PARIS — Oxford Hills girls basketball coach Nate Pelletier thought that his star guard, Julia Colby, would be nervous on Friday night as she entered the game against Portland eight points shy of 1,000.

Colby, though, wasted little time reaching the milestone, draining two 3-pointers and a layup early in the first quarter of the Vikings’ 60-32 win.

“I was a little nervous for her. It was a pretty big crowd, and I didn’t know how she’d react to that,” Pelletier said. “Personally, I don’t know how I’d react to having to get eight points against a really top-quality team, but I guess when you score 34 in a state game (as Colby did at the end of last season) this is nothing to her. She just went out and got it as fast as she could.”

Colby scored those first eight points within the first five minutes. Both teams paused the game after she reached 1,000 so the senior could take photos with her coaches and family.

“She’s just a kid that’s come up through the youth basketball program since third and fourth grade,” Pelletier said. “She just loves basketball, she’s put in the time, she’s a gym rat, she’s a perfect kid to look up to and want to be just like her.”

Colby credited those around her in reaching 1,000 points.

“It felt really good,” Colby said. “I’ve just been so fortunate to have great teammates and great coaches along the way.”

Colby’s quick start helped launch Oxford Hill an 18-2 first-quarter lead. She finished the quarter with 11 of her game-high 27 points.

It wasn’t just Colby, the rest of the Vikings’ offense was clicking as well. It seemed like each time they sprinted down the court, Colby, Cecelia Dieterich or Cassidy Dumont found the open shooter, often each other.

“The more we moved it, the faster we moved it, the more we got open shots,” Dieterich said.

In the second quarter, the Vikings expanded on their 18-10 first-quarter lead. Dieterich scored six of her 12 points, Colby added five in the quarter, including one of her seven 3-pointers, and the duo assisted on multiple other shots.

The ball movement was key for the Vikings’ offense, which is designed to find the open shooter.

“The flow of our offense allows us to get shots like that, and early in the season like this we don’t have a lot of set plays for (Colby),” Pelletier said. “By the end of the season we will have about 10 different set plays for her, but right now it’s just trying to get in the flow of offense, and as long as our guards can penetrate then our shooters are open.”

Portland was led by Amanda Kabantu’s seven points in the first half, which ended with Oxford Hills leading 32-13.

“They’re just the best team in the state,” Portland coach Gerry Corcoran said. “Fundamental, they move the ball. We prepared something, but I don’t have an answer as to why we did what we did. We practiced everything, staying in front, not letting the penetration happen, but those two girls turn the corner and make defenses react and they find a shooter. They’re warriors. The two of them don’t come off the floor.”

Kabantu finished the game with 15 points, while her backcourt mate Gemima Motema finished with five points, eight rebounds and four blocks.

“They’re super quick and athletic so they went by us a couple times, but we knew that was going to happen and I thought we played pretty well,” Colby added.

In the third, Oxford Hills didn’t shoot as well in the third, but still led by 15 points, 45-30, heading into the fourth.

Colby started the final period by hitting two more 3s and then a floater in the lane to put the Vikings up 56-29 with 3:30 left. She also set up Dumont for a layup that gave her 14 points.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: