SOUTH PARIS – The Oxford Hills girls’ basketball team didn’t get the abundance of outside shots it is typically accustomed to in a basketball game Tuesday.

But the Vikings had just enough and made the best of them. A pair of 3-pointers in the final quarter erased an Edward Little lead, and Oxford Hills rode the late momentum to a 49-39 victory.

“The whole game was a battle,” said Oxford Hills coach Nate Pelletier. “That just goes out to how hard EL plays. Their girls got into our shooters’ faces. We didn’t have many outside chances we could make today. They were also playing post defense very well. We were very happy to hang in there until finally our time came.”

Terry Bunce hit a 3-pointer early in the third to get the Vikings within one. Kari Pelletier later hit another to tie the game 37-37 with 4:40 left.

“Terri had a big 3-pointer to cut it (to one),” said Pelletier. “They had it up to almost seven at one point, and Kari hit one from the corner that tied it. That was huge for us.”

A game that had been played mostly at Edward Little’s pace was suddenly swinging in the Vikings’ direction, and the Red Eddies struggled to recover. After Bunce put Oxford Hills ahead, Kelsey Nicolas tied it with 3:51 left, but EL never scored again.

“We just missed assignments,” said EL coach Craig Jipson. “What I’m proud about is that it’s better to learn that now than next Tuesday. You can’t loose a shooter. You can’t give up a second rebound on a free throw.”

Bunce led the Vikings (14-3) with 18 points while Katie Martin and Kyla Martin each had nine.

Brittney French led EL with 17 and became just the third player in EL girls’ history to reach 1,000 points.

“It just finalizes everything I’ve worked for in terms of high school basketball,” said French, who entered the game needing just six points to reach the milestone. “It feels pretty good. Coming into the season, I didn’t even know I had a chance. It’s a really good accomplishment.”

French scored off a steal and breakaway in the first quarter to reach the 1,000th-point plateau.

“As soon as I tipped it, I knew this was it,” she said of the steal.

After leading 20-17 at the half, French scored nine points in the third quarter to keep EL ahead. Kelsey Nicolas, who finished with 11, scored to open the fourth and put EL up 35-29.

The Red Eddies (10-7) shot just 2-for-9 in the final quarter and had five turnovers. Once the Vikings took the lead, they had the Red Eddies right where they wanted them.

After Kyla Martin hit a free throw to put Oxford Hills ahead with 3:34 left, Megan Joyce scored on a steal for a 42-39 lead. She was fouled on the shot but missed the free throw. The Vikings got the rebound and milked the clock, forcing EL to foul. Oxford Hills used the free throw shooting of Bunce, Teira Durgin and Ally Fox to pad the lead.

“We took the lead, and I called time out,” said Pelletier. “I told the girls that we knew what we had to do. We just had to control the basketball and get to the free-throw line. That’s where we’re going to win games from.”


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