Edward Little’s Layla Facchiano, right, fouls Lewiston’s Ella Beaudoin as she goes up for a layup during Thursday’s game in Auburn. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal

When Edward Little and Lewiston met for the second round of their girls basketball rivalry and regular season finale Thursday, they didn’t play like two teams all but guaranteed to have a postseason rematch next week.

Soon after the jump, both teams cranked the intensity up to full blast. They played as if no other game mattered, and neither team let up until the closing seconds of overtime, when the Red Eddies finished off their come-from-behind 59-54 victory.

Next up is a Class AA North quarterfinal matchup. The Red Eddies’ victory Thursday wasn’t quite enough for them to overtake the fourth-seeded Blue Devils in the Heal point standings, so fifth-seeded Edward Little (6-12) will trek across the bridge to face Lewiston (9-9) for the third time this season.

The Red Eddies won both regular season meetings — Thursday’s victory and another Jan. 6 by a 65-37 score. They’ve struggled since that first showdown. Rachel Penny and Saphryn Humason-Fulgham were hampered or sat out early in the season by ailments, and around the time they healed, Edward Little lost senior post Tess Robbins and freshman starter Hope Fontaine to injuries.

Prior to Thursday, the Red Eddies had lost five straight games and seven of eight.

Adjusting to the Robbins and Fontaine injuries has required other players to step up, and head coach Kristina Blais said everyone is feeling more comfortable in their roles.


“I kept telling them: ‘We’re going to have our breakthrough. You just have to keep working, you have to keep believing, we are going to have our breakthrough,’ because when they went down, it really hurt us,” Blais said.

Whether Thursday’s victory is that breakthrough remains to be seen, but Blais said the message remains.

“In the postseason, anything can happen,” Blais said. “So we just have to keep doing what we’re doing and keep, keep believing in each other and ourselves and we’ll be all right.”

Lewiston, meanwhile, now has one game to settle two scores with the Red Eddies.

Here is a lookahead, by classification, at the postseason for area girls teams:



Oxford Hills’ first seven games of the season were against teams who were undefeated heading into their matchups with the Vikings.

That was a brutal start for the defending state champions, who not only needed to replace Sierra Carson and other key seniors, but they also were without one of last year’s most important players, Tristen Derenburger, until recently.

Oxford Hills lost five of those first seven games, though one of the teams they beat was Brunswick, which was the top seed in A South until earlier this week.

Head coach Nate Pelletier has said since the beginning of the season that the Vikings were going to be a much different, and better, team in February than they were in December.

There were signs of improvement during the early rough stretch. For instance, Oxford Hills was routed by top-seeded Cheverus in the second game of the season, but when the teams met about three weeks later in Portland, the Vikings only lost by three points. Two days later, they played A North top seed Lawrence tight before losing by three points.

They haven’t lost since, reeling off 11 straight victories, including Thursday’s 63-39 shellacking of a good Bangor team that locked up AA North’s second seed for the Vikings.


Oxford Hills (13-5) begins the postseason at home against No. 7 Portland (2-15) in the quarterfinals, then they’ll face either third-seeded Bangor or sixth-seeded Windham (7-11) in the semis.


Mt. Blue claimed the eighth and final spot in the A North postseason, finishing far ahead of ninth-place Messalonskee and 10th-place Nokomis.

The Cougars (5-13) have a tough postseason opener, top-seeded Lawrence (17-1) in the quarterfinals at Augusta Civic Center. The Bulldogs are the defending state champions.


Gray-New Gloucester made a run to the A South regional final last winter. Much of that team returned this year, so it’s no surprise that the Patriots are better this season. What might be surprising is how much better.


Leading scorer Izzy Morelli transformed from a perimeter shooter to a rugged and savvy post player. When opposing defenses focus too much on stopping her, other Gray-NG players have been able to step up.

Even-keeled point guard Ali Portas has been more aggressive at finding her own shot, and has caught fire a few times this season. Ella Kenney, Laney Farrar and freshman Abbey Steele give the Patriots multiple ball-handlers who can score in different ways. Ellie Steele helps man the post but can also hit jumpers, and another freshman, Emma Hamilton, has played big minutes off the bench.

And, as usual, the Patriots play solid defense.

Gray-New Gloucester (15-3) will be the third seed and will face No. 6 Greely in the quarterfinals. The Patriots have defeated the Rangers twice this season.


Spruce Mountain reached last year’s Class B state title game, and came within a point of winning the school’s first state championship.


They’ve had to adjust to not having one of the 2022-23 team’s best players, Olivia Mastine, playing alongside the rest of last year’s core group of Jaydn Pingree, the school’s all-time leading scorer, her twin Jazmine Pingree, Aubrey Kachnovich and Elizabeth Grondin.

Others have stepped up and taken on bigger roles, including Avery Bessey, Riley Small and freshman Maddie Grimaldi.

Last year’s postseason run included a B South final victory over Oceanside, which hadn’t lost in 53 games. The Mariners haven’t lost since, and will again be the No. 1 seed with an 18-0 record.

One of those wins was over the Phoenix, 58-39, in Rockland on Dec. 23.

Coach Zach Keene said Spruce Mountain (16-2) struggled in its only other setback, 60-49 at Lake Region on Jan. 9, but have since won 11 in a row.

The Phoenix are B South’s third seed, behind Oceanside and No. 2 Medomak Valley (14-4), and they’ll open against sixth-seeded Yarmouth in the B South quarterfinals.


Mountain Valley (9-9) claimed the region’s 10th and final postseason berth by winning five of its final six games. The Falcons will travel to face seventh-seeded York (11-7) in a preliminary.

Mountain Valley is a rugged, defense-first team, that goes 8-10 deep with a mix of senior and junior contributors.

Brooke Brown is the Falcons’ top offensive threat. A handful of others have had big games throughout the season. The key in the postseason will be having a couple of complementary scorers in each game they play.


For a while, area teams were big players in this region. Monmouth won back-to-back state titles in 2017 and 2018, and Winthrop reached the state final in 2020.

That has shifted since the pandemic. The highest-seeded area team this year is No. 6 Poland (12-6), which won 12 games after going 0-18 last winter in Class B.


The Knights have won six straight games and 11 of their past 12. Winning has brought confidence.

They also have developed depth, which coach Jake Webb showed when 10 players played in the opening quarter of last week’s win over Mountain Valley. This large rotation allows Poland to stick with its press defense for longer stretches.

The Knights will host No. 11 Buckfield (9-9) in a preliminary game. The Bucks have won five of seven games after enduring a five-game losing streak.

Winthrop (12-6) is the seventh seed and faces No. 10 Old Orchard Beach (7-11) at home in a prelim next week. The Ramblers defeated the defending state champion Seagulls 44-41 on Dec. 21.

Winthrop has the players to be a dangerous team in the tournament — Ella Rice, Kylee Mansir, Madeline Wagner, Haley Williams, Caroline Corgan. The important thing will be having multiple players step up.



St. Dominic Academy is another team that made a huge turnaround this season, finishing the regular season with a 10-8 record after going 2-16 a year ago.

The Saints have earned D South’s fourth seed and will face fifth-seeded Greenville (7-8) in the quarterfinals.

St. Dom’s has three seniors, but also three juniors and five freshmen, so whatever playoff experience that the Saints have this year should be beneficial in future seasons. Among next year’s returners with be Charli Apodaca, who has consistently led the Saints in scoring.

The sterling career of Telstar’s Morgan Zetts has at least one more game after the Rebels (7-11) earned the eighth seed.

Editor’s note: A preview of the boys basketball postseason will run in Tuesday’s paper.

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