PORTLAND — Oxford Hills just didn’t have it Saturday.

The Vikings’ season came to an end with a 47-35 loss to Portland in the Class AA North boys basketball final Saturday at Cross Insurance Arena.

“I’ve been doing this a long time, had a lot of tournament teams,” Oxford Hills coach Scott Graffam said. “And, you know, you play along, play along, it’s ecstasy, ecstasy, then it’s over. So it really sucks, unless you win it all. Because it’s such an abrupt ending, and you can’t really prepare for it.”

“That was a tough one,” Graffam added. “But Portland deserved to win that game.”

The top-seeded Vikings (19-2) struggled on offense most of the game, and on defense they struggled to contain Portland big man Jeissey Khamis, who scored a game-high 19 points, with 13 coming in the second half.  He also grabbed 19 rebounds.

After the game, Khamis was named the most outstanding player of the AA North boys tournament.


“Jeissey was fantastic,” Graffam said. “He didn’t even start against us when we went down to the Expo and played the first time. … Jeissey’s come a long ways, and I’m glad he got that award.

“I’m happy for him. Sad for our guys, happy for Portland.”

Portland coach Joe Russo said he wasn’t surprised by Khamis’ performance.

“Today, he rose to the occasion,” Russo said. “What you saw today is something he’s capable of doing every game. It’s just a matter of when he decides he wants to do it.”

The second-seeded Bulldogs (16-5) will face South regional champion South Portland (18-3) in the Class AA state title game next Saturday.

Remijo Wani added 11 points for Portland, which led 18-16 at halftime.


The Bulldogs outscored Oxford Hills 29-19 in the second half while holding the Vikings to only four field goals.

Cole Pulkkinen led Oxford Hills with 12 points. Teigan Pelletier finished with eight points and Eli Soehren had seven.

“I think our legs were gone, to tell you the truth. I’m not blaming it on that, I think a lot of it had to do with Portland, best defensive team in our league,” Graffam said, later adding, “I think we expended a lot of energy, and it was an emotional game yesterday against Cheverus.”

The Vikings advanced to the regional final by beating fourth-seeded Cheverus 66-60 on Friday.

Oxford Hills won both matchups against Portland during the regular season, each time finding a way to win. On Jan. 3 at the Portland Expo, the Vikings rallied from a nine-point deficit in the fourth quarter to win 48-47. Ten days later in Paris, they made their free throws in the fourth quarter and overtime to win 62-52.

In Saturday’s regional final, the magic never came. After Khamis and the Bulldogs got going in the second half, the Vikings never answered.


Khamis scored nine points in the third quarter as Portland extended its two-point halftime lead to 33-25.

The Vikings were still in the game, but in the fourth quarter they didn’t score their first points until Pulkkinen’s free throws with 2:14 left.

“We never hit two or three shots in a row, and that was uncharacteristic,” Graffam said.

“We limited them,” Russo said, “to one shot many, many times, and that was the difference in the game.”

The Vikings’ 19 victories this season are the most in program history, surpassing the 18 wins by the 2022 and 2004 squads. Since a majority of this year’s players are seniors, the Oxford Hills roster will have a different look next season.

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