LEWISTON — Edward Little fell behind in the first half then made Lewiston sweat a little in Friday’s girls basketball rivalry matchup on Fern Masse Court.

The Blue Devils raced out to a 15-point halftime lead, but the Red Eddies found their footing in the third quarter and started to chip away at the deficit down to four points before Lewiston ultimately prevailed 36-27.

“Our top thing, we haven’t shot well all year,” Lewiston coach Craig Jipson said. “We had some silly turnovers that came back to bite us. I give EL a lot of credit, for fighting (back), they cut it to five and we hit a big shot. I was impressed we bent there but we didn’t break there.”

“I am proud of the kids and they kept battling all the way through,” Jipson added. “We have been a really good defensive team, and to hold them to 27 points, we struggled to score.”

Myah Nicolas led Lewiston with 11 points and Jamyah Nicolas added nine points.

Jenny Chaput and Nikkie Clark each had nine points for the Red Eddies.

Lewiston opened the second half with a 21-6 advantage. The lead got up to 17 points, 27-10, early in the third quarter after a 3-pointer by Myah Nicholas, a basket by Emily Strachan and a free throw by Jamyah Nicolas.

Then the Red Eddies began chipping away. They started to hit shots and create turnovers by changing strategy.

“We were struggling to score in the first half,” Edward Little coach Chris Cifelli said. “We tried to put our quarter press on, and I think that threw (Lewiston) off and we got some easy baskets to open some things up in the quarter-court offense. We started to rebound and we made some nice adjustments at halftime. We really did a nice job of translating that on the court.”

Lewiston’s Emily Strachan, center, dribbles up the court as Edward Little’s Saphryn Humason, left, and Jenny Chaput try to steal the ball during Friday afternoon’s game on Fern Masse Court at Lewiston High School. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

Chaput hit a 3-pointer followed by back-to-back fast break buckets by Madi Turcotte after turnovers.

“We didn’t talk well to one and another on defense at that point,” Myah Nicolas said. “Once our coach talked to us, we tried to do our best and close on the all shooters.”

Clark also hit a 3 as the Red Eddies cut the deficit to 27-20 by the end of the third quarter. Clark had six points in the quarter.

Clark’s rhythm continued in the fourth quarter, as she hit another 3 to get Edward Little within four points.

“I wasn’t trying to switch things up on the fly and I think what end up happening is we had a couple of turnovers in those spots when we had (the deficit down),” Cifelli said. “I have to give them credit, they hit some big shots to get it up back to eight.”

Lewiston’s Natalie Beaudoin halted the Red Eddies’ 13-0 run with a 3-pointer that put the Blue Devils ahead 30-23.

Olivia Coachman countered with basket from inside the paint to get Edward Little within five points, but Lewiston started to pull away, starting with a 3-pointer and a foul shot by Myah Nicolas and a field goal by Strachan.

“We just needed to hit a shot and stop turning it over to make our own shot,” Jipson said. “When it was 32-27, we finally hit a big 3.”

Lauren Foster played a big role in helping the Blue Devils build their big lead by grabbing offensive rebounds and blocking shots.

“She rebounded really well this year,” Jipson said.

Jamyah Nicolas had eight of her nine points in the first half.

Myah Nicolas said Lewiston (9-3) was firing on all cylinders at the start of the game, and, despite the second-half lull, that was enough to earn the victory.

“I felt like we were looking for each other and playing as a team and coming out to win,” Myah Nicolas said. “I thought that helped us get the win at the end.”

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