Lewiston’s Emily Strachen (23) drives to the hoop in front of Mt. Ararat’s Kyla Greenleaf (5) in Thursday’s KVAC girls high school basketball game in Topsham. (Times Record photo by Eric Maxim)

TOPSHAM — Mt. Ararat took advantage of hot shooting in the first half and hit key free throws down the stretch to hold off Lewiston, 55-46, in girls’ high school basketball on Thursday.

The Eagles even their record at 8-8, while the Blue Devils fell to 3-13 as the two Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference schools head to the final week of the regular season.

Theresa Breed paced Mt. Ararat with 14 points, followed by Ainsely Bryant’s 12. Lewiston had three players hit double digits, as Emily Strachen and Myah Nicolas each netted 14 and Maddy Foster added 12.

The Eagles were hot out of the gate, hitting four of their first five shots, racing out to a 9-4 lead midway through the opening frame.

“We talked about that we had to come out of the gate shooting,” Mt. Ararat coach Andy Morris said. “Once our guards feel that, it’s contagious.”

Lewiston crept back, with Foster hitting a pair of baskets before nailing a 3-pointer to tie the game at 13, but Bryant capped a 5-0 run to end the frame with a 3 of her own to finish with seven points in the quarter and an 18-13 Mt. Ararat lead.


The Eagles kept the Blue Devils at arms length in the second, holding the visitors to only two field goals in the quarter.

“We always seem to have a slow quarter, whether it’s in the first half or second and that happened to us tonight,” Lewiston coach Lynn Girouard said. “We kind of got ourselves in a hole early.”

The Eagles continued beating the Lewiston press and when junior guard Kyla Greenleaf found Grace Liedman underneath for one of her six first-half assists, the 5-foot-9 senior converted the layup while getting fouled and completed the three-point play to give the Eagles a 30-18 lead at the break.

“That was the best half of basketball I’ve seen us play,” Morris said. “We wanted to come out strong and we did.”

The Eagles controlled the boards in the opening half, holding a 20-11 advantage. Lauren Magno hauled in five, while Breed grabbed four.

“Like I said, everyone contributed tonight, from our starters to our bench,” Morris said. “Girls like Elsa (Daulerio), Eliza (Libby) and Lauren (Magno) all made key baskets for us.”


“We like to have everyone involved,” Magno said. “They were a good team and we knew we all had to contribute.”

Second half

The Blue Devils opened the half matching the Eagles basket for basket. Three-point hoops by Nicolas and Strachen pulled the Blue Devils within six, 38-32.

“They shoot the ball well for us, especially when they’re in rhythm with the flow of the game,” Girouard said of the two sophomores.

Despite only hitting four field goals in the quarter, 5-for-6 shooting from the charity stripe by Breed kept the Eagles ahead, holding to a 44-38 lead through three quarters. Nicolas scored 10 in the frame, while Strachen added seven.

The Lewiston press became an issue for the Eagles in the fourth, forcing six Mt. Ararat turnovers.


“We didn’t change anything in the fourth,” Girouard said. “It was all intensity driven. The girls realized we had a game here.”

A Strachen steal and a made free throw cut the deficit to 44-43 with 6:09 left, prompting a Mt. Ararat timeout.

The teams traded hoops and turnovers over the next few minutes, but that was as close as Lewiston was able to get as the Eagles found success with breaking the press and hit 5-of-8 from the line down the stretch to pull away for the nine-point victory.

“Our girls play hard every night, but somehow we seem to end up on the short end of the stick,” Girouard said.

“They have a good, young team over there,” Morris said. “Lynn does a good job with them. They are young and should be a good team in the years to come.”

The Eagles won’t celebrate for long, as they look to hold on to the No. 6 slot in the Class A South Heal Points.


“We’ll celebrate this win tonight, but we’ll get right back to business as we prepare for Medomak Valley,” Morris said.

Medomak Valley (9-7) visits Mt. Ararat on Tuesday (7 p.m.) for a key crossover clash.

“If we play like we did tonight, we can beat them,” Magno said.

Lewiston next plays Saturday when the Blue Devils host Oxford Hills at 7 p.m.

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