From that point forward, EL looked like a team interested in embellishing the page of the record book that tells everyone it has won a playoff game in eight consecutive seasons and counting.

The red-hot Red Eddies scored the final 15 points of the half, hit a 3-pointer out of intermission and cruised to a 71-44 victory over Lewiston.

“We got out to a quick start, and I thought maybe we could put them away early, but it never will be like that with Lewiston,” EL coach Mike Adams said. “They played really hard. It was a fun game. That’s just what Lewiston-Auburn should be. It got away at the end, but it wasn’t that way throughout.”

It was the Eddies’ most balanced performance of the season.

Jarod Norcross Plourde put up 19 points, five rebounds and three steals and won the Gordon “John” Gillette Award as the game’s most valuable player and sportsman. Samatar Iman added 18 points and Darby Shea provided 11 off the bench, including three 3-pointers. Austin Cox chipped in eight.

EL’s backcourt was superb. Tyler Morin chalked up seven points, eight assists, five rebounds and five steals, while CJ Jipson delivered six points, six boards, four steals and four assists.

“It was a lot of defense,” Morin said. “Our pressure forced a lot of turnovers. We got a few steals, and that turned into offense.”

The Red Eddies shot 60 percent from the field in the first half and 52 percent overall while limiting the Blue Devils to 33 percent.

EL (9-6) has won eight of nine, while Lewiston (2-13) tumbled to its eighth consecutive defeat. Included in that run for each team was a 54-39 Red Eddies’ triumph on Jan. 6 in Lewiston.

“Mike’s done a great job with them. When we played them the first time, we were at about the same place in our season. They’ve stepped forward and we’ve stayed in neutral,” Lewiston coach Tim Farrar said. “They’re playing smarter, too. They’ve decided who’s going to take the shots and where they’re going to take them. They’re more consistent in their approach.”

Mohamedsidiq Hussein and Desmond Jackson led Lewiston with 10 points apiece.

Each had eight in the third quarter, but Hussein fouled out before the period was over, and the Devils couldn’t make a dent in the Eddies’ lead.

“Defensively as a team I thought we played really well. We had to,” Adams said.

Plourde was the only repeat scorer during a surge of 10 unanswered points that gave EL an early 12-2 edge. Iman, Morin and Cox also contributed.

Cox’s 3-point play with 33 seconds remaining in the period was the Eddies’ only field goal for nearly the next six minutes. Lewiston sandwiched that sequence with a pair of 6-0 runs to claw within a point.

Abdinasir Issack’s runner, Fahad Hassan’s putback and a steal and coast-to-coast layup by Issack made it 15-14 with 5:54 to go in the half. It stayed at 19-16 on an inside bucket from Ibn Khalid before Shea’s first 3-pointer triggered the EL explosion.

“We had a bad stretch. We turned the ball over three straight times. We have those stretches where we don’t score. It’s just who we are. We have trouble scoring, and it affects both ends,” Farrar said. “It sounds funny for a Lewiston team, but we don’t want to chase the game.”

Shea and Iman each scored five more points during the flourish. EL led 34-16 at the break and received two more 3-pointers from Jipson in the first 2:23 of the third period.

Morin delivered assists to three different players in that session, when the Eddies matched the Devils’ 21-point outburst.

“Samatar has stepped it up the past few games, and Coach has been making a big push to get the ball inside to Jarod,” Morin said. “He’s really good in there. He gets me most of my assists when I get the ball in there to him.”

Lewiston has topped 50 points only once in its ongoing skid.

“We had one or two games where we had a 12-0 run, a 12-2 run, but we haven’t had many of those,” Farrar said. “It comes from getting stops, obviously, then making plays on offense. We’re having a hard time getting three or four in a row in each phase.”

Plourde and Iman combined for 11 points in the fourth quarter to rip it open. Morin added a 3-pointer.

None of them saw substantial playing time a year ago, when Lewiston took two of three senior-dominated meetings from EL.

“It’s a testament to them,” Adams said. “They didn’t give up. They kept working. They believed in each other. I’m interested to see how we do the next four games.”

That includes the Class AA North quarterfinals, in which EL will be seeded somewhere from third through fifth.

Lewiston, while on the outside looking in, still has enough Heal Points on the table to make the cut with Mt. Ararat, Brunswick and Bangor left on the schedule.

“I’m hoping we can regroup and put a full game together like we did the first 15 minutes tonight,” Farrar said.

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