BATH — The Leavitt Hornets jumped out to a fast start and never looked back, sinking the Morse Shipbuilders 84-67 in a boys’ basketball contest Wednesday evening.

The Hornets were hot to start, pushing their lead to 15-6 midway through the opening quarter. Leavitt started the game 6-for-7 from the field, while the Shipbuilders were 4-for-11.

“We always talk about on the road getting off to a fast start is important,” Leavitt coach Mike Hathaway said. “We didn’t settle for too many 3s early, we attacked the rim pretty well and we handled their pressure pretty well.”

“That’s happened every game we’ve lost,” Morse coach Tom Maines said. “We’re not shooting it to begin the game and we can’t get ourselves out of the hole, so we’ve got to shoot the ball better.”

Wyatt Hathaway got things started for the Hornets on the game’s opening possession, draining a 3-pointer from the wing. Hathaway added another bucket after picking off an inbound pass, and then dumped the ball into Cole Morin for a layup.

Morse was forced to take a timeout down 9-2 just 1:47 into the game. Tom Warren tried to get the ‘Builders back in the game with his work inside. Warren extended over the defense for a bucket and later added free throw.

Leavitt’s Joziah Learned made sure that 9-6 was as close as Morse would get by knocking down back-to-back treys.

The Hornets then pulled away. Mark Herman converted a pair of easy buckets off steals, and Hathaway led the way with eight of his 18 points in the first period, after which the Leavitt lead was 27-9 after one quarter.

“We’ve had fairly balanced scoring,” Mike Hathaway said. “Wyatt’s scored a lot for us all year, but Joziah’s scored the last couple games. He had 19 the other night, I know he had quite a bit tonight and Cole Morin has scored for us all year.”

Morse fought back with some success behind the arc in the second quarter. Warren knocked down a 3 midway through the quarter to cut the lead to 38-17, but Learned responded immediately at the other end with a trey. Dylan Orr came off the bench for the ‘Builders and hit his first two shots from 3-point range. It wasn’t enough to keep pace with the Hornets, who took a 50-29 lead into the half.

“They’re a good team,” Maines said. “They change up well, and we pass the ball better than what we did tonight. We need to pass better and shoot better.”

“We’ve been able to mix up our pressures pretty good all season and kind of go back and forth between man and zone and give some different looks,” Hathaway said. “We were hoping to get them playing fast on offense.”

The trio of Learned, Morin and Hathaway helped put the game out of reach in the third quarter, spearheading an 11-2 run to open the half. The run was highlighted by another Learned trey that forced a Morse timeout 2:28 into the quarter. Josh Ter Mors converted on his two 3-point attempts of the quarter to lead the way for the ‘Builders. Morse settled down but found themselves down 71-45 after the third.

After an early timeout in the fourth, Morse played its best basketball of the game. The ‘Builders went on a 15-3 run, once again finding success from long range with Orr, Ter Mors and Warren knocking down treys. Warren led Morse with seven points in the quarter.

“We had a big hole,” Maines said. “At least we didn’t quit. That’s the most important thing, they didn’t quit.”

Leavitt improves to 6-0 and sits in fourth in the Class A South Heal points. Learned led the Hornets in scoring with 20 points, followed by Hathaway’s 18. Warren led the Shipbuilders with 13 points, while Ter Mors chipped in 11. Morse falls to 2-5 on the season.


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