PARIS — The Oxford Hills boys basketball team discovered the right starting formula Friday, but it was a reserve player who sparked the Vikings to their second win over the year,  56-41 over Cheverus.

Colby Huckins jump-started Oxford Hills’ offense with 11 first-half points off the bench. He got the scoring started with a layup and a foul, followed by a made free throw.

Huckins, who finished with 16 points, looked almost surprised the shot went in and that the call was made, but the old-fashioned three-point play was the catalyst for the junior’s big performance.

“At first I didn’t think it was a foul at all,” Huckins said. “I thought they were going to call some kind of travel because I did do a spin move. I didn’t think it was going to go in. I saw it bouncing … but I just wanted to win.”

Oxford Hills (2-10) coach Scott Graffam said the play was an example of Huckins’ improved ability to handle contact at the hoop. Huckins has been a starter at times for the Vikings, but Graffam has continuously tinkered with the starting lineup and Friday it Huckins’ job to provide a spark off the bench.

“He has been starting for us and what he did today was he finished around the rim really well,” Graffam said. “He has struggled with that and missed a lot of layups. … It’s tough coming off the JV team and playing varsity basketball because you have to fight through that and the refs don’t call it the same.”

The Vikings shared the ball well in the first half, amassing eight assists to help create a 27-19 advantage at intermission.

Cheverus (4-9) trailed by as many as 14 points in the second quarter, but Dylan Morrison and Evangelo Kapothanasis hit a pair of 3-pointers and brought the Stags to within striking distance before halftime.

Oxford Hills didn’t let up in the third, growing its lead to a game-high 17 points midway through the period. Going into the fourth, the Vikings led 40-28, thanks to back-to-back 3-pointers from Huckins and Elias Soehren.

“We’ve struggled at the end of quarters giving up baskets, and tonight we did turn it over but we didn’t give up many baskets,” Graffam said. “We did give up a couple in the first but not in the second. In the third and fourth quarters we took care of the ball down the stretch.”

Cheverus’ forward Nick Galli went down with an injury in the second half, leaving the Stags without much-needed height and veteran play.

The Vikings took advantage in the fourth, during which Tanner Herrick scored seven of his 13 points.

Cheverus’ Macklin Kelly scored a couple baskets in the fourth to finish with 11.

“I think we just finished our quarters,” Huckins said. “We struggled in previous games in the third and fourth quarters, and I thought everyone played great defense. Our defense was what helped us win this game.”


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