RUMFORD — With two evenly matched MVC boys’ teams, something had to give Thursday night.

The Falcons’ and Mustangs’ competitive natures were evident, and the action proved to be exciting down the stretch as Mountain Valley held on for a 65-62 win over Monmouth at Puiia Gymnasium.

The inside-outside game of Keegan Davis and Jacob Blanchard, and a strong defensive effort helped the host Falcons to victory.

Both teams entered the fray winless, however each fought hard on nearly every possession when the game was on the line.

Monmouth senior guard Hunter Richardson dazzled with nifty moves to score a game-high 26 points — including 10 in the fourth quarter. The Mustangs erased a double-digit deficit and tied the score when Mat Foulke was fouled while shooting from beyond the arc and made all three free throws.

”We haven’t shot well as a team this season,” Monmouth coach Wade Morrill said. “So, it’s said that the more you shoot the better chance at scoring. We wanted to penetrate more down the stretch.”

The Mustangs made 7 of 9 shots and 12 of 15 free throws in the fourth quarter.

Davis (16 points, 12 rebounds, 3 assists) scored off a Will Bean (10 points, five rebounds) steal. But Monmouth took a 62-60 lead on an inside basket by Travis Hartford (10 points, 9 rebounds) with 1:12 remaining in the game.

”We had good ball movement and my teammates helped out,” Davis said. “In the fourth quarter and down the stretch, we had some good looks at the basket.”

”This is a young team and they’ve made their share of mistakes. But, we also had some guys step up in key situations,” said Mountain Valley coach Tom Danylik, whose Falcons made 6 of 8 shots and 8 of 12 free throws in the fourth quarter.

Mountain Valley regained possession of the ball and was being patient out front. Junior Michael Pare (seven points) was fouled intentionally and sank both free throws, in addition to the Falcons maintaining possession.

Monmouth had reached the double bonus with six minutes remaining in the game and had tried to get the ball in to the middle. But, defensively they were forced to foul down the stretch. The Falcons’ Parker Davis (nine points, four steals) made a free throw and Blanchard (10 points, nine assists, four rebounds, three steals) sank a free throw with 14.7 left to play.

Monmouth dribbled in to the front court and got off a shot, but it bounced out of bounds.

A strong third quarter was enough for Mountain Valley to take 46-30 lead, but Monmouth scored the final five points to trail 46-35.

Monmouth shot 43 percent from the floor, committed 24 turnovers and made 22 of 32 free throws. Mountain Valley shot 42 percent and had 21 turnovers.

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