LEWISTON — Fourth-quarter free-throw shooting helped Oxford Hills overcome a big third quarter by Lewiston and earn a 60-54 Class AA North boys basketball victory Tuesday.

The Vikings got to the line early and often in the fourth. Isaiah Oufiero made five of his six free throw attempts in the quarter and Oxford Hills (1-1) shot 13-20 as a team.

“We missed a bunch early to help them back in the game, but in the end we were better at it,” Oxford Hills coach Scott Graffam said. “In the third quarter, we didn’t play with the same energy and they played with a lot more energy. Luckily, we were able to stem the tide and get it back to normal circumstances. In the fourth we really did a good job of not turning the ball over and defending a lot better.”

Teigan Pelletier was a force on both ends throughout the game for the Vikings, starting in the opening quarter when he scored five points and made two steals to help Oxford Hills take a 12-11 lead into the second period.

Vikings big man Colby Dillingham added to the lead with two layups early in the second. Then, Lewiston’s Yusuf Dakene stole the ball and headed out on a breakaway toward the hoop, but Pelletier chased him down and made an emphatic block off the backboard to prevent a basket.

Pelletier scored four more in the second as the Vikings stretched their lead to as many as 11 points, 27-16, with 39.7 seconds left. The sophomore finished with a game-high 18 points. 

“We go minutes without him touching the ball or getting a shot off, and so we have to go tell him, ‘Get a shot off,’ and he will because he’s good enough to do it,” Graffam said. “He tends to defer because he’s a sophomore. Teigan was fantastic.”

The Blue Devils (1-1) finished the half strong. A Donovan Jackson 3-pointer and a Caed Langley layup helped them cut the deficit to 27-21 at the half.

Cole Pulkkinen scored eight points for Oxford Hills in the first half, while Lewiston was paced by Jackson’s six points off the bench.

After the break, Lewiston started the third quarter on a 15-2 run, paced by Malik Foster’s seven points. The biggest roar from the crowd came when Eli Bigelow stole the ball and passed to Dakene, who found Omasambo for a fast-break layup that put the Blue Devils up 34-29.

“I basically said (at halftime), I gave them what they needed to do technical-wise, but then basically said the rest of the stuff they needed to figure out,” Lewiston head coach Elgin Physic said. “Kind of the transformational leadership kind of thing saying, ‘Hey, this is your guys’ team as well. Figure it out.’ They came out as gang busters.”

The run gave Lewiston a 36-29 lead.

Oxford Hills lost an 11-point lead in the third quarter in its season-opening loss to Edward Little last week and came out slow again Tuesday. 

“My assistant coaches think it’s them coming out, screwing around and not getting ready, just wasting time,” Graffam said of the Vikings’ third-quarter struggles. “We are going to put in a more organized halftime routine, but kids are kids. We are also playing against really good teams, South Portland, Edward Little, Lewiston. You know they’re going to go on a run, and Malik (Foster) was fantastic.”

Oxford Hills, though, caught up before the end of the third. Pelletier scored five in the period, including an old-fashioned three-point play, and at the end of the three quarters the score was tied at 39-39.

Foster hit two more 3-pointers in the fourth for Lewiston.

“He’s our guy,” Physic said. “He’s a point guard, but he scores and he is our leader. We rely on him to do quite a bit and he’s got a lot on his shoulders.”

Graffam said he is happy with the win, noting that with the Vikings’ “tough schedule,” starting the season 0-2 would have been less than ideal.

Physic, meanwhile, said the Blue Devils have some things to clean up before they host rival Edward Little on Saturday at 2 p.m. 

“We’ve got some small, technical things, not turning the ball over and just rebounding better,” Physic said. “I thought we came out slow, but we gave it a good-faith effort and we just have to clean up some small things. I think we will be good to go.”

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