Oxford Hills’ Sierra Carson, right, dribbles past Hampden Academy defender during Caitlin Murphy during a Class AA North semifinal game last month at the Cross Insurance Arena in Portland. Carson helped the Vikings win the state championship and has been chosen as the Sun Journal All-Region Player of the Year for the second consecutive season. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal

Sierra Carson’s Oxford Hills teammates seem almost in awe when talking about her.

Her feats don’t surprise them, they’ve seen her do it all before, but she still amazes them. They aren’t alone.

“Everybody’s in awe,” Vikings coach Nate Pelletier said. “In practice, she scores at will. I mean, I thought we were a pretty good defensive team, but in practice we couldn’t stop her. At times, we had to take her out of drills and run drills without her just to make it feel like we could play some defense.”

Carson, a senior, has been selected as the Sun Journal All-Region Girls Basketball Player of the Year for the second consecutive season. It’s the latest honor in a season full of them: The Class AA North coaches voted her as the region’s player of the year and to the first team and all-defense team. She was a Miss Maine Basketball finalist and was named the AA North tournament’s most outstanding player.

A phrase Pelletier used a few times this week while talking about Carson was, “the total package.”

Carson also helped Oxford Hills win its third state championship, racking up 17 points, nine steals, seven rebounds and four assists as the Vikings routed Gorham 62-25 in the Class AA state final.


The state title is especially special to Carson, who was injured for the majority of Oxford Hills’ previous championship season in 2019, when she was a freshman.

“It was just, I mean, everything I’ve wanted and more,” Carson said.


Pelletier said that Carson could probably could have scored 30 points whenever she wanted to, but she recognized that she had several talented teammates and that the Vikings were better when everyone was shining.

“The biggest part about her game, which people don’t realize as much, is how much of a great teammate she is,” Pelletier said. “You know, you have a lot of these players that are great scorers, but she recognizes, you know, really how the game of basketball works.”

The defining moment of Carson’s high school career was the AA North final, when Oxford Hills beat Cheverus 68-63 in double overtime.


Carson scored 24 of her 29 points in the fourth quarter and overtime periods as she led the Vikings back from a double-digit deficit.

It wasn’t only her scoring that was dynamic. She also set up two of the game’s biggest shots, a pair of 3-pointers by Tristen Derenburger in the second overtime.

“I have so much trust in my teammates, especially her,” Carson said. “I’m surrounded by a lot of good ones.”

Sierra Carson of Oxford Hills gets the to basket during the Class AA North championship game in Portland on Feb. 24. Carson scored 24 of her 29 points in the fourth quarter and two overtimes, as the Vikings downed the Stags 68-63. Derek Davis/Portland Press Herald

It was classic Carson.

“Even though (Carson) had been, really, the kid that carried us in in the fourth quarter and the overtime,” Pelletier said, “Tristen’s the one that hit those two big shots, but they were both assisted by Sierra.

“So it really was never about her scoring as many points as she could; it was always about what do we need to do to win? And she was always able to find that kid.”



Carson helped the Vikings win many games (they went 21-1) in many ways. In the regular season, she averaged 17.4 points, 7.1 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 3.0 steals per game.

Pelletier said she improved her 3-point shooting this year — “I mean, I tried,” Carson said with a laugh — and made 36% of her shots from beyond the arc, which made her even more difficult to defend.

“She’s just really turned into that scorer that I’ve never really had that can score at all three levels consistently,” Pelletier said. “She can shoot the 3; she’ll pull up at any point, shoot a 15-footer, and then can just attack the rim like no one you’ve seen before.

“So, I mean, that makes her the total package. And, obviously, defensively, we, we’ve always got her on, you know, the other team’s best player.”

Carson also dives for loose balls and goes after rebounds.


“She’s probably one of the best rebounding guards in the state,” Pelletier said.

She does all of those things, all game every game.

“She just never gets tired. Like, literally never,” Pelletier said. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen her come out of the game out of breath. It just, it’s insane.”

“It may seem like I don’t get tired, but internally I’m like, ‘I’m dying,’” Carson said. “But, honestly, I guess it’s just constantly playing, and sometimes … I get so zoned out, I don’t even notice things like that.”

It’s that type of zone that she went into during the regional final after Oxford Hills fell behind Cheverus by 12 points and some of the Vikings’ key players were hampered by foul trouble. When Ella Pelletier and Maddy Miller fouled out, Carson’s defensive assignment was switched to the Stags’ 6-foot post Emma Lizotte.

“My thoughts were just, I did not want this to be my last game. I couldn’t go out like this,” Carson, whose scoring average increased to 19 points in the postseason, said. “My mindset, my demeanor and everything just, like, flipped and I tried to almost take it on my back for my team, and I was, like, just gonna get this done, trying to do everything I could.”



Carson, who earned KVAC All-Academic honors, will continue her basketball career at Dartmouth College. The chance to play for a NCAA Division I program was only part of that decision.

“Basketball is something I love to do. I did know I wanted to do it in college, because I didn’t want to be done with it yet,” Carson said. “But it’s more the education for where I want to go; I want to be a doctor, so I’m like, whatever can set me best up in my undergraduate years. And Dartmouth just is so prestigious, it’s just such a great school, so I’m like, if I have this opportunity, why don’t I take it?”

Carson is excited to play for the Big Green, and to play for coach Adrienne Shibles, a Maine native who Carson already knows well. She also said Dartmouth’s team has a family vibe similar to Oxford Hills’.

The Big Green, Pelletier said, are getting a good player and a good teammate.

“She’s like one of the nicest kids you’ll ever meet,” Pelletier said of Carson. “You’ll never really see her get angry at anybody on our team. It’s always encouraging, ‘Hey, you know, you got it next time,’ no matter what the situation is.”

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