PARIS — The Lewiston Blue Devils’ speed was like a fierce whirlwind that just might have left patrons feeling lightheaded after the first half of their boys basketball game with Oxford Hills.

Lewiston’s Ahmed Bahad (11) tries to get around Oxford Hills’ Isaiah Oufiero (13) during a basketball game in Paris on Friday night. Tony Blasi/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

But what was equally impressive was when Oxford Hills (0-5) fought back in the third quarter and climbed to within seven points of Lewiston (3-2), the Blue Devils got their groove back and marched off with a 70-46 victory on Friday night.

The Blue Devils owned the first half with dazzling passing and an overpowering transition game.

“Our practices are pretty intense, so that’s what I expect,” Lewiston coach Ronnie Turner said.

For Turner, it is all about love and respect that the players have for each other.

“We loved each other. I preach that every single day,” Turner said. “I think people here could see that. We pick each other up when we are down. We really focus on that. When we are battling through adversity, we end up in good shape.”

Lewiston’s eye-opening speed stunned Oxford Hills and allowed the Devils to build a sturdy 32-17 halftime lead. Sophomore Malik Foster scored all 12 of his points in the first half for the Blue Devils.

David Omasombo turned in the team-high 18 points, followed by Evan Williams’ 10 points.

One highlight was when 6-foot-6 junior Chiwer Mayen got his first dunk. But Mayen also kept his cool when the Vikes made that third-quarter thrust.

“I wasn’t really nervous,” Mayen said. “I just wanted to get the team to focus, you know. I stayed focused. We did good, but we could have done better, especially in the third quarter.” 

Mayen can’t help but smile when he thinks about his dunk.

“It feels good,” he said, “but there is many more to come.”

The Vikings caught the Blue Devils off guard and made a solid run in the third quarter. Tanner Herrick scored 13 of his game-high 19 points in the period.

Lewiston’s Dylon Jackson drives to net in a game against Oxford Hills in Paris on Friday night. Tony Blasi/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

“We had a nice run in the third,” Oxford Hills coach Scott Graffam said. “The difference in this game is in the first quarter. We didn’t match their energy. We talked about it. The individuals that were on the floor to begin the game didn’t match the intensity that Lewiston brought. We were lucky to get back in the game. They are good; they are playing well.”

But Turner felt confident that his Blue Devils could withstand the Vikings’ third-quarter run.’

“I could have called a timeout, but I wanted a leader, someone I am looking for with that leadership on the court, which is hard,” Turner said. “I demand guys shout and be loud so the crowd can hear it … but I think we handled it well.

“We settled down and got back into our rhythm,” the Lewiston graduate added. “Oxford Hills, they play hard. They compete and make you earn it. I was a player here. I love to play here. The crowd is into it. Scott Graffam is a demanding, shouting guy. It is just really fun to play here.” 


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