LEWISTON — Thinking about Beyonce might be the kind of thing to drive a young teenager to distraction.

But Saturday night, the singer was a calming influence before a clutch free throw.

Lewiston’s senior guard Ben Howell went to the foul line with the game on the line against Mt. Ararat. The Eagles had stormed back in the final minute to tie the game. Howell had the chance to give the Blue Devils the lead with two seconds left in regulation.

“I had to think of something to get my mind off of things,” Howell said. “Last night, I went to see Beyonce (at the TD Bank Garden in Boston). I started singing her song and got my mind off things and hit the first free throw.”

Howell’s lone free throw gave Lewiston the lead and Mt. Ararat’s hopes to produce a last-second shot failed, giving the Blue Devils a 47-46 win.

Howell had just three points in the game. His field goal put Lewiston up 46-42 with 1:09 left. Then his free throw delivered the win.

“I’m real happy for him,” Lewiston coach Tim Farrar said. “He had a tough year last year. He had limited playing time. He’s really stepped it up and been a great defensive player for us and given us more offense than we expected.”

Mohamed Mohamud led Lewiston (3-2) with 17 points while Quintarian Brown had 10. Mt. Ararat (3-2) got 15 from Mason Griffin and 12 from Shyheim Ulrickson.

Lewiston led most o fthe way and even had the lead up to 11 late in the first half, but the Eagles kept battling back. Mt. Ararat kept it close in the second half and had the late surge that tied the game with :14 seconds left.

“Aaron (Watson’s) teams don’t quit,” Farrar said. “We fouled a lot and they made their foul shots.

“That’s the league this year. After the top team or two, the rest of us are fighting for spots. I told the guys that every night is like a season. We’ve got to be ready for it.”

Lewiston opened a 44-38 lead in the fourth on a 3 from Mohamud with 2:45 left.  That was after Carlos Gomez had scored and made the lead four but fouled out moments later. Mohamud came in for Gomez and hit the 3.

Mt. Ararat took advantage of the space in the post without Gomez and got back-to-back baskets by Kevin Carter and Griffin to make it 44-42 with 1:50 left.

Lewiston had numerous tries at an offensive rebound on the other end but missed until Howell grabbed it in the middle of the paint and put it in with 1:09 remaining.

“I just saw it,” Howell said. “No one was around. I got it and threw it up and it went in.”

The Eagles got within two on a steal and basket by Ulrickson. Then after a Lewiston turnover, Mt. Ararat got the ball inside to Griffin for a basket with 14 seconds left to tie it.

“We’re a pretty veteran team,” Howell said. “We have a lot returning from last year and we learned that we had to stay calm, don’t overreact and just win the game.”

Lewiston’s plan on its possession was to get the ball inside. They had a post play in mind. That went out the window when an inadvertent whistle by the official halted play with seven seconds left. The Blue Devils then got the ball to Howell, who took it to the basket and drew the foul.

“I was happy with my guys making plays at the end and not giving up,” Farrar said. “That says a lot about the character of this group.”

Mt. Ararat had the ball with two seconds left and had to go the length of the floor. The Eagles got the ball into Griffin at midcourt. He took a dribble for an open look but couldn’t get the shot off before the buzzer.

Lewiston oopened the lead in the second with nine straight points, turning a 16-14 game into a 25-14 advantage. The Eagles answered right back with a run of their own, getting seven straight from Griffin to cut the lead to 25-21 at the half.

Neither team shot well in the third. Mt. Ararat hit one of its first 11 while Lewiston hit just one of its first nine. In the fourth, the Eagles shot 5-for-7 and managed to rally despite going 3-for-8 from the line.

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