TURNER — Unbeaten Leavitt knew a win in Monday night’s crossover KVAC clash with Maranacook would not only be the signature win of an 8-0 start, but could have big-time Heal point implications, too.

“We’ve been talking for a week about how big the game would be,” sophomore guard Wyatt Hathaway said. “I’m pretty sure they were in first place in B South, so it’s a lot of points for us. Hopefully, we could end up in first place (in A South).”

The Hornets’ 70-63 win will bear fruit not only in the Heals but for the team’s blossoming confidence after they stemmed a first-half charge by the Black Bears, then rallied from a four-point deficit midway through the fourth quarter to pull the game out.

Wyatt Hathaway led all scorers with 24 points. Josh Banks added 15 points, including 10 in a row during a critical stretch in the first half. Cole Morin controlled the paint with 12 points, 16 rebounds and four blocks.

Duncan Rogers led Maranacook (6-2) with 15 points and Mitch Root added 13 points.

The two teams won’t meet in the tournament, so both had to settle for a tournament-like atmosphere Monday. Maranacook led 56-52 on a Rogers reverse layup, which would be its last field goal until a little over a minute left in the game.


Joziah Learned (11 points) sparked the game-changing 10-0 Leavitt run with a three-point play to pull the Hornets within one. Moments later, Maranacook was called for its second technical foul of the game. Hathaway knocked down the subsequent free throws to put the Hornets in front to stay, 57-56, with 4:07 remaining.

On Leavitt’s ensuing possession, Banks hit his third 3-pointer of the night to make it 60-56.

“They score four points (on technical free throws) and then inbound the ball twice for four more points. That’s eight points in a seven-point game. That’s all we need to know,” Maranacook coach Rob Schmidt said. “It kind of is an overall synopsis of our demeanor tonight. We let emotions get the best of us, which is very disappointing.”

A pair of free throws by Learned made it 62-56 before Root broke up the run with a pair of free throws.  Maranacook’s deficit stayed right around the four-point range as the teams traded free throws before Banks’ putback of Hathaway’s missed free throw made it 65-59. The Black Bears would get no closer.

Trailing 18-14 at the end of the first quarter, Maranacook went on a 13-3 run, sparked by 3-pointers from Joey Dupont and Jarred Schmidt.

The Black Bears weren’t able to sustain the pace for the rest of the half, though, in part because Hathaway harassed Maranacook catalyst guard Cash McClure (10 points) throughout the game.


“The game plan was Mitch Root and Cash, they’re two main players. They handle the ball. They do most of their scoring. They dish the ball out,” said Hathaway, who is head coach Mike Hathaway’s son. “My dad told me before the game to try to lock him up as best I could. Not necessarily face guard him, but I felt like just him not getting the ball made their offense not flow as well.”

Banks pulled the Hornets out of their rut with a personal 10-2 run, scoring inside on his first two hoops, then nailing back-to-back 3s to turn a 29-24 deficit into a 34-31 lead.

“I was feeling it right there,” Banks said. “I was in the zone. I felt like I couldn’t miss.

“That was a big run,” Mike Hathaway said. “I know it was earlier in the game, but that was probably as big a moment as any because they had just put a good run at us.”

Leavitt still led by three, 36-33, at the half, but started to sputter offensively again in the third quarter as Maranacook switched from zone to full court man-to-man to try to set off a spark of its own.

“We were worried we were allowing the game to get too slow in the first half,” Schmidt said. “I think we went away from what we do well. We didn’t pressure them. We didn’t run the floor very well. They killed us on the boards. That was a big part of it, too.”


“They didn’t necessarily outwork us, but they played a little smarter than we did,” Schmidt added.

“There was good energy from the crowd,” Banks said. “It let us get our tempo up, so we could push the ball more.”

A hoop by Dupont pulled the Black Bears within 42-41 midway through the third. Maranacook’s first technical gave Hathaway two free throws, and Morin scored inside on the ensuing possession to give the Hornets a 49-43 cushion heading into the fourth.


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