Mt. Blue’s Ace Provencher (25) wrestles the ball away from Leavitt’s Taylor White in Turner on Tuesday night. (Tony Blasi/Sun Journal)

TURNER — The Mt. Blue Cougars finally caught up with relentless Leavitt at the tail end of the fourth quarter after the Hornets’ sharp shooting sputtered in a KVAC girls’ basketball game Tuesday night.

Composure and patience led the Cougars to a four-minute overtime, where Mt. Blue (3-1) scored five precious points and controlled the ball to slip away with a 44-39 victory over Leavitt (0-4).

“I think winning a couple of big games the last two times we played, it helped prepare us for the confidence to finish a game at the end,” Mt. Blue coach Fred Conlogue said. “We just kept our composure. I thought the four foul shots we made in the second quarter kind of changed it. We were one 1-for-8 at the line at that point. We went in the locker room with trying to get the speed of the game up a little bit.

“My hats off to Leavitt. I thought they played a great game. But I was really, really impressed when it came down the stretch, we just kept moving the ball. We work it, moved it around, we found the open player and took the best shot.”

The teams entered overtime tied 39-39 after a hard-fought fourth quarter.

Junior captain Lexi Mittelstadt drove to the basket with 3:28 left in overtime for two of her game-high 20 points. Freshman Eva Stevens (nine points) sank a decisive 3-pointer about minute later to put the Cougars in control with a 44-39 lead with about 2:45 left in the game.

“(Stevens) came off the bench and had a great game,” Conlogue said. “She had nine points for us and really contributed for us.

“We were able to go 10-deep tonight and compete and find the right matchups for us. It took us a long time to find that, let’s say 30 minutes, but we really put it together. We didn’t give up a lot of second-chance shots.”

For those next couple of minutes, the Cougars hogged the ball and their defense didn’t allow Leavitt a basket.

The Hornets showed signs of fatigue when their shooting started to wilt as the Cougars inched closer.

With Leavitt struggling to hold on to a 36-32 lead with four and half minutes in the fourth quarter, Mittelstadt went under and came up with two points to move Mt. Blue to within two points.

The Cougars tied it at 37-37 when senior Mackenzie Libby (eight points) hit a 3-pointer, but Leavitt sophomore Kayleigh Gilbert hit two of her team-high 12 points at 1:56.

Mittelstadt, though, came through again with another two points to tie the game at 39-39 and send it into overtime.

“We had it,” David Gerrish said. “We had two really good quarters and the shots we were taking we were making, and the shots they were taking they were missing. In the last quarter, we got a little fatigued and the shots they were taking they were making, and once we got behind a little bit, we just couldn’t get anything going and get some energy to trap enough to get back into the game.

“At some point in the game, you just run out of energy. I am really pleased with the kids. They played hard. It’s really disappointing for them, but we are going to keep plugging. I have to compliment Fred. That team played really hard … so it was a fun game.”

The Hornets owned the second and third quarters, building a comfortable 36-27 lead before the Cougars climbed back into it in the fourth quarter.

Statistically speaking, Mittelstadt also had 10 rebounds, four assists and five steals. Ace Provencher had four crucial steals and Mt. Blue had a 25-5 run over the last 16 minutes of the game.

Leavitt teammate Emelia Bowie (22) boxes out Mt. Blue’s Rylee Keaten (30) as teammate Kayleigh Gilbert (15) goes up for shot in front of Mt. Blue’s Sierra Fay (23) in a MVC basketball game Tuesday night in Turner. (Tony Blasi/Sun Journal)

Mt. Blue’s Eva Stevens (12) defends against Leavitt’s Kayleigh Gilbert (15) in Turner on Tuesday night. (Tony Blasi/Sun Journal)