Max Creaser of Edward Little High School and Wyatt Hathaway, left, of Leavitt Area High School reach for a loose ball during the fourth quarter in Auburn on Thursday. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

AUBURN — One of Edward Little coach Mike Adams’ favorite mantras is “Paint wins.”

Against Leavitt on Thursday night, paint also placed and showed.

The Red Eddies outscored the Hornets 44-6 in the paint, shutting them out in lane in the first half to build a 20-point lead and cruise to a 73-50 win.

John Shea led EL with 22 points, while Max Creaser added 21 points and seven rebounds. Cam Yorke contributed 11 points and six rebounds and racked up most of his seven assists by passing the ball inside to Shea and Creaser.

“Until somebody commits to taking (the paint) away, we’re going to use it,” Adams said.

Wyatt Hathway led the Hornets (6-2) with 22 points, while Joziah Learned added 13 points.

Leavitt made three of its first four shots from 3-point range to hang with the Eddies for most of the first quarter. The Eddies closed the period with a 7-0 run, though, sparked by a nice feed inside by RJ Nichols to Creaser for a layup that gave them an 18-9 lead at the end of the period.

A dozen of EL’s points came in the paint, setting the tone for the entire night.

“The guys did a good job of being patient and looking for what it was we were trying to do,” Adams said. “John and Max, and Danny (Milks) has been playing really well off the bench, we think that gives us three guys can be tough to guard in the paint.”

Wyatt Hathaway of Leavitt Area High School drives between RJ Nichols, left, and Cam Yorke of Edward Little High School during the third quarter in Auburn on Thursday. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

“It’s tough,” Leavitt coach Mike Hathaway said of trying to defend EL in the paint. “John throws a lot of weight around down in there. We tried to play him physical, but we got unlucky on some calls early and (Cole Morin) got in foul trouble. And if you double down, they’ve got Austin (Brown) and Cam, on the perimeter who can shoot. And Creaser is pretty good in the high post and around the rim, so you’ve got to play him pretty much straight up.”

The Red Eddies (8-1) extended the run to 16-0 with the first nine points of the second quarter. Creaser and Shea scored inside and York added a 3-pointer to pad the lead to 27-9. Leavitt missed its first nine shots of the quarter and its first 10 shots inside the 3-point arc of the game before Hathaway ended the drought with a step-back jumper with 3:07 left in the first half.

Leavitt’s prospects to use that hoop to mount a rally before halftime were dealt a blow when its only inside threat, senior center Cole Morin, drew his third foul. A 3-pointer from Nichols and a layup by Milks (seven points)  sent the Eddies into the locker room up 35-15.

Morin was whistled for his fourth foul early in the third quarter. Learned scored the Hornets’ first points in the paint with a putback about five minutes into the second half, but the Eddies, led by 12 points from Shea, shot 9-for-12 from the floor to keep the Hornets at a safe distance.

Despite not being able to gain much ground, Mike Hathaway said the Hornets’ much-improved shooting in the second half (10-for-20) after a rough first half (4-for-21) provided an encouraging sign.

“We need to play more like that second half against the better teams in (Class) A,” he said, “or we’re going to get the same results against your Falmouths and Kennebunks and those guys.”

Cole Morin of Leavitt Area High School pulls down a rebound during Thursday’s game against Edward Little High School in Auburn. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal Buy this Photo


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