Edward Little’s Cam Yorke drives with the ball as Nolan Sanborn moves in on defense for Cheverus on Friday. (Portland Press Herald photo by Shawn Patrick Ouellette)

PORTLAND — Edward Little boys’ basketball coach Mike Adams knows from experience that when his team plays Cheverus, the Red Eddies can’t allow Matt Duchaine beat them.

The Stags guard almost did it last year in the Class AA North quarterfinals when he scored 15 straight points in the first half. Then Ibn Khalid defended Duchaine in the second half and held him to one basket as Edward Little pulled away.

Friday night at Keegan Gymnasium, the Red Eddies again focused on Duchaine, and Storm Jipson limited him to six points as the reigning Class AA champions claimed a 61-56 victory.

“Coach (Adams) made an emphasis today that we have to take the ball away from (Duchaine) and try to not let him shoot, because we know he can shoot from anywhere,” EL forward Wol Maiwen said. “I think we came out today and really stuck to that and did what we had to do. Storm was on him, and he did a wonderful job face-guarding him and making sure the ball didn’t get to him.”

Maiwen finished with 21 points, 12 rebounds and six blocked shots. The 6-foot-6 senior was at the top of Edward Little’s 1-3-1 half-court press, which helped force the Stags into 14 turnovers in the first half. The Red Eddies (3-0) led 23-16 at halftime.

Cheverus (1-2) twice got to within four points in the second half, the final time at 44-40 with three-and-a-half minutes remaining. The lead eventually shrank to 59-56 with two seconds left before Max Creaser clinched the victory with two free throws.

“It’s who we are, it’s what we do, with the athletes we have,” Adams said of his team’s press. “And with Wol up front, we try to use him the best we can. A lot of times, the turnovers or steals don’t come from Wol but the players behind him being in the right spot.

Cheverus coach Ryan Soucie knew it was a daunting task to get the ball past Maiwen.

“It helps (your press) when you have a 6-6 (kid) with a 7-foot wingspan up top,” Soucie said. “It’s intimidating. I get that. But we have to do a better job of using our ball fakes, stretching the floor and looking down the floor. And we didn’t do that in the first half.”

Austin Brown, who started last year as a sophomore, chipped in with 11 points, three rebounds, four assists and two steals for EL.

Cam Yorke had six assists as the Red Eddies recorded 14 assists on 21 baskets. Creaser and Yorke made two key passes to set up Maiwen baskets.

“I think my teammates need more credit than they get with them feeding me the ball,” Maiwen said. “Without them, the plays wouldn’t happen. On a lot of plays, they see the open spot and know how to get it to me.”

Cheverus was just 7-for-14 at the free-throw line.

“(Free throws) is another Achilles heel for us,” Soucie said. “Unfortunately, so far this year, we’ve struggled with turnovers and free throws.”

Cheverus got 13 points and seven rebounds from both Patrick Foster and Nick Galli.

Patrick Foster of Cheverus drives to the basket as Edward Little’s Max Creaser defends Friday. (Portland Press Herald photo by Shawn Patrick Ouellette)

Patrick Foster of Cheverus takes a shot as Edward Little’s Wol Maiwen looks to block the shot Friday. (Portland Press Herald photo by Shawn Patrick Ouellette)

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