PARIS — Eighth-seeded Deering gave Oxford Hills a bit of a scare, hanging with the top-seeded Vikings for a half of Tuesday’s AA North girls basketball quarterfinal.

Oxford Hills led by only two points after two quarters, but a big third helped launch the defending state champion to a 55-30 victory over the winless Rams. 

“These kids have been through the ringer,” Oxford Hills coach Nate Pelletier said. “They’ve lost some big games and then won a state championship. They had to settle down a little bit and get done what we needed to get done. They needed to be challenged.”

Oxford Hills was without its top player Julia Colby, who tweaked an ankle in the regular season finale against Bangor. Colby was held out for precautionary reasons, and Pelletier said the team hopes to get her back later in the week.

Without the senior, a four-year started, the Vikings struggled to score early in Tuesday’s game. 

“They sat in a zone and they stopped us from getting out on fast breaks and did a good job of getting back,” Pelletier said. “(Deering coach Michael) Murphy did a great job with them, and we just didn’t shoot well early. Without Julia it takes away a deep threat, but at halftime we just said we have to battle and the girls did a great job of battling.” 

Maggie Hartnett kept the Vikings afloat by scoring all 10 of her points in the first half. In the second half, Cecelia Dieterich scored 16 of her team-high 18 points. 

Cassidy Dumont contributed 12 points, and Pelletier said that Jade Smedberg had some crucial rebounds and put-backs in the third quarter.

“I challenged all the kids at halftime,” Pelletier said. “We started to get back to our percentages from the 3-point line and we started to shoot the ball better, which then opens up post play and other things.”

OLD ORCHARD BEACH 72, BUCKFIELD 22: Elisa MacNair had 19 points and eight rebounds as the fifth-seeded Gulls (14-5) jumped to a 23-4 first-quarter lead, led 42-12 at halftime, and used a 21-6 third quarter to cruise past the No. 12 Bucks (7-12) in a Class C South prellim game at Old Orchard.

Shani Plante scored 13 points and nine assists for Old Orchard Beach. Alyssa Litchfield scored eight points for Buckfield.

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