AUGUSTA – Leavitt Area High School’s dance with destiny ended Saturday evening, but not without another half of flirtation.

The No. 10 Hornets led No. 2 Bangor at intermission of an Eastern Class A boys’ basketball quarterfinal classic in the making. Then the Rams returned to their physical roots, conducted a low-post clinic and rolled to a 66-49 victory.

Alex Gallant, Ryan Weston and Lee Suvlu combined for 21 of Bangor’s 23 points in a decisive third-quarter run. At the other end, Suvlu and Adam Bernstein tightened the defensive clamps on Leavitt’s talented senior tandem of Cam Angell and Matt Nash, harassing the Hornets into 2-for-13 shooting.

“We got into a little bit of a flow,” said Bangor coach Roger Reed. “We found out what was working, got the ball inside the way we wanted to and were patient the way we needed to be.”

Gallant finished with 24 points, five rebounds and three blocked shots for Bangor. The Rams (18-1) will collide with No. 3 Mt. Blue at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the semifinals.

Suvlu added 14 points and Weston 10 for Bangor.

Angell led Leavitt (10-10) with 19 points. He was the only Hornet to find the basket for a span of more than 17 minutes that ended with 5:25 remaining in the game. By that time, Bangor had reversed a 27-25 halftime deficit into a 52-36 comfort zone.

“Gallant is so strong,” said Leavitt coach Christian Gurney. “He and Weston present a lot of matchup issues.”

Until Bangor’s explosion in the third quarter, the Hornets practiced precisely the same pinpoint passing and stellar shot selection that fueled Thursday’s preliminary-round road win at Brunswick.

Leavitt twice led by six points in the first quarter. Three times, they answered Bangor baskets to maintain a five-point margin in the second. It took a 3-pointer by Suvlu with 38 seconds remaining in the half to pull the Rams within a pair at the horn.

“They beat a great Brunswick team, and they fought hard against us,” Weston said. “We clamped down on our defense and got inside and got good shots.”

Bernstein blanketed Angell defensively after sitting on the bench the entire first half. Suvlu was even stingier against Nash, who scored only two of his nine points after the second period.

Eric Berry scored 10 points in his final game for Leavitt, whose eight seniors overcame a late-season coaching change and put their stamp on a program that has enjoyed its only two Class A quarterfinal appearances in the last three years.

“I’m proud of them for getting the opportunity to play here,” Gurney said. “They can go out with their heads held high.”


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