Leavitt’s Wyatt Hathaway dribbles ball upcourt as teammate Cole Morin sets a pick on Mt. Ararat’s Max Spelke. (Eric Maxim/Brunswick Times Record)

TOPSHAM — Leavitt overcame a slow start to beat Mt. Ararat 65-57 in Class A South boys’ basketball Thursday.

The Hornets erased a nine-point deficit after one quarter and outscored the Eagles 49-32 the rest of the way.

Wyatt Hathaway poured in a game-high 24 points, including a stellar 9-for-12 from the line for Leavitt.

“At the beginning of the season there were a couple of games where I missing some free throws,” Hathaway said. “I was a little streaky, so I hit the gym and it paid off tonight.”

The Eagles opened the game with a fast-paced tempo that kept the Hornets on their heels.

Tanner Greenleaf paced the Eagles early, driving the hoop and converting a pair of layups from the guard position. Another basket and a free throw gave the senior seven first-quarter points.

Once the Eagles established they were going to the hoop, the shooters then took over from the outside.

Greg Malin sank a pair of treys and Mt. Ararat was out to a quick 13-5 lead midway through the quarter. Malin had three first-quarter 3-pointers.

“They came out gunning in that first quarter,” Leavitt coach Mike Hathaway said. “They were playing at a pretty good pace.”

Junior Will Kavanaugh came off the bench and quickly sank a long 3 to put the home team up 17-10, and later stole the ball and sank another 3-point basket for Mt. Ararat’s biggest lead of the quarter, 23-11, with 1:35 remaining. Kavanaugh tallied eight first-quarter points.

Mt. Ararat ended with a 25-16 advantage after the first eight minutes.

Leavitt opened the second quarter with a 12-2 run in the first four minutes, while Mt. Ararat (7-9) going cold, going just 2-for-16 from the floor.

The Hornets (6-9) found points in multiple places. Freshman Joziah Learned was a perfect 4-for-4 from the charity stripe and scored six points. Mark Herman registered four while Hathaway added to his seven first-quarter points with a bucket.

“Our team has a lot of fight and we said we weren’t going to back down tonight if things went south,” Wyatt Hathaway said.

Mt. Ararat was 0-for-4 from behind the arc, and lost its presence underneath when Jared Balser went to the bench with early foul trouble.

“We defended a lot better in the second quarter,” Mike Hathaway said. “We stopped helping so much and just tried to really keep the ball in front of us and keep on their shooters.”

The result was an 18-4 quarter for the visitors and a 34-29 Leavitt lead after two quarters.

“We go into foul trouble, but that’s something we’ve had trouble with for 15 weeks,” Mt. Ararat coach Jeff Hogan said. “We play one good quarter and then we go out there and play like that in the second.”

A Learned trey opened the half, putting the Eagles down by eight to start the half. A Hathaway basket and free throw and the Hornets had a 10-point lead before the Eagles scored a second-half point with 4:19 left in the third.

The Hornets continued to keep the ball in Hathaway’s hands. The speedy guard continued his drives to the basket, hitting two more layups, including one with 54 seconds left on which he was fouled. He completed the three-point play with a free throw. Two more from the charity stripe and the Hornets had their biggest lead of the night, 51-36 through three quarters.

Despite trailing by 15 points, the Eagles did not quit, chipping away at the Leavitt lead to open the final frame. Max Spelke hustled his way for a couple of quick baskets and Kyle Brennan came off the bench for a pair of key baskets and a free throw for five points.

Balser returned the floor, and in a big way, controlling the boards in the final quarter, hauling down nine of his game-high 14 rebounds. The junior center had four points in the paint and sank a pair of key free throws to help keep the Eagles within striking distance.

That’s when Hathaway took over from the free-throw line, scoring five of his 15 second-half points from the charity stripe. Josh Banks also sank four free throws in the final eight minutes to help seal the win for Leavitt.

Learned followed Hathaway with 16 points, while Banks and Mark Herman each netted seven points in the win. The Hornets were 24-for-43 from the free-throw line.

“We really want to get to 9-9, we have four games to do that, and this was just the first one,” Mike Hathaway said. “We kind of look at it like this is our tournament, and the kids came out with a lot of energy tonight.”

Malin and Greenleaf paced Mt. Ararat with nine points each, while Kavanaugh added eight. Sophomore Nathan Taylor came off the bench to hit a pair of treys to finish with six points. The Eagles shot only 6-for-24 from 3-point range after hitting four of their first six from behind the arc.

“We literally got outplayed tonight,” Hogan said. “They outhustled us in every aspect of the game. We couldn’t shoot or grab rebounds. Hopefully this doesn’t hurt our playoff chances.”