PORTLAND, Maine — It certainly didn’t come easily, but the Cheverus girls’ basketball team won a Western Class A quarterfinal Monday afternoon at the Portland Exposition Building.


Facing a Sanford squad which broke the Stags’ heart two years ago in this round, third-ranked Cheverus overcame a sluggish start, took the lead for good on a buzzer-beating 3-pointer from senior Mikayla Mayberry just before the half, built on it thanks to two 3-balls from junior Georgia Ford early in the third quarter, then despite a rally from the sixth-ranked Spartans that got them within four in the final minute, held on down the stretch to prevail, 31-26.

The Stags improved to 17-2, ended Sanford’s season at 13-7 and advanced to meet either No. 2 Deering (16-2) or No. 7 Thornton Academy (12-7) in the semifinals at 7:30 p.m. Friday.

Ford led all scorers with nine points, senior Brooke Flaherty (who had four early points and forced a critical turnover down the stretch) and freshman Jess Willerson both added five points.

Sanford was paced by eight points from junior Morgan Fogg.

Cheverus had a 31-28 rebounding advantage.