Wol Maiwen of Edward Little High School throws down one of his two first half dunks against Gorham in Auburn on Tuesday. (Daryn Slover/Sun Journal)

AUBURN — In a game that was as sloppy and slushy as the roads outside, Edward Little turned to its suffocating full-court press to clean up the court against Gorham on Tuesday night.

The Red Eddies forced 31 turnovers and made some offensive adjustments in the second half to pull away with a 59-45 win, their fifth in a row.

Ibn Khalid led the Red Eddies (10-3) with 17 points, seven rebounds and four steals. Darby Shea added 16 points and Wol Maiwen chipped in with 15 points eight rebounds and six steals. Jordan Bretton paced the Rams (6-7) with 14 points.

Gorham’s shooters concerned EL coach Mike Adams, and the Rams did shoot a very solid 8-for-20 (40 percent) from beyond the 3-point arc. But all of the turnovers helped the Red Eddies finish the night with 16 more shots from the floor and 23 more free throws.

“I thought we really struggled from the point guard spot turning the ball over,” Rams coach Mark Karter said. “Against a really good team like that, you can’t give them easy opportunities off of transition, and I thought that was the difference in the game.”


“We scouted them early in the season and we knew they could all shoot, and they find each other really well,” Adams said. “We’ve got to do a better job of guarding the ball because the second we stepped to help, they found (the open man). Once they got it going, we realized we might not get out of here with what we were looking for.”

Bretton was the one who got the Rams going in the fourth quarter with a pair of 3-pointers and while scoring eight consecutive points for the Rams to  pull them within 43-41 with 5:10 remaining.

A pair of Shea free throws and a Khalid hoop extended the margin to six before Nick Strout drilled a trey to cut it in half with 3:57 remaining. But that would be the Rams’ final field goal of the game.

After shooting just 7-for-25 (28 percent) in the first half, the Eddies stressed better ball movement in the second half and improved their shooting dramatically (13-for-26).

“We talked about that at halftime… Just too much dribbling and not enough ball movement in the first half,” Adams said. “Mark Karter is a great coach, and Gorham, they’re not going to wow you with anything they do, but they’re just really, really fundamental and they find each other. And we didn’t do that at all in the first half.”

EL’s defense kept its lack of offensive execution from sending it into an early hole. It forced seven turnovers in the first three-plus minutes and trailed 10-8 at the end of the first quarter.


“They’re very long and athletic. That makes it tough,” Karter said of EL’s press. “Our guys are a little small up front and they kind of get enveloped in that. But we have to do a much better job of taking care of the ball.”

A steal and dunk by Maiwen gave the Eddies their first lead of the game a minute into the second quarter.

They led 19-18 at halftime, then held the Rams scoreless for the first 4:48 of the second half while widening the lead to 27-18. Nick Strout finally ended the drought with a 3 that made it 27-21 Eddies.

“That pressure takes you out of your rhythm a little bit,” Karter said. “When we were able to break it, I thought we had good shot opportunities. And with those turnovers, it’s still a two-point game with about three minutes left in the game. We have a lot of young kids and we just have to learn to be able to finish games off.”

EL answered quickly with a pair of Shea free throws and Ahmen Safi’s layup to put the margin into double digits for the first time. Three-pointers by Bretton and Will Prescott helped Gorham knock it back to six by the end of the third quarter.

Tyler Morin, who scored eight of his nine points in the fourth quarter, helped the Eddies add to their lead, 43-36, before Bretton pulled the Rams within one-possession again.

Ibn Khalid (23) of Edward Little High School and Andrew Rent of Gorham compete for a loose ball in Auburn on Tuesday. (daryn Slover/Sun Journal)

Ahmed Abidir of Edward Little High School drives down the lane against Nick Strout of Gorham in Auburn on Tuesday. (Daryn Slover/Sun Journal)

Darby Shea of Edward Little High School puts up a shot during the first half against Gorham in Auburn on Tuesday. (Daryn Slover/Sun Journal)

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