South Portland’s Owen Maloney tries to drive the baseline against Oxford Hills’ Isaiah Oufiero during the Class AA boys basketball state championship game at Cross Insurance Arena in Portland on Saturday, March 5, 2022. Oufiero, who was voted Defensive Player of the Year in Class AA North, is one of two seniors the Vikings will need to replace next season. Brewster Burns photo

When Scott Graffam speaks about the history of the Oxford Hills boys basketball program, he does so with an undeniable amount of authority.

Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School was founded in 1961. Graffam has been the head coach of the boys basketball team for 33 of those seasons, presiding over the program from 1982-91 and from 1999 to the present day.

So it means a lot when he says that its hard to find a better Oxford Hills team than this year’s squad.

The 2021-22 Vikings earned the second seed in Class AA North with a 15-3 regular season record, then won three games in the postseason to finish with 18, tying the school record for most victories in a season. 

The Vikings also tied a program record with 11 consecutive wins, a streak that was ended Saturday in a 58-44 loss to South Portland in the Class AA final, which was the school’s second boys basketball state title game appearance.

“This is arguably the best team in the history of Oxford Hills, 1961 to now,” Graffam said after Saturday’s game. “This is just a special team. They deserve all the accolades they get, and I couldn’t be prouder to be around a group of kids like this.”


Next year’s team might also become part of the argument about Oxford Hills’ best.

AA North first-teamer Teigan Pelletier, a sophomore, hit two game-winners during the Vikings’ run to the championship game. Teammate Cole Pulkkinen, a junior, was an AA North honorable mention. Those two will be returning next season, as will juniors Eli Sohren, Lincoln Merrill, Tanner Bickford and sophomore Jake Carson.

Tanner Bickford, Lincoln Merrill and Jake Carson all give us stuff that may not show up on the stat sheet but help,” Graffam said of Oxford Hills’ bench players following an early January win over Lewiston.

South Portland’s Jaelen Jackson tries to get a shot off against Oxford Hills’ Colby Dillingham during the Class AA boys basketball state final at Cross Insurance Arena in Portland on Saturday, March 5, 2022. Brewster Burns photo

Certainly, the Vikings can again be contenders for the AA North title, if not the state title, in 2022-23. But they’ll need to adjust to the losses of this year’s two seniors, AA North Defensive Player of the Year Isaiah Oufiero and 6-foot-10 center and AA North second-team honoree Colby Dillingham.

Dillingham had his hands full battling fellow 6-foot-10 teenager JP Estrella on both ends of the court in Saturday’s title game. Oufiero, meanwhile, drew the tough assignment of defending South Portland guards Jaelen Jackson and Owen Maloney.

Graffam was happy with the seniors’ performances and is excited about the Vikings’ future. 


“I’m proud of the kids,” Graffam said. “When the season started, the coaches did a poll and we were like fourth or fifth in the North, and we finished as champions of the North. We got a good group coming back. The two seniors we had were tremendous. Isaiah Oufiero was the best defender we’ve had, and Colby had a hell of a career. He averaged 14 or 15 points a game and eight rebounds a game.

“We’re going to miss them, but we’re going to be good again next year.”

Pelletier, a versatile and athletic 6-foot-6 wing player, was the team’s leading scorer, averaging about 17 points per game.

Oxford Hills’ Teigan Pelletier beats South Portland’s Jayden Kim to the ball during the Class AA boys basketball state championship game at Cross Insurance Arena in Portland on Saturday, March 5, 2022. Brewster Burns photo

Oxford Hills’ coaches recognized the sophomore’s offensive talent, but early in the season they had to encourage him to shoot more and be more aggressive. As Pelletier did, his confidence grew and he became one of the best and most clutch offensive players in Class AA — “He’s a three-level scorer,” South Portland coach Kevin Millington said Saturday, “he can shoot the 3 well, get in the lane well and scores at the basket, as well.”

The Vikings benefited as Pelletier expanded his offensive role. In Saturday’s state final, setting up shots for him was an important part of Oxford Hills’ game plan, while slowing him was the focus of South Portland’s defense.

“We put a bunch of sets in to get him shots,” Graffam said. “Against their zone and man, mostly, Teigan was able to get shots. From the beginning of the year, the kids are more confident to give him the ball with his back to the basket, and he kind of demanded the ball and he made some shots.”

Pelletier finished with a team-high 18 points. Pulkkinen added 12.

With the return of those two players, Oxford Hills joins Deering and Hampden Academy as the only schools that bring back two players from this year’s AA North first-, second- and honorable mention teams next season.

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