AUBURN — The 2022-23 season began for Edward Little the same way the previous campaign ended, facing Oxford Hills and being on the wrong end of a Teigan Pelletier buzzer-beater.

The drama wasn’t nearly as high Friday night, but Pelletier and the Vikings still came away with the victory, 58-40, in Class AA North boys basketball action.

Pelletier, who hit the game-winning shot in overtime of last season’s AA North regional final against the Red Eddies, scored a game-high 20 points. That included a put-back of a missed 3-pointer by Eli Soehren to beat the first-half buzzer. The second-chance shot initially was ruled as being released after the whistle, but the officials huddled together and decided to count the basket.

Oxford Hills coach Scott Graffam called it a big call and an interesting call. Edward Little coach Mike Adams was closer to the play, which occurred at the hoop near the Red Eddies bench.

“As a teacher, I’m going to say your first instinct is right…” Adams said with a pause and a bit of a grin. “It didn’t decide the game, you know. I think more in terms of morale from our kids, it took some of the wind out of their sails, because they were fighting and clawing.”

The basket gave the Vikings (1-0) a 33-20 lead heading into the locker room.


Oxford Hills quickly stretched its advantage in the third quarter. Tanner Bickford hit two early 3-pointers and Pelletier followed that up with a pair of baskets.

“We tried to script our offense a little more than we normally do to get Teigan involved, and that helped. I ran a couple lob plays for him,” Graffam said. “And we ran the ball really well. We got the ball up and down the floor really well.”

The Vikings’ lead was up to 47-29 going into the fourth quarter.

The Red Eddies (0-1) had no answer.

Eli St. Laurent made his second 3 of the second half in the fourth to finish with a team-high 11 points, but he was one of a handful of cold shooters for Edward Little. Marshal Adams, the Eddies’ junior sharpshooter, was held to three second-quarter free throws.

“We’ve said before, that we don’t have a Teigan Pelletier. We don’t have a Remijo (Wani), from Portland. We don’t have that (player) that’s going to go out and create his own shots,” Mike Adams said. “And Oxford Hills has a great team around Teigan, too. But we have good players who do good things, and we didn’t do a good job tonight of finding those players and creating for each other. And we settled for a lot of shots.”


The first three-plus minutes were a feeling-out phase for both offenses, with Oxford Hills leading 3-2 before Cole Pulkkinen made a layup for the Vikings. That was a sign of things to come for Pulkkinen, who was the sparkplug for Oxford Hills in the first half, scoring 11 of his 13 points.

“Cole had a great game. He gets to a lot of loose balls, he can score, and tonight he had a decent defensive game,” Graffam said. “He does spark stuff. So when we get the ball in his hands in the open floor, it helps us a lot.”

Pulkkinen’s layup jump-started the Oxford Hills offense, and the Vikings finished the first quarter on a 10-3 run.

Edward Little got within 17-14 in the second quarter on the back of four layups by Tudum Monday (10 points total for the game), but Oxford Hills pushed back to stretch the lead into double digits.

“(Tudum) is coming off a hamstring injury, so we haven’t had him all preseason and he just started practicing Wednesday,” Adams said. “And, yeah, that’s one of our strengths, that’s one of the things that we’re trying to use, is his athleticism.”

The game marked the first regular-season home game for Edward Little in its last season playing in its 57-year-old gym, before the Red Eddies move into a new gym in their new school next season. For Oxford Hills, it was a rare victory in its last scheduled appearance in the gym as visitors.

“We win down at Edward Little once in a generation. In my career, we’ve won twice before tonight at Edward Little,” said Graffam, in his 40th season with the Vikings. “It’s a huge confidence-builder for us. The other two teams that won down there, one of them went 17-1, and one of them was Andrew Fleming’s senior year (in 2015-16), where we were really good. So it harbors well if the trend continues.”

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