AUBURN — Ella Pelletier led the way as Oxford Hills pulled away from Edward Little in the girls basketball teams’ season opener Friday.

The junior scored 32 points in the 59-44 victory, and the Vikings, the defending Class AA state champions, spoiled the Red Eddies’ first regular season contest in their new gym.

“Ella is amazing,” Edward Little coach Kristina Blais said. “There’s a reason why she’s going D-I and that’s because she’s extremely dominant.”

Pelletier, who has already received a few NCAA Division-I scholarship offers, said the Oxford Hills guards kept the Edward Little defenders away from the paint, which allowed her to get open looks in the paint.

“We were working really good in that zone; our outside perimeter players were finding the open shots,” Pelletier said. “Once we were getting those open shots, we kept going to the bench to get energy.”

Pelletier was at her best in the fourth quarter, which began with Oxford Hills holding a 38-34. She scored half of her points to help the Vikings pull away.


Oxford Hills coach Nate Pelletier said Ella Pelletier, who is his daughter, is one of the key contributors back from the Vikings’ state title team, along with Gabbie Tibbetts and Maddy Miller.

“We have a couple of kids that have played in really, really big games,” Nate Pelletier said. “We have Ella, Gabbie, and Maddy Miller has, too — she’s more of a post player for us. But, when the ball is in their hands, the game is a little more comfortable for our team. We figured we could get the ball in the post and get their big girls in foul trouble, and we were able to get a couple of easy baskets that way.”

Ella Pelletier had six of the team’s first eight points in the quarter as Oxford Hills went on an 8-0 run to start.

“Once we started to pick apart their zone, it really helped us getting those small buckets over and over, and we kept getting those stops,” Ella Pelletier said.

Edward Little’s Layla Facchiano did her best to keep the Red Eddies in the game by hitting three 3-pointers in the final quarter, but the closest they got was six points after the Vikings’ early barrage.

“Layla came in and gave us a spark that we needed and hit some really big shots,” Blais said.


Facchiano finished with 14 points in the game.

Both teams battled in the opening half. Ella Pelletier helped the Vikings to a 13-8 lead after the first quarter by dropping in seven points.

Edward Little spread out the scoring in the first, with four different scorers contributing a bucket.

The Red Eddies closed the deficit to 13-12 early in the second period when Tess Robbins scored four quick points, forcing Oxford Hills to call a timeout.

Blais said Robbins was a difference maker.

“Tess played absolutely amazing,” Blais said. “If foul trouble wasn’t in the picture and if she could have been on the floor for the full second half, the game could have gone much differently with her leadership.”


The teams traded baskets after the timeout before freshman Hope Fontane’s bucket gave the Red Eddies a 16-15 lead, but Milo Seams hit a 3 to put Oxford Hills back in the lead.

“This is a good team we just played,” Nate Pelletier said of Edward Little. “They play really hard, credit to them.”

After an Ella Pelletier bucket and free throw extended the Vikings’ advantage to 21-17, Savannah Green — who also had 14 points — hit a 3 to put Edward Little within one point.

The Vikings finished the first half with a Miller bucket and a Madalyn Oliveria half-court buzzer-beater, giving them a 26-20 advantage at halftime.

“That’s something we practice every single day,” Nate Pelletier said of the buzzer beater. “We have the clock on during practice, and every time the clock is running down, kids need to get shots off. It’s one of those things where they are mentally prepared for the game. We never want to leave the floor without taking a shot … and sometimes they go in just like that.”

Tibbetts opened the third quarter with a 3 that pushed the Vikings’ lead to 29-20. They led by as many as 12 points in the quarter, but Facchiano and Green brought the Red Eddies back to within four points heading into the fourth.

“We had several magical moments, and the little mistakes killed us,” Blais said. “We had so many magical moments and we will come together. We were missing a couple of people that are key pieces to our puzzle. We have a lot of young kids on the team.”

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