Members of the Cheverus High School girls basketball team celebrate their victory in the Maine Class AA basketball championship game at the Cross Insurance Arena in Portland on Saturday, March 5, 2022. Credit: Troy R. Bennett / BDN

The Cheverus High School girls basketball team defeated Gorham High School 49-36 to win the program’s first Class AA state championship at the Cross Insurance Arena in Portland on Saturday.

Cheverus ends its season with an 18-3 record.

The two teams kept the scoring close in the first half. Cheverus led Gorham by just two points at the end of the first quarter, 15-13. But that small edge was erased by Gorham as the teams entered halftime tied at 19 points each.

Gorham High School’s Kalin Curtis (right) and Cheverus High School’s Hayley Jordan both go after a loose ball in the Maine Class AA girls basketball championship game at the Cross Insurance Arena in Portland on Saturday, March 5, 2022. Credit: Troy R. Bennett / BDN
Gorham High School’s Nicole Walker (right) drives around a Cheverus High School’s Lillian Singleton in the Maine Class AA girls basketball championship game at the Cross Insurance Arena in Portland on Saturday, March 5, 2022. Credit: Troy R. Bennett / BDN

The Stags pulled ahead in the third quarter, outscoring the Rams 13-4 through the quarter to take a 32-23 lead into the fourth quarter.

Senior Julia Kratzer paced the Stags with 17 points, highlighted by four 3-pointers, including two in the fourth quarter. Sophomore Emma Lizotte added 14 points, while senior Lillian Singleton and sophomore Madigan Fitzpatrick each had six.

Class AA South champion Gorham ends its season 18-4.

Cheverus High School’s Madigan Fitzpatrick takes the ball to the hoop by Gorham High School defenders Brylee Bishop (left) and Ellie Gay in the Maine Class AA girls basketball championship game at the Cross Insurance Arena in Portland on Saturday, March 5, 2022. Credit: Troy R. Bennett / BDN

The Rams were led by seniors Anna Nelson and Leah Woodbury, who scored 11 and eight points, respectively. Senior Leah Woodbury added six, sophomore Ellie Gay five, senior Sophia Michaud four and sophomore Kalin Curtis two.

Cheverus upset the two-time defending AA state champion Oxford Hills 52-36 in the Class AA North regional final to advance to its first state final.

Cheverus also ousted Hampden Academy 35-25 in the semifinals and Portland 72-45 in the quarterfinals.

Gorham High School’s Sophia Michaud looks to pass the ball around a Cheverus High School defender in the Maine Class AA girls basketball championship game at the Cross Insurance Arena in Portland on Saturday, March 5, 2022. Credit: Troy R. Bennett / BDN
Members of the Cheverus High School girls basketball team celebrate a play in the Maine Class AA basketball championship game at the Cross Insurance Arena in Portland on Saturday, March 5, 2022. Credit: Troy R. Bennett / BDN

Cheverus had only reached the semifinals once, in 2018. Oxford Hills eliminated the Stags 59-49 that year.

This was Gorham’s first appearance in the AA state championship game since 2018. The Rams finished as state runners-up that year, falling to Edward Little 50-49.

The Rams won the AA crown in 2016 against Edward Little 46-36 and in 2017 against Oxford Hills 45-31.

Cheverus High School’s kayley Jordan dribbles the ball around Gorham High School’s Brylee Bishop the Maine Class AA girls basketball championship game at the Cross Insurance Arena in Portland on Saturday, March 5, 2022. Credit: Troy R. Bennett / BDN

Lindsay Putnam

Lindsay Putnam is a senior editor for sports and features at the Bangor Daily News. Lindsay previously worked as an editor and reporter at the New York Post. She's a York Beach native and Colby College...