Edward Little and Portland players leap for a pass thrown from the opposite end zone by Lewis Gaddis in a desperate attempt to even the score in the final seconds of regulation play Friday at the Portland Expo. The game was decided in double overtime, with Edward Little coming out on top. (Portland Press Herald photo by Ben McCanna)

PORTLAND — Edward Little’s undefeated record was hanging by a thread Friday evening, as longtime power Portland had it on the brink.

But thanks to the heroics of Austin Brown and Max Creaser, and a big dose of championship heart, the Red Eddies found a way to earn their biggest victory to date in a midseason showdown of title contenders at the Portland Exposition Building.

Defending Class AA champion Edward Little got a game-tying 3-pointer from Brown to force overtime, then, after two foul shots by Portland’s Pedro Fonseca to force a second extra session, two Creaser layups helped the Red Eddies finally earn enough breathing room to prevail, 61-56.

Creaser had a game-high 30 points, Brown added 17 and Edward Little is now 7-0 on the season.

“Luckily, we got out of here with a big win for us, and hopefully we’ll keep getting better,” Red Eddies coach Mike Adams said.


Portland got an early layup from Jeremiah Alado and a free throw from Trey Ballew with 5:48 to go in the first quarter, but the Bulldogs, despite coach Joe Russo playing everyone on the roster in an attempt to find a spark, didn’t score again in the frame while Edward Little closed on an 11-0 run to take a 16-3 lead.

A Lewis Gaddas 3-pointer awakened Portland early in the second period, and the Bulldogs drew as close as six points, 22-16, on a 3-pointer from Stillman Mahan, but the Red Eddies held a 28-19 advantage at the break.

Portland heated up from outside the arc in the third quarter and drew even, 30-30, on a Fonseca 3-pointer. After Edward Little went back up by five, a 3-point shot from Simon Chadbourne gave Portland a 38-37 lead before a last-second layup from Creaser gave the Red Eddies a tenuous one-point advantage heading for the fourth quarter.

The Bulldogs looked to be on the brink of victory when Bellew made a layup with 1:32 on the clock, but a putback from Wol Maiwen cut Edward Little’s deficit to three, and with 7.7 seconds remaining Brown buried a 3 to force overtime.

“I knew there wasn’t much time left, so I just tried to give my team a chance to go to overtime,” Brown said.

Neither team scored in overtime until a late 3 from Brown. This time Portland rallied, as Mahan made a free throw and Fonseca hit two clutch foul shots with one-tenth of a second on the clock to extend the contest.


In the second OT, layups from Maiwen and a pair from Creaser finally proved to be too much for the Bulldogs to overcome.

“Passes were coming to me and shots were falling,” Creaser said. “Our defensive intensity was there (in the second overtime).”

The Bulldogs (5-3) were paced by 15 points apiece from Mahan and Lewis Gaddas, but suffered their second close loss this week.

“This game could have gone either way,” Russo said. “EL is one heck of a team, but we can play with anybody. I told the kids I’m very proud of how they played tonight. They gave their heart and soul.”

Edward Little’s Max Creaser takes a jump shot over Portland’s Pedro Fonseca during Friday’s game at the Portland Expo. (Portland Press Herald photo by Ben McCanna)

Edward Little’s Storm Jipson makes a bounce pass with Portland’s Stillman Mahan close behind him during Friday’s game at the Portland Expo. (Portland Press Herald photo by Ben McCanna)

Edward Little’s Wol Maiwen and Portland’s Tree Ballew vie for a rebound during Friday’s game at the Portland Expo. (Portland Press Herald photo by Ben McCanna)

Portland’s Lewis Gaddis looks for room around Edward Little’s Max Creaser during Friday’s game in Portland. (Portland Press Herald photo by Ben McCanna)

Portland’s Tree Ballew takes possession of the ball against Edward Little on Friday in Portland. (Portland Press Herald photo by Ben McCanna)

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