AUBURN — In a rematch of the 2018 Class AA state title game, Edward Little hosted Gorham in a regular season girls’ basketball showdown with just a few games before the playoffs start.

While Monday’s game went into overtime, it still ended with Grace Fontaine drilling free throws as the Red Eddies edged the Rams 61-56 in an instant classic.

Fontaine banked-in a three at the halftime buzzer from three feet behind the line to go up 36-19 at half. The EL senior followed her long three that capped her 11-point first-half performance with back-to-back treys to begin the third to put the Eddies up 42-21 with 6:15 left in the quarter.

Edward Little had been playing superb defense on Gorham’s Mackenzie Holmes in the first half with Jade  Perry attached at her hip no matter if the Eddies were in a zone defense or man-to-man.

Gorham earned points from seven players, including Adele Nadeau, who finished with eight points on two treys.

Holmes finished the first half with nine points, and Perry and Chantel Ouellette’s three first-half steals had a lot to do with it.

“I think we kind of just stuck to what we did before, we had one person in the front, one in the back to try to limit her touches and pass over the top and I think we did a pretty good job,” Perry said.

Just like last March, however, Holmes, who will be attending Indiana University in the fall, took the game over for the Rams.

Holmes scored on back-to-back layups off offensive rebounds after Fontaine’s threes and quickly cut the deficit to 14.

Edward Little coach Chris Cifelli quickly called a timeout with the score 42-28 to implore his team to start driving the lane and to stop settling for threes.

“When we are taking threes, if we are on a really good roll he lets us take them,” Fontaine said. “But once they start not falling he wants us to go to the rim and get fouls and not settle for threes.”

For Cifelli, it was a matter of getting back to what worked last March, and in the first half on Monday.

“We got away from what we were doing offensively and our offensive trips were shorter and empty,” Cifelli said. “We let them creep back and we can only give Mackenzie so many times before she makes you pay. We thought after scouting and even seeing our first half that we could get the ball into the paint more, and we thought if we got to the paint with the way they collapse we could find some openings someplace else.”

Holmes hit a three at the buzzer to make it a 10-point game with eight minutes to go. She then scored on a fadeaway mid-range jumper, then a layup, and suddenly the Rams were right back in the game.

With 47 seconds left, Edward Little’s Hannah Chaput missed a free throw up 52-47 and then committed her fifth foul, leaving the game with 10 points. The Eddies then turned to other players to step up to the challenge, like freshman Brooklyn Alexander.

“We lose an experienced ball handler and one of our better foul shooters but moving towards the playoffs you need to find people who can play in pressure-packed situations,” Cifelli said. “I think Brooklyn did a good job on offense understanding what we were trying to do but also playing some really tough defense.”

Ouellette missed a free throw with 18 seconds remaining up two when Holmes grabbed the rebound. Out of the timeout, Gorham found Sophia Michaud for a layup to tie the game at 54 with two seconds left. Fontaine’s half-court heave was just short and overtime commenced.

Perry earned a block on Holmes with 2:22 remaining in the overtime period but Nadeau stole the ball and found Holmes for a layup to give Gorham its first lead since three minutes into the first quarter.

Fontaine hit a layup with 1:20 remaining to take back the lead, followed by a fast break layup from Perry, who finished with eight points. Fontaine hit two free throws with 11 seconds left to finish with a game-high 26 to seal the win.

“I think it helped our confidence a lot and brought us together as a team,” Fontaine said.

While Holmes finished with 27, the deficit that the Rams found themselves in at halftime was too much.

“I didn’t think we had the toughness needed in the first half,” Gorham head coach Laughn Berthiaume said. “We need (Holmes) to assert herself all game.”

For the Eddies, round two against Holmes was looked at as a challenge, not a fear.

“This is going to sound funny but for her to finish with, like, 25, we are actually kind of excited because she’s been scoring 36, close to 40,” Cifelli said. “I give credit to Chantel and Jade for doing such a good job with her.”

Edward Little’s Jade Perry takes the ball down the court as Gorham’s Mackenzie Holmes plays defense in Monday night’s basketball game in Auburn. (Sun Journal photo by Andree Kehn)

Edward Little’s Caroline Hammond and Gorham’s Anna Nelson get into a scuffle over the ball during Monday’s night’s basketball game in Auburn. Gorham’s Sophia Michaud attempts to assist from the right. (Sun Journal photo by Andree Kehn)

Edward Little’s Hannah Chaput shoots the ball past Gorham’s Courtney Brent and Olivia Michaudl during Monday’s night’s basketball game in Auburn. (Sun Journal photo by Andree Kehn)

Edward Little’s Grace Fontaine drives to the basket as Gorham’s Adele Nadeau and Jacqueline Hamilton attempt defense during Monday’s night’s basketball game in Auburn. (Sun Journal photo by Andree Kehn)