TURNER — Whenever Edward Little needed a key basket, John Shea usually provided one Wednesday night.

The junior center dominated the paint and put up 19 points in the Red Eddies’ 58-44 boys basketball victory over Leavitt.

“My teammates did a good job finding me in the post,” Shea said. “I had them on my back on a reverse pivot, they gave up one of their shots to get me a better shot. I am very happy with the guys tonight.”

Wyatt Hathaway scored a game-high 21 points for Leavitt, and Joziah Learned added 16 points, but at times shots did not fall for the Hornets.

“We scored the ball OK in the first, but in the second quarter we only had six points,” Leavitt coach Mike Hathaway said. “That was a tough quarter for us. And (EL) shot the ball well tonight. When they shoot the ball well and (have) Shea inside, that’s a tough thing to defend.”

Before the Hornets’ shooting woes, both teams were off and running in the opening eight minutes, after which the Red Eddies held a 18-14 lead. Five Edward Little players scored in the quarter, highlighted by two 3-pointers from RJ Nichols and one trey by Pat Anthoine. Shea and Tong Maiwen each had four points in the period, and Landon Cougle knocked down a free throw.

On the other side, after Learned scored the first two points for the Hornets, Wyatt Hathaway put up the next 12.

The offense actually stalled on both ends of the court in the second quarter, as the teams combined for only 17 points.

“Both teams struggled a little bit more, we know each other well and they are well-coached,” EL coach Mike Adams said. “They know how to take away what we trying to do, and hopefully sometimes we are well-coached, but more importantly our kids execute what we want them to do defensively to take away some of their offensive weapons. We rebounded the ball really well.”

Senior guard Tyson Green knocked down two 3-pointers from the top of the key for the Red Eddies.

“No one will typically guard Tyson at the top of the key, they really don’t think he can do much from there,” Shea said. “During the season this year he has really worked on that shot because we knew he would have it. Him having confidence and us as teammates giving him confidence to shoot those shots and knock them down, that’s really big for us.”

Edward Little seized momentum after Shea took a hard charge on a Learned drive to the basket. Shea was slow to get up, but he stayed in the game for the next possession and was fouled in the act of shooting a shot that went in. He then knocked down the free throw to complete a three-point play.

“It was a great example — we have been talking about being unselfish and everybody thinks being unselfish is making a pass, but it’s stepping up and doing things like (taking a charge) to help your teammates, as well,” Adams said.

Shea was taken out of the game after the free throw to catch his breath.

The Red Eddies took a 29-20 lead into halftime. After seemingly everything went in for Wyatt Hathaway in the first quarter, he settled for four points in the second. Learned scored the Hornets’ other two points in the period.

The third quarter was fairly even, ending with Edward Little’s lead at 40-30.

Shea and Maiwan (10 points) each had four points and Green knocked down another 3-pointer in the third. Midway through the period, Ben Sirois scored the first Leavitt points by someone other than Hathaway or Learned. Later, Tommy Casey also knocked down a bucket for the Hornets.

Adams said the key Wednesday was taking away Leavitt’s secondary options. Secondary scoring helped the Hornets beat EL 63-60 in the teams’ first meeting this season.

“(Ian) Redstone scored 11 points in the first half against us last time,” Adams said. “That was a big key for them in beating us, but we think we are good enough defensively (that) even a great player, and both (Hathaway and Learned) are, won’t go off for 30 (points).”

Learned scored six points in the third quarter.

The 3-pointers started to fall again for Edward Little in the fourth. Anthoine hit two and Nichols added another as the Red Eddies outscored the Hornets 18-14.

She contributed two buckets and two free throws for six points in the period.

Learned scored another six points and Wyatt Hathaway dropped in five for the Hornets.

“Offensively, we wanted to make it an up-and-down game (in the second half) and hopefully get out in transition a little bit to help nullify (Shea), but it didn’t really work out for us,” Mike Hathaway said.

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