PARIS — Balls ricocheting off the glass or rim were often snatched in mid-air by the outstretched arms of Oxford Hills forward Maddy Miller.

Rebounds seemed to find the junior, who pulled down nine of them during the Vikings’ girls basketball home-opener Saturday. Her efforts coupled with her team’s ability to keep the ball swiftly moving up and down the floor led to a 59-40 victory over Edward Little.

“I think that (rebounding) is really important (to the team) and I have been told the whole season that’s one of my main roles on the team, so I am trying to like implement that every time during the game and improve,” Miller said.

Despite Edward Little’s hard-nosed resistance, the Vikings appeared to have just about everything under control by the end of the first half, building a sturdy 34-20 lead.

“Part of our deal is get a lot of kids touches, and we want to get the ball moving,” Oxford Hills coach Nate Pelletier said. “We want to play at a high tempo. Edward Little plays hard. Kristina’s (Blais) has got them really, really working hard, and we were just able to make a couple of runs to put us up 15 or 20, and then eventually we got up 30 and we put some subs in.

“We are trying to get ready for the end of the year. Yeah, I liked the way we moved the ball. Nobody is really selfish. Everybody just wants to win.”


Miller also dropped in 10 points for the Vikings.

“My teammates are all so good at driving, and usually I am just in the post, and they are so good at passing to me and finding me,” Miller said. “I am just trying to be in the right spot to rebound and (get) those, like, easier layups.”

“Maddy is just a hard worker,” Pelletier said. “We kind of ask her to do all the dirty work, get rebounds and put-backs, and she was able to do that, and we always need a kid like that. She really has a high basketball IQ … if she is going to come up with 10 points, 10 rebounds every game, that’s exactly what we are looking for.”

The Vikings’ efforts and the Red Eddies inability to score their first basket until there was 3:39 remaining in the first quarter were telltale signs that Oxford Hills was moving in the right direction. Oxford Hills leaped out to 15-2 lead before Edward Little snuck in another six points to leave the first quarter at 17-8 in favor of the Vikings.

Oxford Hills really opened up on Edward Little in the second quarter, with Sierra Carson scoring four of her team-high 17 points. She also went 5 for 7 at the free-throw line. Tristen Derenburger (15 points) hit two of her five 3-pointers in the second quarter.

The Vikings’ defense stifled the Red Eddies in the third quarter, holding the Edward Little to two points while Oxford Hills built a 47-22 lead heading into the fourth quarter.


In the final stanza, Oxford Hills’ sent in its reserves and the Red Eddies managed to score 18 points.

Sophomore guard Rachel Penny knocked down six 3-pointers and scored a game-high 23 points for the Eddies. Ella Pelletier scored  a total of 11 points for the Vikings.

“One thing we need to be really be careful of and mindful of is foul trouble and control of the boards,” Blais said. “We didn’t do those two things, but overall (I am) proud of how they fought. They didn’t quit … so (with) that I am very proud.

“As far my girls, they just have to kind of break that mindset of that losing record of last year.” 

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