Wyatt Hathaway of Leavitt Area High School drives to the basket while being defended by EJ Weston of Mountain Valley in Turner in February. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

Leavitt senior guard Wyatt Hathaway entered this, and every season, intent on showing anyone paying attention that he is an elite player.

He showed the kind of player he is in the first game when he hit a game-winning buzzer-beater to lift the Hornets over Mountain Valley.

“I wanted to go out every game and prove to whatever team we were playing and whoever was watching that I’m a top player in this area and I was going to go at anyone that was in front of me,” Hathaway said.

Hathaway’s final high school hoops campaign was enough to prove he was this season’s Sun Journal All-Region Boys Basketball Player of the Year.

Hathaway was tasked with doing the same thing for close to 70 games in his high school career, ever since he joined the program his freshman year.

“Over time, he was the guy that had to kind of handle a lot of pressure because he was our best player pretty much right away,” Leavitt coach and Wyatt’s father, Mike Hathaway, said. “And Joziah (Learned) as well, in that same class.

“I think it was a little strange for them when they first came in as freshmen. They both started right away and were expected to score. We ran a lot of offense through those guys early on.”

Mike Hathaway said the team could always count on Wyatt and Joziah combining for around 40 points and 15 rebounds each game, along with taking on the top defensive assignments.

“Playing with ‘Z’ (Learned) is something I’ve been glad to do for four years. Me and him have had probably the two biggest roles on our team since we were freshman,” Wyatt said. “He can play at a very high level, so it makes my job a lot easier knowing that I have someone I can turn to if my shots aren’t going.”

Hathaway’s shots fell a lot this season. He scored 25 in the season opener, and averaged almost that much for the season. His final per-game averages were 23.4 points, 6.3 rebounds, 6.1 assists, 4.1 steals and 0.8 blocks, to go along with 50.5% shooting, 35.5% from the 3-point line, and 80.5% free-throw shooting.

“I try to be a player that can do everything. I want to score, defend and get my teammates involved as much as I can,” Wyatt said. “I try and make sure that I’m a big reason we go out and have success, between scoring, passing, defending and talking with my teammates, making sure they play at the level I know they can reach.”

The Hornets’ 10-game season including several close games, featuring two matchups apiece against Edward Little, Lewiston, Maranacook, Mountain Valley and Oxford Hills.

In a 55-44 win over Oxford Hills at home, Wyatt stamped his mark in Leavitt boys basketball history by setting a new program career scoring record. He finishes his career with 1,429 points.

Leavitt senior guard Wyatt Hathaway gets a hug from his dad and coach Mike Hathaway after becoming the school’s all-time leading scorer in Turner in February. Tony Blasi/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

Mike Hathaway said that since there was so much uncertainty regarding whether there would even be a basketball season because of the coronavirus pandemic, he wasn’t sure if Wyatt would have the opportunity to break the 61-year-old school record. He tried to prevent Wyatt from knowing how close he was to the record, but as the season went on Wyatt became more intent on knowing.

“When we told him he was within five when we were going to play Oxford Hills, he was pretty determined to come out and get it early on,” Mike Hathaway said.

“I know for him, he takes a lot of pride. And he likes to score the ball, too,” Mike Hathaway added.

Hathaway said it was cool to see his son break the record because he knows how much work Wyatt has put into basketball.

“I wanted to make this season special by going out and doing things not a lot of people do in the state and things no one has done at Leavitt,” Wyatt said. “I also just made sure to enjoy it and soak it all in since it was my last season with my dad.”

Mike Hathaway said he’s just as proud of the wins the Hornets compiled during his son’s career. Leavitt won 29 combined games during Wyatt’s sophomore and junior years, then six more during an abbreviated season facing stiffer than usual competition. Hathaway said his teams have always been about winning games, but this year they made sure to have a little more fun in practice than maybe they would in the past.

Wyatt Hathaway of Leavitt Area High School passes the ball over the middle to Joziah Learned (1) during a game against Mountain Valley in Turner on February 24. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

But when the games started, Wyatt switched on his competitive mode, which Mike Hathaway said is one of his son’s biggest assets.

That competitiveness left Wyatt a little disappointed that he wasn’t named Mr. Maine Basketball (which went to Maranacook’s Cash McClure, who Wyatt dueled with twice this season), but he called being named a semifinalist for the award “a huge honor.”

“You always like to see when kids work real hard at something that they be rewarded for their hard work,” Mike Hathaway said. “He’s earned every bit of it in my mind. But it’s just good to see it end on a positive note like that, where he gets some of the accolades that he deserves.”

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