TOPSHAM — The Edward Little Red Eddies recovered in the second half to down a hungry Mt. Ararat Eagles team, 58-43, in a boys’ basketball contest Tuesday.

Class A Mt. Ararat was looking to get its first win against defending AA state champion Edward Little. The Eagles jumped out to a quick start on their home floor, led by the hot-shooting Will Kavanaugh, who finished with a game-high 19 points. Mt. Ararat pushed the lead to as high as 12 in the opening half.

“We beat them pretty good last year,” Edward Little coach Mike Adams said. “They’ve done a great job. The kids have worked hard, they’re better and they’re bigger. You can see they put the time in and they came out fired up.”

The Red Eddies opened the scoring on a drive to the hoop by Max Creaser. Mt. Ararat, though, made it difficult for Edward Little to work the ball inside after the opening bucket, causing turnovers on the next two possessions.

With the game tied 4-4, Kavanaugh started firing. He hit a floater off the glass, and followed that up with his first 3-pointer of the game on the next trip down the floor. Kavanaugh added two more treys in the opening quarter, pacing the Eagles to a 17-6 lead after the opening frame.

“That was fun to watch,” Mt. Ararat coach David Dubreuil said. “That was absolutely fun to watch. He didn’t really miss.”

The Red Eddies pushed back with a 5-0 run to start the second quarter.

Cam Yorke knocked down a jumper to open the scoring. Wol Maiwen was then fouled driving to the hoop. Maiwen knocked down one of two foul shots, then found Storm Jipson cutting to the basket for an easy two on the next possession. The Eagles were forced to take a timeout after just 45 seconds, with the lead cut to 17-11.

Mt. Ararat settled down after the timeout, finding some success going inside to Jared Balser. Balser finished off a three-point play after he was fouled laying the ball in over to Edward Little defenders to extend the lead to 24-17.

Kavanaugh and Edward Little’s Austin Brown traded buckets to end the half. Kavanaugh added two treys for the Eagles, while Brown scored the last seven points of the half for Edward Little. Mt. Ararat took a 33-21 lead into halftime, with Kavanaugh going 5-for-6 from 3-point distance.

“That’s something our kids have to understand is that’s something we’re going to see all year,” Adams said. “Mt. Ararat had an awesome first half. They did everything they wanted to do. We did a better job in the second half of taking those 3s away.”

“We hit a lot of shots in the beginning, created some turnovers, which we were talking about tempo, limiting their shot opportunities and getting great shots for us,” Dubreuil said. “It was the opposite in the second, that 1-3-1 press kind of got to us and created some turnovers.”

Edward Little turned up the pressure in the second half and it immediately led to points.

Brown picked off a pass for an easy layup to open the scoring and sparking a 9-0 run to open the quarter for the Red Eddies. Edward Little started to work the ball inside to Maiwen, who chipped in eight points in the quarter. The frantic pace led to the Red Eddies taking the lead, 39-38, with 50 seconds left in the third — the first lead for Edward Little since the game was 2-0.

“I think we came out pretty flat,” Maiwen said. “Coach just told us earlier it really starts in practice. Yesterday we didn’t have a good practice and it carried over to the game.”

“Thats a great team, Coach Adams had his guys ready,” Dubrueil said. “I’ve got to do a better job of preparing our guys for the second half, I guess. The third quarter’s kind of been an Achilles heel for us all season so far.”

Edward Little took a 41-38 lead into the fourth quarter and didn’t look back.

Maiwen opened the scoring, taking a nice back-door pass from Creaser. The Red Eddies added seven points from the free-throw line as Mt. Ararat found itself in foul trouble. On the other end, the Eagles hit one field goal, a 3-pointer by Nathan Taylor. Edward Little pulled away for the 58-43 win.

Mt. Ararat falls to 0-4 and will look to bounce back at Lincoln Academy on Friday. The Eagles will take some positives out of pushing the Red Eddies.

“You get tons of positives, but the kids see 0-4,” Dubruiel said. “But, we’ve got some games coming up that I think we can get our first win. I think once we get that we can really take off and start doing what we can do.”

The Red Eddies were led by Maiwen with 18 points, while Brown chipped in 16. Edward Little improves to 4-0, surviving an early test on the road.

“Coach is always emphasizing a lot of people when they come to play us they’re not just coming to play Edward Little they’re playing last year’s class AA state champion,” Maiwen said. “We’re a whole new team, we’re not playing to defend a championship, but everyone’s going to come out with a lot of energy.”