PARIS — It didn’t take long for Nate Pelletier to see that one defense wasn’t working Tuesday and that it might be time to switch things up.

After Edward Little jumped out to a quick lead, the Oxford Hills girls’ basketball team took a timeout and opted to play zone.

“Early on, we tried to play man against them, but they’re very skilled,” Pelletier said. “It’s funny. Against Mt. Blue, we played all man. Then we play here, and we play all zone. That’s what I like about this team. They’re very flexible. We can play zone or man. We can mix it up and do whatever we need to do.”

The zone worked tremendously and frustrated the Red Eddies for the rest of the night. The Vikings rallied from behind and beat EL, 42-28.

The game was a battle of the two top teams in Class AA North. With the win, the Vikings (14-3) should finish with the top seed.

“It means a lot,” said junior guard Erin Morton. “There’s not a big difference between first and second, but we’ve never finished this high. So it feels good.”

Tianna Sugars led the Vikings with 15 points while Morton finished with 13. Jadah Adams added eight.

EL (13-4) got 10 from Karli Stubbs and nine from Jordyn Reynolds. The Red Eddies shot 4-for-29 in the second half.

“At halftime, it was 16-15 and I couldn’t have been happier with our defense,” said EL coach Craig Jipson. “We just have to make some shots. We can’t be feeling sorry for ourselves when the ball doesn’t go in and act like a baby. We’ve got to make some shots, and we have to toughen up. There’s going to be nights like this.”

It was the Vikings that struggled offensively the first time the two teams met in a 41-32 loss in Auburn.

There was a reversal of fortune in the rematch. Though EL jumped out to a quick 8-2 lead, the Red Eddies struggled the rest of the way.

Oxford Hills closed off the inside game, where Reynolds had scored six quick points in the first quarter. The Vikings defended the perimeter well. EL had trouble creating offense and forced an abundance of shots. Emily Jacques was held to two points in the first half and finished with seven.

“Our team is really flexible,” Morton said. “We can switch from man-to-man to any kind of zone. Not a lot of teams can do that. So that’s definitely one of our strengths.”

The Vikings finished the first quarter with six straight points to tie the game 8-8. Morton had a pair of jumpers and Sugars scored in the post. Stubbs scored to give EL a 10-8 lead after one.

“We started off with a few jitters and we got down early,” Morton said. “We’ve been working on being patient and not forcing it.”

The Vikings scored seven straight to start the second quarter, while EL missed its first nine shots and finished 1-for-13 from the floor in the quarter.

After a fast break basket by Morton, Sugars hit a 3. Adams scored on a drive to make it 15-10. EL didn’t get its only field goal until Jacques scored on a rebound with 2:10 left in the half.

“They absolutely controlled the pace,” Jipson said. “We like to run a little bit more. I thought we had some makeable shots. I give them a lot of credit. They shot the ball better than we did.”

EL was able to get within 18-17 early in the third on a Reynolds basket. Adams scored on a rebound and Sugars hit a jumper to build the lead again.

Jacques had a three-point play to make it 22-20 with 3:35 left, but Morton answered with a 3 and Jayden Colby scored on a drive to make it 27-20 after three.

“It really came down to patience and understanding where the openings are,” Pelletier said. “We tried to get the ball where we wanted to. Overall, we were able to fast break some too. It was kind of the way I wanted the game to go drawing it up.”

The Vikings took the lead into the final quarter and never relinquished it. Morton hit two free throws and Adams scored in the post to bump the lead to 31-20.

EL got as close as six on a Stubbs jumper with 1:27 left, but Morton and Sugars sank free throws and Adams scored in the post to finish the game with an 8-0 run. Oxford Hills scored 11 of its 15 points in the final quarter from the foul line, sinking seven straight at one point.

The Vikings finish the regular season at Leavitt Thursday, then play in the KVAC game Saturday. Oxford Hills has a bye of the first round of the tourney and will play the winner of Class AA North quarterfinal. EL finishes with Mt. Ararat and also will have a first-round bye.

“It’s the highest Oxford Hills has ever been,” Pelletier said of the team’s No. 1 seeding. “That’s good for them. Otherwise, I don’t know what it means. In past years, I wanted to play certain teams and we haven’t done well. So I don’t really care who we have to play. I just want to play basketball.”

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