LEWISTON – Led by Cameron Angell, their fluid 6-foot-6 “point forward,” the Leavitt seniors took some initiative after last season ended and spent a lot of time in the gym to get ready for this season.

Friday night, led once again by Angell, the Hornets’ seniors took the initiative and led a fourth-quarter comeback for a 73-67 win in both teams’ Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference season-opener.

Angell scored 12 of his game-high 24 points in the fourth quarter as the Hornets outscored the Blue Devils, 18-5, in the final five minutes.

“I was looking for my shot more (in the fourth quarter),” said Angell, who also had six rebounds, eight assists and four steals. “Our guards (Brian Taylor and Kyle Gagne) came off the bench, played good defense and got the intensity up and brought everyone up.”

“Our seniors rallied,” Leavitt coach Mike Remillard said. “I put Kyle Gagne in there halfway to give us more energy and to put more pressure on their guards, and I think that was a major shift in the game.”

“Right after that, Brian Taylor picked up that offensive foul on Wesley Myers, his fifth, and that really hurt them. They didn’t have the handle that they needed after that,” he added.

Leavitt had trailed for most of the game before Taylor drew the charge on Myers and fouled him out early in the fourth. Lewiston maintained the lead through the first four minutes of the quarter, but began turning the ball over, committing fouls and rushing shots, in other words, playing like the young team they are this year.

“That was the difference down the stretch – taking care of the basketball, not turning it over, taking what they give you on offense,” Lewiston coach Pat Blais said. “You can play hard defense, but you can’t stop everybody.”

Mason Giroux led Lewiston with 23 points, while Keenan White and Abdinassir Abdi (nine rebounds) each added 11 points. Tyler Millett and Chris Crosby finished with 14 apiece for Leavitt.

The Blue Devils made five of their first six shots of the final quarter to lead by as much as seven. A pair of 3-pointers by Angell kept them from opening a bigger lead, and his dish inside to Millett for a lay-up finally tied the game at 63.

Angell then sparked a 10-2 run to end the game with a drive for two, then a nice pass over the top of Lewiston’s press to Matt Nash (six points, six rebounds) that gave the Hornets the lead for good at 67-65. Nash added a five-footer in the lane and Angell immediately stole the ensuing inbounding pass for a lay-up that put the game in hand.

The Hornets were frequently in danger of letting the game slip away through the first three quarters. The Blue Devils came out of the gate the aggressor and pumped their up-tempo attack and took a 22-10 lead early in the second quarter on a Ryan Lagasse 3-pointer.

Leavitt finally found its sea legs by pounding the ball inside to Crosby, who scored nine points in the quarter to cut the Lewiston lead to 34-33 at halftime.

“We said look, we’ve got to slow it down, we’ve got to go inside because they can’t control us inside,” Remillard said. “That’s what started us going, got us into a rhythm and started to take a little of their tempo away from them.”

“There’s still a lot of work to be done,” Blais said. “We have a good group of young guys in here, and as long as we’re willing to learn, and I believe that we are, we’re going to get better as the year goes along.”

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.