LEWISTON — Slow starts have been the norm for the Oxford Hills boys basketball team this season.

Thursday was no different, as the Vikings trailed Lewiston 18-6 after one quarter before storming back for 56-48 victory in overtime.

“This is our fourth game; we have played terrible in the first quarter in all four games,” Oxford Hills coach Scott Graffam said. “There’s going to be a fire-and-brimstone speech after this game to get them going and ready to play. The other thing is I knew we were a good defensive team, we gave up 18 points in the first quarter. After that we defended and that was the difference in the game.

The Vikings’ (4-0) offense was paced by Hayden Paine, who had 17 points, and Teigan Pelletier, who finished with 15.

The Blue Devils (3-2) were led by Chiwer Mayen’s 14 points and Ali Abdallahi’s 12 points.

Lewiston was able to what it wanted to do in the first quarter, which was to get bodies moving.

“Pretty much what we work on every day and that’s run the transition, we just want to run make it a track meet,” said Lewiston assistant coach Jon Cadman, who was filling in for head coach Ronnie Turner, who wasn’t available to coach Thursday’s game. “Once we do that, we are tough.”

David Omasombo helped Lewiston take the early lead with seven of his 10 points in the opening quarter.

Paine, though, started to change the momentum late in the first, as he scored four of the team’s six points in the quarter.

“I try to do what I can to get my points on the board and whatever I can do to help the team,” Paine said. “With our team struggling, they can depend on me to put the ball in the basket, get to the free throw line, get into the paint, get to the rim to contribute.”

The Vikings’ scoring was more balanced in the second quarter, as Paine and Pelletier each had five points and Cole Pulkkinen added four points of his 10. Oxford Hills outscored Lewiston 15-6 in the quarter, cutting the deficit to 24-21 at halftime.

“(Pelletier) is a freshman trying to play, he and (Pulkkinen) were getting their first varsity minutes they are really getting, and they were nervous about it,” Graffem said.

Oxford Hills overtook Lewiston and led 37-35 after the third quarter. Eli Soehren and Pelletier scored five points apiece in the period for the Vikings.

Five of Lewiston’s 11 points in the third quarter came at the free throw line.

Mayen helped sparked the Blue Devils’ offense in the fourth quarter with six points. He also had two key blocks in the second half.

“We always say when our bigs get going, we all get going,” Cadman said of Mayen. “He’s the engine, those couple of blocks sparked us a little bit. It gave us some life, but it wasn’t enough.”

Both teams had chances late in the game to secure the win.

After calling a timeout with 12 seconds remaining, the Vikings and were able to inbound the ball in the front court. The ball made its way to Soehren, but his runner did not fall. Lewiston grabbed the rebound and called timeout in the backcourt with two seconds remaining and the scored tied 45-45.

“I wanted them to at least get (the ball) over half-court, then we call (the timeout),” Cadman said. “I wanted to get the ball up the floor and get a better shot at it.”

After the timeout, Ali Abdullahi threw up a Hail Mary from beyond half-court that nearly went in the basket.

Instead, the game went to overtime.

Lewiston couldn’t get shots to fall early in the extra period. The Vikings were able to build a lead, forcing the Blue Devils to start fouling Pelletier, who sank five free throws in overtime.

“We have a lot of good players who can come off the bench and put the ball in the bucket,” Paine said. “We have depended on Cole (Pulkkinen) a lot this year to come off the bench and score; he has done a great job this season. Teigan, we depend on him shooting from the 3 and getting to the rim, doing what we can do.”

Abdullahi drained a late 3-pointer for Lewiston’s only points in OT.

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