Windham’s Molly Hodgkins attempts to deny Oxford Hills’ Brooke Carson a layup during Tuesday’s game in Paris. (Brewster Burns photo)

PARIS — With his team playing in high gear for so much of the second half of Tuesday’s showdown with Windham, Oxford Hills coach Nate Pelletier at one point called a timeout immediately after the Eagles used one just to help his team catch its wind.

Oxford Hills never let Windham catch its breath in the second half, using relentless full-court pressure to generate turnovers and layups off of those turnovers to pull away with a 17-0 run in a 53-35 girls’ basketball victory.

Oxford Hills improved to 14-2, while Windham dropped to 10-5 after the meeting of the top two teams in the Class AA North Heal point standings.

“The girls build off of (the press). It becomes energizing for them,” Pelletier said. “All year, we’ve gained from that pressing, pressing, pressing, and it sort of wears down teams.”

Julia Colby led the top-ranked Vikings with 22 points, 11 rebounds and five steals, while Cassidy Dumont added 12 points.

Meghan Hoffses led the Eagles with 14 points.

Oxford Hills forced 11 turnovers in the third quarter to spark the 17-point run and take control of the game.

Alanna Joyce’s jumper midway through the third quarter gave the Eagles their final lead at 30-29. That was their last field goal for roughly a quarter.

Cecelia Dieterich started the the Vikings’ deciding run quietly enough, making one of two free throws to tie the score. Colby scored the next three baskets, all layups off of good defense at the other end.

The first came off her own steal, which was followed by a feed from Dieterich on a 2-on-1 break. The second came off of a Jade Smedberg block. The third came after more good defense by Smedberg on Windham’s Tara Flanders (six points, 13 rebounds) forced a turnover and gave the Vikings a 36-30 lead at the end of the third quarter.

Smedberg (four points, six rebounds, three blocks) and Brooke Carson (six points) gave the Vikings a boost off the bench at both ends.

“He wanted us to bring more intensity and create chaos,” Carson said. “We were playing too timid.”

“They come in and I tell them to just cause chaos,” Pelletier said. “Jade has a great wingspan, and Brooke is just like the Energizer bunny. She just goes a hundred miles-an-hour. It was just a great effort on their part.”

A hoop by Dumont and 3-pointer by Colby pushed the margin into double digits. Back-to-back layups by Colby and Carson off of steals by Carson and Dieterich, respectively, made it 46-30 before Hoffses ended Windham’s drought with a 3-pointer with 3:23 left.

“We got a little panicked at times, turned the ball over, obviously, and they converted in transition,” Windham coach Brody Artes said. “They’re one of those teams that really gets after you defensively in the full court, and it really makes a huge difference down the stretch when you try to get up and down as well. We were just tired.”

Getting out in transition in the second half helped the Vikings, who turned it over just five times the entire game, overcome some shaky shooting in the first half and attempt a dozen more shots than Windham in the second half.

“The steals will create a lot of open shots, which help a lot,” Smedberg said.

“We work really hard in practice to be in the best condition we can so we can do that for a whole game. But even this game, my girls were tired, which I haven’t seen for a while,” Pelletier said. “That tells you the pace of the game and how hard we were going. I had to burn a timeout after a (Windham) timeout just to give them a rest.”

Hoffses, Flanders and the rest of the Eagles wouldn’t rest in the first half, not only beating the Vikings’ press but also beating them to loose balls and offensive rebounds while building a seven-point lead.

“Hoffses is really quick, and our press … we weren’t rotating the way we were supposed to, so she just takes off and goes,” Pelletier said. “They hit a good number of shots from 15- to 18-feet, and it was just one of those things where we were weathering the storm in the first half.”

Back-to-back 3-pointers by Hoffses and a Flanders jumper after a pair of offensive rebounds gave the Eagles a 17-10 lead late in the first quarter. A 3-pointer by Maggie Hartnett helped the Vikings turn the tide before the end of the quarter.

Carson’s drive off of a Dieterich steal, one of just six Windham turnovers in the first half, put the Vikings up 25-23 before Hoffses’ third 3-pointer of the half gave the Eagles a one-point lead at the intermission.

“It felt like I was happy to get out of there only down one,” Pelletier said.

“I thought we really did a good job defensively, as we have all year, especially in that first half, against a very good team,” Artes said. “I thought that was as good as we could play defensively.”

Windham’s Meaghan Hoffses wrestles for a loose ball with Oxford Hills’ Jade Smedburg as Cassidy Dumont comes in to help during Tuesday’s game in Paris. (Brewster Burns photo)

Oxford Hills’ Julia Colby gets by Windham’s Molly Hodgkins for a layup during Tuesday’s game in Paris. (Brewster Burns photo)

Windham’s Alanna Joyce reaches for the ball in an attempt to stop Oxford Hills’ Cecelia Dieterich from driving to the basket during Tuesday’s game in Paris. (Brewster Burns photo)

Windham’s Mikayla Baiguy battles Oxford Hills’ Bailey Whitney for a rebound during Tuesday’s game in Paris. (Brewster Burns photo)

Oxford Hills’ Cassidy Dumont goes in for two points ahead of the defense of Windham’s Mikayla Baiguy during Tuesday’s game in Paris. (Brewster Burns photo)

Oxford Hills’ Cassidy Dumont finds herself sqeezed between Windham’s Mikayla Baiguy, left, and Tara Flanders during Tuesday’s game in Paris. (Brewster Burns photo)

Windham’s Meaghan Hoffses wrestles for a loose ball with Oxford Hills’ Jade Smedburg as Cassidy Dumont comes in to help during Tuesday’s game in Paris. (Brewster Burns photo)


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