LEWISTON — Ali Abullahi sunk a three-quarter-court shot at the halftime buzzer to pull Lewiston within a score of Oxford Hills heading into the break, and the bucket turned out to be the jolt that the Blue Devils needed. 

Lewiston seemingly couldn’t miss in the third quarter and went on to beat  the Vikings 65-55 in Class AA North action Monday.

“That hyped us up a lot, and we came into the third quarter thinking, ‘We are going to wear ourselves out on defense and get a lot of points on the offensive end,’ and that’s what we did,” David Omasombo said. 

Before the miraculous shot — a shot Blue Devils coach Ronnie Turner said he’s seen just one other time on Lewiston’s home court, by his brother when Turner was a sophomore — Oxford Hills had controlled the second quarter and was on a 17-4 run.

Colby Huckins and Tanner Herrick both scored six points in the frame to help the Vikings (3-13) charge back from trailing 19-11 to taking a 28-23 lead.

Abullahi’s shot made it 28-26 at the break.

At halftime, Turner told the Blue Devils (8-7) he wanted them to compete harder. 

“It’s hard, I feel like sometimes I have to yell and be this mean guy to my guys to get that out of them,” Turner said. “I hate being that way to them, but that competitive edge, we have to have that all the time.

“We got picked last in this league and that should give us a chip on our shoulder. We’ve seen some success, more so than previous years, so I think we just have to prove who we are and what we do every single day.”

Omasombo opened the third quarter with back-to-back 3-pointers to give Lewiston a 32-28 lead. 

“Our coach just told us to wear yourself out in the third quarter,” Omasombo said. “That’s what we went out and we did. We owed it to him.”

Omasombo scored 11 of his 22 points in the third quarter. Turner liked what he saw from the sophomore guard, but said there’s also room for improvement.

“David is progressing, and I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, David is young,” Turner said. “I forget that in real time, but when I’m able to sit down and put things in perspective, he’s just young and this is his first varsity experience. He’s going to make mistakes and that’s OK.” 

Chiwer Mayan stepped up defensively for Lewiston, recording two of his four blocks in the third. With 4:40 left to play, Mayan grabbed one of his 10 rebounds and found Omasombo on a full-court outlet pass for a layup. 

“Chiwer played well for us,” Turner said. “He stayed down in his stance, he attacked the offensive and defensive glass. Usually when he stays in his stance he does really well. Sometimes he gets a little tired and tends to stand straight up and forgets what’s going on, but when he stays in his stance he does well for us.”

Huckins scored eight of his team-high 18 points in the third, but overall the Vikings struggled in the quarter.

“We played really poorly in the third and that was the difference in the game,” Oxford Hills coach Scott Graffam said. “That 3-pointer they hit at the end of the half kind of changed the momentum in the game. We probably should have played more zone in the third quarter, but I wanted to keep them from making 3-pointers. We didn’t get out on No. 0 (Omasombo), and he made two and that changed the whole outlook.”

Omasombo hit 5-of-6 free throws in the fourth quarter after Lewiston went into the double bonus. He said the Blue Devils’ ball movement and teamwork in the second half were crucial.

“As a team we worked together, came together and it’s just about us, no one else,” Omasombo said. “That’s how we played and we won this game. That’s something we did really well.”

Ahmed Bahad scored 13 for Lewiston.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.