AUBURN — Time winding down was go time for Edward Little on Saturday in a key Class AA North boys basketball matchup against Deering. 

The Red Eddies beat the buzzer with 3-pointers to end each of the first three quarters, and those nine points proved big in a 71-59 win over the Rams. 

“The story of the game was probably the end of the quarters, the 3s at the end of the quarters, where Edward Little is a good team that exposes you the moment that you break down,” Deering (8-2) coach Todd Wing said. “And we’ve talked about that, and today it came to life.” 

Dan Milks drained the first 3, with two seconds left in the first quarter to give the Red Eddies (9-1) a 16-10 lead. Max Creaser made his from the corner with one second remaining in the first half to make it a six-point margin again, at 36-30. R.J. Nichols also hit from the corner with four seconds left to end the third. Cam Yorke then stole the ensuing Deering inbounds pass and nearly beat the buzzer himself, but EL still went into the fourth up 50-43. 

“Funny, the third quarter, we actually turned it over with 14 seconds left. And we were talking about, ‘Hey, we have to recognize that and make sure we get that last shot, time and score, because against a team like Deering that’s the difference in the game,'” EL coach Mike Adams said. “But I was happy with our ability to run the clock down, get the last shot those three quarters.” 

Creaser, who scored a game-high 25 points, said his half-ending buzzer-beater “was a confidence-booster for the second half. It was just a good way to get the team going for the second half.” 

The Rams got off to the better start in the third quarter, though. Loki Anda threw down a transition dunk 45 seconds in to make it 36-34, then Max Morrione drained a 3 just before the midway point to tie it at 39-39. However, the Red Eddies went back ahead 41-39 and led the rest of the way. 

Creaser scored 10 points in the fourth to help the Red Eddies pull away. 

“Creaser’s a good player,” Wing said. “I mean, he’s kind of a throwback, where he’s got that mid-range game, and he’s so active on the boards, and you’ve always got to know where he is. And he’s a grown, strong man. So, yeah, he’s a tough player. Mike’s lucky to have him.” 

Deering had control of the scoreboard in the opening minutes, thanks to Morrione’s 3 to start. Edward Little was able to tie at 5-5, then again at 7-7, before Austin Brown made three free throws to give the Red Eddies their first lead at 10-7. They didn’t trailed again. 

“They’re more of a push the tempo and go like that,” Creaser said, “so we were just trying to keep it together, and keep the fundamentals, and not let them get ahead of us and make runs.” 

Milks paced the Red Eddies with seven of his nine points in the first quarter, as part of what Adams called “a huge first half.” Creaser then dropped in nine in the second after scoring just two points in the opening quarter. 

Brown and John Shea each had 10 points for EL. 

Askar Houssein, who Adams said is “phenomenal with the ball,” led Deering with 18 points. Morrione and Darryl Germain both added 10, all of Germain’s coming in the second half. 

“Every team has a little bump in the road, and tonight was our bump up against a good team,” Wing said. 

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