TOPSHAM — The Mt. Ararat Eagles were looking to bounce back at home after a tough road loss to Freeport. Mt. Ararat saw a six-point lead slip away in the fourth quarter against the Falcons, falling 49-44.

Mt. Ararat got back on track Thursday against Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference opponent Lincoln Academy, finding an offensive rhythm to roll to a 68-40 victory.

“I thought we made some great decisions with the ball,” said Mt. Ararat coach David Dubreuil. “They did a 1-2-2 press. I thought we did a great job ball of getting the ball in the short corner then to the middle, first half we just couldn’t put the ball in the hoop.”

A slow start in the first quarter gave Lincoln Academy some life early on. Mt. Ararat shot just 3-for-11 from the field in the opening quarter. Despite the low percentage, the Eagles were able to get some open shots from quick ball movement. Jared Balser found Austin Damon cutting to the hoop for an easy bucket. Later, Balser kicked a pass out to Will Kavanaugh, who drained a trey from the corner.

After Mt. Ararat jumped out to an early 7-3 lead, Lincoln Academy found some success going to Joel Hatch inside. A pair of Hatch layups pulled Lincoln Academy back in the game. Mt. Ararat responded again with nice passing on a fast break, as Sean Roberts found Caleb Manuel for the bucket. A steal and three-point play from Chase Crockett pulled Lincoln Academy even after one quarter, 9-9.

The two teams traded buckets until midway through the second quarter. Lincoln Academy struggled to find an answer for the duo of Damon and Balser inside. The Eagles’ big men had four points each as part of a 8-0 run that pushed the lead to 26-17 with 2:47 remaining in the half. Balser finished with nine in the quarter, while Damon led all scorers with a game-high 18 points. Mt., Ararat took a 33-20 lead into halftime.

“They’re a smaller team so usually we try to get the ball to Jared and I,” said Damon. “I think we did it pretty well today.”

Mt. Ararat spread the offense around in the third quarter. Kavanaugh knocked down his second 3-pointer of the game early. James Singleton added four points in the quarter. Balser floated a pass inside from the top of the key to Singleton for his first bucket of the game.

Lincoln Academy responded with some nice passing of its own as Joe Giberson found Hatch cutting to the hoop for two, but it wasn’t enough to match Mt. Ararat’s offense as the Eagles extended the lead to 50-31 after the third.

“We got some good shots I thought, we just couldn’t finish early,” said Dubreuil. “Then second half they started falling for us. We just kept feeding Jared and we finally hit some threes which was nice.”

“I think that we were actually getting our feet set,” said Damon. “The momentum slowed a little bit and we were playing a little bit better. It gets our shooters open and their feet are always set. When we play faster teams, we try to rush our shots and it doesn’t go well.”

Mt. Ararat sealed the win with a 10-2 run to begin the fourth quarter. Damon chipped in four more to begin the quarter, but the run was highlighted by the sharp-shooting of Nathan Taylor. The senior guard knocked down back to back treys to push the lead to 60-33. JD Dionne added six points off the bench in the final quarter as the Eagles cruised to the 68-40 win.

“That was a big thing for us is to try not to be so one sided with just Jared,” said Dubreuil. “We really got other guys involved.”

Damon led Mt. Ararat with his game-high 18 while Balser added 13 for the hosts. Mt. Ararat improved to 6-6 and will travel to Morse on Saturday (4 p.m.

Lincoln Academy was led by Hatch with 14 points. The Eagles fell to 1-11

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