LEWISTON —  Minus its projected starting point guard, armed with two other players who attract a wealth of the opposition’s defensive capital, Edward Little spent the first half of the KVAC boys’ basketball season seeking balance and shared strength.

Saturday night — and what better time than a visit to archrival Lewiston? — the Red Eddies found it.

It’s hard to say what was better news for EL: Having all five starters score at least seven points, or the team defense that kept Lewiston’s high-octane offense to a dull roar. Both factored prominently into the Eddies’ 55-43 victory.

“What we’ve been saying all along is collectively, we’re pretty good. If we work together and make each other better, we can be really good,” EL coach Mike Adams said. “We’re not there still, of course, but I thought we played better offensively tonight.”

Kaleb Main led the Eddies (6-4) with 13 points. Lew Jensen supplemented his 12 points with 13 rebounds, four assists and four steals.

Tied at 26 entering the third quarter, EL frazzled Lewiston (4-6) into 0-for-8 shooting and four turnovers to open a 40-27 edge.

That cold snap ultimately reached 13 straight misses and 3-for-25 midway through the fourth, and the Blue Devils never again got closer than nine.

“We just have one bad quarter every night,” Lewiston coach Tim Farrar said. “Fourteen points, that’s not a bad defensive quarter.”

To complicate matters, Lewiston didn’t have an offensive rebound in the third quarter after earning seven multiple opportunities in the first half.

Main, Jensen and Elijah Roe each scored four points in the period, while EL limited Lewiston to one Ace Curry free throw.

“We all crashed the boards. We finally did that and that was good for us,” Main said. “Coach gave us a little different defensive look. We tried some different things and they seemed to work fairly well. It was mostly just effort.”

EL’s primary area of defensive concern was Carlos Gonzalez. The Eddies held the Devils’ center to five points, and only two through the first three quarters.

Isaiah Harris topped Lewiston with nine points and seven rebounds. Ben Howell had eight points to go with three steals.

Lewiston’s cut its turnover norm by more than half, giving it away only nine times. The Devils were done in , however, by 16-for-60 (27 percent) shooting, including 6-for-33 after the break.

“They didn’t let Carlos touch the ball. We had open looks and we have to knock those down. We’ve got to take them,” Farrar said.

EL trailed 7-2 and 9-5 out of the gate before rattling off eight unanswered points. Andrew Middleton triggered the surge with a turnaround bank shot to begin a traditional 3-point play.

The Devils battled back to tie it three times in the second period, then took a 26-23 lead on Mohamed Mohamud’s 3-pointer with just over a minute to play.

Lewiston wouldn’t sink another field goal for nearly 12 minutes.

Main rained down a 3-pointer from the right corner to tie it just before the half.

“Everybody stepped up. We’ve been waiting for Kaleb to have that offensive game that he’s capable of,” Adams said.

With Ian Mileikis out indefinitely due to a broken foot — he suited up Saturday on the EL bench — Eastern Class A opponents have done their best to contain Jensen and Middleton.

Offense flowed freely and evenly as the Eddies won for the fifth time in seven games and took over the No. 2 spot behind Hampden in the regional Heal Point standings.

Middleton added nine points, Roe eight and Luke Sterling seven for the Eddies.

“We just had good movement and set screens for our scorers,” Sterling said. “We know who they are, and we have to get them the ball. The first half was a little slow, but we turned it up.”

Jensen yanked down eight defensive rebounds in the second half and scored five points in the fourth quarter to chase away the Devils.

“Mike does a good job coaching that team,” Farrar said. “They don’t make a lot of mistakes.”


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.