PARIS — Coming into the season, Oxford Hills girls’ basketball coach Nate Pelletier said that he hoped freshman Julia Colby would be able to take over some of the minutes at point guard so that Erin Morton could spend more time at shooting guard.

Colby has done that, and then some. She has started all three games at the point for the Vikings (3-0), and played well enough that Pelletier said, “I would assume that she’s got that spot locked down.”

Through three games, Colby was Oxford Hills’ co-leader in scoring, along with Jadah Adams, with an average of 11.3 points per game.

“She’s the real deal. She can play basketball,” Pelletier said. “She makes freshman mistakes at times, but, you know what, everybody does.”

Colby scored a season-high 15 points in Oxford Hills’ 44-31 win over Edward Little on Tuesday.

She made some big buckets for the Vikings. A 3-pointer as part of an 8-1 run late in the first half that turned a four-point lead into 11 points. Early in the third quarter, she floated a layup over EL’s 6-foot post Jordyn Reynolds. When the Eddies cut the lead to seven points, Colby took back momentum by driving the lane for a layup. Later she made a layup off an inbounds play, and soon after hit a pair of free throws.

“That I’m scoring quite a bit,” Colby said is the most surprising part so far of her transition to high school basketball.

Pelletier saw Colby coming. Her sister, Jayden, played for the Vikings until graduating earlier this year. So he knew about Julia. And he anticipated Jayden’s little sister would make a quick impact.

“She’s played a lot of basketball,” Pelletier said. “She’s a kid that just lives in the gym — whenever she can get in the gym, she’s in there shooting, working on her game.

“She’s played enough to be prepared (for the high school level). Her ball-handling skills are very strong, but she just knows the game. She’s really smooth with it.”

Colby said she plays basketball year-round, including high-level AAU ball.

“She’s gone and played some of the best kids in the nation,” Pelletier said. “What she’s seen in AAU basketball is comparable to what she’s seeing now.”

There still has been an adjustment to the size of speed at the high school level.

“It’s a lot harder, but I’m getting used to it,” Colby said.

Of course, she is still a freshman. And, as Pelletier said, “she makes freshman mistakes at times.” Although Colby is catching on faster than a typical freshman, there’s still an unavoidable learning process.

Take, for instance, that floater over Reynolds in the third quarter. On a similar play later in the game, Colby again challenged Reynolds, one of the top players in the state. This time, Reynolds swatted the ball.

“She did it again right at the end and got blocked,” Pelletier said, “and we had to have the conversation of, hey, listen, now the time in the game is you’re not going to take that shot, because we’re going to take some time off (the clock).”

Jayden Colby was a forward who had the skills to also be effective in the post. Julia Colby, meanwhile, is a point guard, through and through. She was responsible for navigating Edward Little’s press Tuesday. She wasn’t perfect, but she wasn’t rattled, either.

“As a freshman, even some of the older kids look to get her the ball. She’s a calming influence. They’re very confident in her ball-handling,” Pelletier said.

“She has no fear out there. She doesn’t show a lot of emotion. There are a lot of ups and downs in basketball, and if your emotions take over, that’s not great. She’s always even-keeled.”

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.