AUBURN —Not only did Saturday’s boys basketball matinee with Lewiston mark Edward Little’s first game in 12 days, but the Red Eddies hadn’t even been able to set foot in their own gymnasium to practice over the holiday break due to routine refinishing.

Edward Little’s Max Creaser shoots a mid-range jumper against Lewiston on Saturday. Creaser scored a game-high 22 points. RAM Sports photography

Edward Little showed no signs of rust against their much-improved rivals, however, using an 11-0 run at the end of the first quarter to take control of the game and ultimately cruise to a 72-47 win.

Max Creaser led all scorers with 22 points and had five rebounds for the Red Eddies (6-1). His performance earned him the Gordon “John” Gillette award as the game’s outstanding player.

Cam Yorke added 14 points, five rebounds and four assists for the Eddies, while John Shea (12 points), and Austin Brown (11 points, five assists) also reached double digits in the scoring column.

David Omasombo led Lewiston (4-4) with 17 points, including five 3-pointers.

EL shot a blistering 10-for-16 in the first quarter and 29-for-48 (60 percent) for the game.

“We worked hard over Christmas break, just doing everything we can to stay in shape and stay in condition to play,” Creaser said.

The Red Eddies, whose most recent game before Saturday was a 56-42 win over Bangor on Dec. 23, have been practicing at Auburn’s Hasty Community Center.

Underclassmen bigs John Shea of Edward Little and Chiwer Mayen of Lewiston competed throughout Saturday’s rivalry game at Edward Little High School. RAM Sports photography

“Having not played in that long, I was a little worried about how we’d come out, especially against a team like Lewiston that is about pressure and being up-tempo,” Edward Little coach Mike Adams said. “We’re not really as much of a pressure or up-tempo team with what we have this year. But we knew we had to attack pressure for scores, and we knew we had to make them turn it over a little bit, and I thought we did a really good job of that in the first half.”

After Omasombo’s second 3-pointer of the first quarter tied the game at 13-13, the Red Eddies reeled off the 11-0 run that put them in front to stay. The Blue Devils shot well to start (5-for-9 first quarter) but eight turnovers in the period proved detrimental to their plans to pressure the Eddies at both ends of the floor. EL was able to get high-percentage shots in transition, such as RJ Nichols’ steal and layup that ended up being a three-point play that gave the Eddies a 24-13 lead at the end of the period.

“Some guys didn’t come ready, and that’s on me as their coach. (EL) competed the whole game and we competed in spots,” Lewiston coach Ronnie Turner. “I knew the first two minutes might get a little overwhelming for some of our younger guys. But I thought we handled pressure fairly well.

“This is an environment that isn’t every game. This is Lewiston-EL, and for some of our guys this is the first time that they’re ‘the guys’ playing in this game.”

Lewiston briefly rallied to within single digits early in the second quarter with an 8-0 run consisting of 3-pointers from Omasombo and Dylon Jackson and a dunk by Chiwer Mayan. But Edward Little responded with a 13-4 run sparked by a Yorke 3-pointer and a Creaser layup off of a nice backdoor feed from Yorke.

Edward Little’s Dan Milks attacks the paint agaisnt Lewiston’s Ali Abdullahi as the Red Eddies work to control the inside during Saturday’s game. RAM Sports photography

Creaser scored six points in each of the first three quarters, frequently with Brown or Storm Jipson (five assists) finding him for open looks from 15 feet and closer.

“Creaser’s a good mid-range shooter, which is a lost art,” Adams said. “Analytically, I guess it’s bad shot in basketball, but if it goes in, it’s not a bad shot. He shoots that 12- or 15-footer a lot better than he does an 18-footer. He got a lot of those shots tonight.”

“The offense we’ve been practicing the whole season is kind of coming together,” Creaser said. “We’ve got the high-low working really well and the guards feeding and doing a good job from the outside.”

Leading 41-25 at halftime, the Red Eddies scored eight of the first 10 points of the third quarter and made seven of nine shots, including three of three from beyond the arc, in the period to stretch the margin to 60-37.

“They play together,” Turner said of Edward Little. “They play smart. They don’t let their emotions get the best of them, and I think that makes them solid all-around.”

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