LEWISTON — With a playoff matchup against its rival within its grasp, Lewiston took care of business Thursday, running away with the game at hand in the fourth quarter to produce a 74-63 victory over Deering in a Class AA North quarterfinal game on Thursday night at Fern Masse Court.

Fourth-seeded Lewiston (14-5) will play top-seeded Edward Little (17-2) at 3:45 p.m. in the semifinals at Cross Insurance Arena in Portland next Thursday.

Thursday’s quarterfinal was an up-and-down game, with both teams using their speed to work the fast break. But the Blue Devils’ pace really helped open it up in the fourth quarter.

“I thought against their defense we really, really moved the ball well,” Lewiston coach Elgin Physic said. “We got some easy buckets and we just wanted to keep pressure on them and try to keep them moving and moving and finally find an opening, then we have an easy bucket.”

Physic just smiled about taking on Twin Cities rival Edward Little.

“It was a great game last Thursday. It was like two heavyweights going at each other,” Physic said, referring to the regular-season finale against the Red Eddies. “So I imagine it will be the same (in the semifinals). I was telling the kids in the locker room, ‘The state tournament is almost like Disney World — anything can happen.'”


Sophomore guard Yusuf Dakane threw in 21 points, including 4-for-5 from the free-throw line, and senior guard David Omasombo scored 18 points and knocked down four 3-pointers. Three of Omasombo’s long-range strikes were in a row in the first quarter. Teammate Elijah Bigelow had 13 points.

Omasombo said he believes his set of three 3-pointers in the first quarter set the tone for the game.

“I felt like after hit those our momentum went up really high,” Omasombo said. “Our team picked up the energy and we were off to the races from there.”

Omasombo also pointed out that Lewiston attitude came into play in the crucial fourth quarter.

“We just wanted it so bad,” he said. “I remember two years ago we lost to Windham over there and we just don’t want to feel like that ever again.”

And Omasombo knows the Red Eddies are up next on the Devils’ to-do list.


“We want it,” he said. “We want it super bad. It is not going to be an easy fight, so we are going to come ready to play.”

Dakane said playing the Rams was a Herculean task.

“They are a really good team,” he said. “They had us the last time, but this game I think we just wanted it more. We are just like a fast-paced team. Other teams can’t compete with that. When we get going, it is just hard for a team to stop us.”

For the Rams, junior forward Remijo Wani scored the game-high 22 points, including four 3-pointers. Teammates Evan Legassey scored 13 and Max Chikuta had 12.

“They are a great bunch of kids and I love them to death,” Deering coach Todd Wing said. “I love them, how they endured through some struggles in the season. They never stopped believing. They never stopped having fun. They never stopped working hard. I just love them.”

The Blue Devils kept penetrating fifth-seeded Deering’s (8-11) defense in the third quarter, but Deering looked to the perimeter and climbed into the game with 4:26 left in the period. Not to be outdone or outgunned, Lewiston went on an eight-point tear and took a 52-44 lead in the waning seconds of the third.


After the Blue Devils dominated the first quarter from the perimeter, the Rams acclimated themselves to Lewiston’s long-range ordinance and slowly closed in on the Devils in the second quarter.

Lewiston watched its lead slowly evaporate in the next four minutes as Deering began to work its fast break with positive results. The Rams went ahead when Alex Willings went under for two points and was fouled. He dropped in the foul shot and Deering went ahead 19-18.

But the Devils got right back into it and regained the lead with a 3-pointer from Omasombo and then went to work moving the ball inside to get back on top 33-27 going into halftime.

Omasombo dazzled the large crowd in the first quarter when he hit three 3-pointers in a row, allowing the Devils to finish the frame with a 16-10 lead.

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