CUMBERLAND  — Greely coach Todd Flaherty felt his team had nothing to lose when it hosted Oxford Hills in a battle of defending girls basketball state championship teams Tuesday evening.

And the Rangers know plenty about not losing.

Defending Class A champion Greely took the lead for good on a three-point play from Katie Fitzpatrick with 5:11 left, then held off the defending Class AA champion Vikings 62-61. Oxford Hills had five looks down the stretch to either tie or win, including Cassidy Dumont’s 3-pointer right before the horn.

Greely (8-0) got 18 points and 20 rebounds from Fitzpatrick and 17 points from Brooke Obar to extend its three-year win streak to 46 games.

My wife asked me if I was nervous, and I wasn’t because I knew we had nothing to lose,” Flaherty said. “We were going to come out of here a better team, and we certainly are after that.”

Greely scored the game’s first seven points, but the next 11 went to Oxford Hills as Dumont and Cecelia Dieterich had four points apiece. The Rangers then rallied to tie it at 11 after one quarter.

There was little separation in the second quarter, as the lead changed three times before a spinner from Fitzpatrick in the final second sent the game to halftime deadlocked at 25-25.

While the Rangers couldn’t buy a 3-pointer in the first half, Fitzpatrick did her part to keep them even with the Vikings by dominating inside with eight points and 11 rebounds.

“I just pride myself on rebounding,” Fitzpatrick said. “We don’t have a lot of size, so I try to match (the other team’s) physicality.”

Obar and Fitzpatrick hit 3-pointers to help Greely go up eight in the third quarter, but the Vikings roared back on a runner from Dumont to trail 44-43 heading into the fourth.

Dieterich hit a 3 to put Oxford Hills ahead, but Greely went ahead for good on Fitzpatrick’s putback and foul shot.

“That’s the best game I’ve ever seen Katie play, and I’ve seen her play some good ones,” Flaherty said.

Obar added a 3 for breathing room, but the Vikings kept rallying, drawing within two on a runner from Julia Colby with 2:16 left, then, after an Obar layup, making it 62-61 with 28.6 seconds left on a Dumont 3. But Maggie Harnett and Dumont couldn’t make good looks as time wound down.

“This was a huge game for us,” Obar said. “Oxford Hills is one of the best teams we’ll play. For us to handle the kind of pressure they showed us gives us a bright future.”

Clement scored 12 points for Greely.

The Vikings (8-1) got 23 points from Dumont and 10 from Dieterich.

“We had multiple opportunities, but a the end of the day, the shot didn’t fall (that) we needed to fall,” Oxford Hills coach Nate Pelletier said. “I give my kids a lot of credit. They battled to the end.

“We need more of these games. It was hyped to be one of the best games of the year, and it looked like it was one of the best games.”


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