Mountain Valley’s Keegan Davis, left and Michale Pare, right, team up to stop Lisbon’s DJ Douglass as he drives to the basket during Thursday night’s basketball game in Lisbon. (Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal)

LISBON — With its top scorer battling sickness, Mountain Valley’s other players had to battle for him. Part of that meant battling against Lisbon’s top scorer Thursday night.

The Falcons spread the ball around on offense, and at the other end made Lisbon’s Jonah Sautter work for his game-high 17 points while also limiting the rest of the Greyhounds for a 57-39 victory in an MVC Class B South boys’ basketball clash.

Both teams struggled from the tip, trading two turnovers each before Sautter hit a 3-pointer to put the Greyhounds (6-6) on the board.

Lisbon kept the early lead before the Falcons (6-6) got going. A 3 from Dylan Desroches tied the game 9-9 with 1:40 left in the first. The Greyhounds re-took the lead, but Mountain Valley tied it back up and Jacob Blanchard fed Desroches for a transition layup with seven seconds left to give the Falcons their first lead.

“We’ve always struggled to score here, but once we saw the ball go in a couple times I thought we got things rolling from there,” Falcons coach Tom Danylik said.

Mountain Valley’s top scorer, junior forward Keegan Davis, came off the bench for brief moments in the game, but was held scoreless. Reserves like Desroches and Will Bean helped pick up the slack. Desroches scored all five of his points in the first quarter, then Bean took over in the second by scoring all 10 of his points.

“I thought that 1-3-1 gave us some issues to start, but then we had Will Bean come in off the bench and hit a couple big 3s for us and a couple shots from that corner, and they had to kind of come out of that,” Danylik said.

After scoring seven points in the first quarter, Sautter was held to just two in the second. That was all part of the plan for the Falcons.

“We knew that defense was going to have be our primary focus tonight, especially on Sautter,” Danylik said. “He’s a great player.

“A couple of kids who I wanted to guard him and just challenged them that he got off to a hot start, what are you going to do? We know that our success depends on whether or not we can limit him and force him into bad shots. I thought we forced him to kind of fade away from the basket a little bit more than he probably wants to. I didn’t think we let him post up as much as he wanted to.”

DJ Douglass helped out the Greyhounds with six of his nine points in the third, but that was all Lisbon could muster while Mountain Valley was on an 18-8 run. A Hunter Davis layup with 0.5 seconds left in the half off an under-the-basket inbounds pass from Sautter cut it to 27-21 Mountain Valley.

“Mountain Valley played really well defensively, which kind of got us off our balance offensively,” Lisbon coach Jake Gentle said. “They did a good job of getting in the passing lanes, they did a good job with their run-and-jump defense, trying to force us into some trapping areas. They played well.”

The Greyhounds struggled with turnovers in the first half. Five in the first quarter were followed by seven more in the second. It didn’t get any better in the third, however. The Greyhounds committed four more in the third before they even got a shot off, and finished the period with 10.

“We committed too many turnovers to start the third quarter and it went from a six-point lead to a 12, then to a 16-point lead and we just never recovered,” Gentle said.

A Sautter layup with 3:33 left in the third provided the first points for the Greyhounds, ending a 13-0 Mountain Valley run to start the second half. Douglass added a 3 for the only other points of the period.

“We missed a few rotations on that run-and-jump, but for the most part even if it kind of broke down we were still aggressive, still tried to get a double-team,” Danylik said. “In high school basketball, you put pressure on people they can make mistakes.”

Michael Pare took over the scoring burden for the Falcons in the third, hitting a trio of 3s and a layup for all of his 11 points. That was half of Mountain Valley’s total for the quarter, and the lead stretched to 49-26 heading into the fourth.

Cam Godbois finished with the hot hand, scoring eight of his team-high 14 points in the fourth.

“You want a team that can get three guys in double digits every night, sometimes four, and that makes a lot things easier,” Danylik said. “You take the burden off one guy, and just have guys go out and play within themselves, do the things that they do well.”

Sautter was able to finally get down low in the fourth, and added his final six points to get to 17, but it was too little, too late for the Greyhounds, who are on the fringe of a playoff spot in Class B South two-thirds of the way through the regular season.

“In the locker room before we start the game we have three keys — ball protection, rebounding and shot selection — and we didn’t do a very good job with any of those tonight,” Gentle said. “(Tonight) we learn that we have to play 32 minutes of basketball. We can’t pick and choose when we want to play defense or want to play offense. We just have to be better.”

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Lisbon’s Seth Tapley, left and Sean Scott, right, team up to stop Mountain Valley’s Jacob Blanchard from taking a shot under the basket during the first half of Thursday’s game in Lisbon. (Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal)

Lisbon’s Hunter Davis, center, tries to avoid a double team by Mountain Valley’s Jacob Blanchard, left and Ethan Laubauskas during Thursday night’s game in Lisbon. (Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal)

Lisbon’s Jonah Sautter drives past Mountain Valley’s Taylor Pelletier and banks one in for two points during the first half of Thursday’s game in Lisbon. (Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal)

Mountain Valley’s Michale Pare secures the ball from Lisbon’s Sean Scott after grabbing an offensive rebound during the first half of Thursday’s game in Lisbon. (Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal)