PORTLAND — Oxford Hills led from beginning to end Thursday, advancing in the Class AA North boys basketball regional final with a 59-46 semifinal victory over Cheverus at Cross Insurance Arena.

Second-seeded Oxford Hills (17-3) took control of the game early with a heavy dose of Colby Dillingham. The Vikings looked to their senior big man, who scored 16 first-half points, consistently under the hoop and the sixth-seeded Stags (9-10) didn’t have the size to stop him.

Oxford Hills beat Cheverus twice in the regular season by a combined 31 points, and Oxford Hills coach Scott Graffam said that in both games the smaller Stags struggled to handle the size of Dillingham and sophomore Teigan Pelletier.

We had played them twice and Colby had had his way, for the most part, so we knew that they were going to have to double him, which would leave someone open, or they’d have to front him,” Graffam said. “The size, Teigan, also, they couldn’t match up with him.”

The Vikings are playing in their first regional final since 2014, and fourth overall (1990 and 2005 are the other two). They will face No. 1 Edward Little (18-2), which defeated Lewiston 68-55 in Thursday’s other semifinal, in the AA North title game Saturday at 3:45 p.m. at Cross Insurance Arena.

Dillingham scored the first five points of the game, and Cole Pulkkinen added five more as Oxford Hills built an early 13-2 advantage. 


We knew we had them out-sized, so we wanted to get it to him and get a couple early baskets, and that helped,” Vikings senior Isaiah Oufiero said.

Pulkkinen also dished out five assists in the first half. 

In the second quarter, Silvano Ismail got the Stags rolling with six quick points to pull Cheverus within six, at 24-18, with four minutes left in the first half. Ismail finished the first half with 11 points. 

Ismail was a focus for the Vikings’ defense, according to Graffam, as was sharp-shooter Seth Huntington.

We tried to limit their fast-break points,” Graffam said. “We didn’t turn it over much in the first half. Huntington can’t get off and we have a great defensive player in Isaiah Oufiero, the AA North defensive player of the year, and he did a great job. Teigan and Tanner Bickford, they limited Ismail, and he has a great running floater and he didn’t get to the hoop a lot today.”

Ismail led the Stags with 15 points. Huntington, who was primarily guarded by Oufiero, was held to eight points.


“I ran around with him all game, that’s what I do,” Oufiero said. “That’s my role, to run around with who shoots it the most. It was just another day of running around with a shooter, but it’s different with him because he tries to create space more and so I was trying to show my hands.”

Pelletier found his scoring touch and dropped eight points in the second quarter, six coming within 72 seconds of each other at the end of the half to give the Vikings a 39-22 lead heading into halftime.

Pelletier finished the game with 13 points, while Dillingham scored a game-high 19.

Five players scored for Cheverus in the third quarter, while Oxford Hills mustered only seven points in the period. However, the Vikings still held a healthy 46-32 lead at the end of the third.

We tried to do as much as we could, but height is height,” Cheverus coach Richie Ashley said. “We can’t let them pass the ball around, so we tried to do what we do and we just didn’t make enough shots.”

Oxford Hills held its lead for the fourth, never letting Cheverus get within 12 points. 

The Vikings now turn their attention to the top-ranked Red Eddies on Saturday. Edward Little won both meetings with Oxford Hills this winter.

With EL, we need to do something to John Shea,” Graffam said. “He scored 30 and 31 against us, and we cannot have that. One game we scored 65 and lost, one we scored 35 and lost.”

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