again when Harris turned a steal into a bucket in the final minute of the third, giving Lewiston a 35-34 lead heading into the final period.

The fourth quarter featured five lead changes and the score was tied three times.

Every time Edward Little took a lead, Lewiston made a play. Whenever Lewiston went ahead, Edward Little responded.

Especially in the final four minutes.

Grace Fontaine drew a foul while making a one-handed off-balance shot, then added the free throw to give Edward Little a 42-40 lead. Cece Racine tied the game with a pair of free throws, then Harris made two more foul shots to give Lewiston the lead.

Then Beaudet nailed another big 3-pointer to put Red Eddies up 45-44. The Blue Devils regained the lead when Harris scored in the post, but Chaput tied it at 46-46 with a free throw with 1:36 remaining.

“We had heart and we wanted it bad,” Beaudet said. “Our senior class had never lost to Lewiston, so we didn’t want to mess it up this time.”

Perry finished with 10 points for Edward Little, while Beaudet and Chantel Ouellette each scored nine.

The Red Eddies (12-7) advance to play No. 2 Portland (13-6) in the AA North semifinals next Wednesday at the Cross Insurance Arena in Portland. The Bulldogs defeated Bangor 62-39 on Tuesday.

The Blue Devils finish the season 8-11. They lost two Lewiston three times, but closed the gap against in what has been a one-side rivalry for years.

But that doesn’t make Wednesday’s loss any easier.

“Really hard,” Girouard said. “And it’s nobody’s fault. Everybody’s beating themselves up in the locker room — ‘missed my foul shots, missed that steal ‘ — but, you know, things like that happen in a basketball game.

“It’s just, it’s a hard pill to swallow.”

Lewiston’s Victoria Harris shoots the ball past Edward Little’s Grace Beaudet and Piper Norcross during Wednesday night’s quarter final game in Auburn. (Andree Kehn/Sun Journal)

Lewiston’s Cece Racine looks for a teammate to pass the ball to past Edward Little’s Grace Beaudet during Wednesday night’s quarter final game in Auburn. (Andree Kehn/Sun Journal)

Lewiston’s Cece Racine and Edward Little’s Jade Perry go after a loose ball during Wednesday night’s quarter final game in Auburn. (Andree Kehn/Sun Journal)

Edward Little’s Grace Fontaine goes up for a basket as Lewiston’s Myah Nicolas plays defense during Wednesday night’s quarter final game in Auburn. (Andree Kehn/Sun Journal)

Lewiston’s Myah Nicolas gets a hand on the ball as Edward Little’s Jade Perry tries to maintain control during Wednesday night’s quarter final game in Auburn. (Andree Kehn/Sun Journal)

Edward Little’s Chantel Ouellette goes up for a layup as Lewiston’s Myah Nicolas tries to block during Wednesday night’s quarter final game in Auburn. Lewiston’s Cece Racine watches the play from the left. (Andree Kehn/Sun Journal)

Edward Little’s Grace Beaudet drives to the basket as Lewiston’s Lauren Foster tries too enter the play during Wednesday night’s quarter final game in Auburn. (Andree Kehn/Sun Journal)

Edward Little’s Jade Perry goes up for a basket as Lewiston’s Victoria Harris plays defense during Wednesday night’s quarter final game in Auburn. (Andree Kehn/Sun Journal)

Lewiston’s Gabrielle Wilson keeps her eye on the basket as Edward Little’s Chantel Ouellette plays defense during Wednesday night’s quarter final game in Auburn. (Andree Kehn/Sun Journal)

Lewiston’s Victoria Harris looks up to the basket past Edward Little’s Grace Beaudet during Wednesday night’s quarter final game in Auburn. (Andree Kehn/Sun Journal)

Lewiston’s Cece Racine shoots the ball past Edward Little’s Hannah Chaput during Wednesday night’s quarter final game in Auburn. (Andree Kehn/Sun Journal)

Edward Little’s Jade Perry pushes past Lewiston’s Cece Racine on the way to the basket during Wednesday night’s quarter final game in Auburn. (Andree Kehn/Sun Journal)

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