Deering’s Jesse Kamalandua, right, and Edward Little’s Jamaine Luizzo battle for position under the basket during a January game at Edward Little High School in Auburn. The Red Eddies won this game 71-59 and then defeated the Rams on the road 56-50 later in the month. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

Edward Little swept Deering during the regular season by margins of six and 12 points, which means about as much as Bangor’s two more-convincing regular-season wins meant in No. 3 Deering’s six-point upset of the second-seeded defending state champions in Wednesday’s regional semifinal.

The top-seeded Red Eddies (18-2) have these Rams (15-5) standing between them and their second trip to the Class AA state final in three years in Saturday’s Class AA North final (3:45 p.m. at Cross Insurance Arena).

Deering, which is seeking its first regional title since it won Class A South in 2012, boast a big front line and explosive guards who can seemingly score from anywhere on the big CIA floor.

Senior guard Askar Houssein, a 6-foot transfer from Waynflete, lit up Bangor for a tournament-high 29 points, carrying the Rams for 15 of their 17 first-half points, then hitting big 3-pointers, some from beyond NBA distance, in the second half.

Fellow senior guard Darryl Germain, an AA North first-team all-star, matched Houssein’s first-half production to finish with 17 points. One of the most feared shooters in the region, Germain combined with Houssein for eight of Deering’s nine 3-pointers in the game.

The Rams are not only solid up front with seniors Max Morrione and Loki Anda, they have the kind of size that can make things difficult for the Red Eddies’ inside-out offense.

Windham presented Edward Little problems in the paint with its 2-3 zone in the semifinals, but that was mostly due to the Eagles’ length at the top of the zone closing down passing lanes for big men John Shea (another AA North first-team all-star), Max Creaser and Dan Milks.

Deering’s Maxwell Morrione knocks the ball away from a driving Bangor forward Michael Randall during Class AA North semifinal action at Cross Insurance Arena in Portland on Wednesday. Carl D. Walsh/Portland Press Herald

Edward Little coach Mike Adams thought his big men didn’t make themselves big enough in asserting themselves in the paint and demanding the ball.

Red Eddies guards Austin Brown (first-team all-star), Cam Yorke and R.J. Nichols made Windham pay sufficiently for packing in its zone with timely 3-pointers and drives to the hoop. But they, along with senior guard Storm Jipson, the AA North defensive player of the year, could have a bigger impact defensively against Deering. The Eddies’ backcourt length will have to disrupt Houssein and Germain’s shooting and passing angles and slow down the Rams’ ability to run.

Edward Little’s John Shea passes the ball past Windham’s Chris Naylor during Class AA North semifinal action at Cross Insurance Arena in Portland on Wednesday, February 19, 2020. Carl D. Walsh/Portland Press Herald Buy this Photo

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