Mt. Ararat’s James Singledon (left center), Jace Hollenbach (center), and Ryan Robertson (right) chase after Marshwood;s Quinn McDaniel (left) during the second half of Monday’s Class boys high school basketball game in Topsham. (Eric Maxim / The Times Record)

TOPSHAM — With only a handful of home dates left on the schedule for the Mt. Ararat High School basketball teams before they replace “The Hanger” with the new gymnasium scheduled to open later this year, the boys basketball team took to the court against Marshwood for a Monday afternoon contest.

Mt. Ararat’s JD Dionne goes up for a layup in front of Marshwood’s Justin Bryant (24) as Mt. Ararat’s Lukas Holman (41) looks on. (Eric Maxim / The Times Record)

A slow start by the Eagles put them behind early and they couldn’t quite catchup, with a fourth-quarter rally falling short as Marshwood came away with a 64-53 victory in Class A hoops action.

Marshwood improved to 8-6, while the Eagles fell to 1-11 and return to the court on Wednesday to host Biddeford at 7 p.m. Mt. Ararat has home dates still remaining with Morse on Saturday (2 p.m.), Leavitt on Jan. 31 (7 p.m.) and the final home game at the Mt. Ararat High School gym, a boys and girls doubleheader against Brunswick on Feb. 6, with the girls tipping off at 5 p.m.

The Hawks opened the game shooting lights out, connecting on a pair of 3-point baskets, racing out to a 10-2 lead three minutes in. Two more threes and a total of eight first-quarter points by Aidan Sullivan gave the Hawks a 20-8 lead after eight minutes of action. James Singleton scored all eight of the Eagles first-quarter points.

“Of late we’ve been struggling to get going. Some guys being sick and it’s going through the team,” Mt. Ararat coach David Dubreuil said. “But other guys have stepped up and we just haven’t had enough.”

The visitors kept their hot hand, hitting a trio of three’s, led by John McNally’s pair from behind the arc, netting eight second-quarter points. Marshwood extended it’s lead to 41-22 at the halftime break as  they spread the scoring — Sullivan led the team with 11, followed by Cullen Casey’s nine and McNally’s eight.

Singleton finished the half with 10 points, followed by JD Dionne’s six, Lukas Holman’s four and Caleb Manuel’s two.

Second half defense

After a halftime talk, the Eagles came out in the second half, clamping down on defense, frustrating the Hawks shooters.

“We talked at halftime how they were getting to the rim and everything was happening off of that,” Dubreuil said. “I told them they’re a good shooting team but it was more than likely they won’t continue to hit the threes they were early on. But all of those threes stemmed out from driving. So we tried to clog the paint up and for the most part, we were pretty successful with it in the second half.”

A low-scoring third quarter (7-5 Eagles), kept Mt. Ararat within striking distance entering the final quarter.

“I think the second half we moved the ball up the court a lot more. They were playing that press and I think we were intimidated by it with all of that ball pressure,” Mt. Ararat senior Dionne said. “We talked with our guards at halftime and told them to trust us underneath.”

Eagles Caleb Manuel looks up the court during the first half of Monday’s Class A boys high school basketball game against Marshwood. The Hawks came away with a 64-53 win over Mt. Ararat. (Eric Maxim / The Times Record)

Down 51-29, back-to-back threes from Manuel and Holman, followed by a pair of free throws from the latter, and the Eagles found themselves trailing 51-38 early in the final frame.

The teams traded hoops, including a trey by Mt. Ararat’s Carson Taylor,  and then Jace Hollenbach found Singleton underneath for a layup with two minutes remaining for a 55-45 score.

Fitzpatrick Trophy finalist Justin Bryant sank a pair of free throws for Marshwood before a Singleton three cut the deficit to nine, but the Hawks hit their free throws and Bryant converted on back-to-back trips down the court and then a block on the defensive end as the Hawks sealed the victory.

Marshwood had nine players score points, including three in double-digits. Bryant led the team with 12 points, including eight in the final frame, followed by Sullivan’s 11 and John Valentine’s 10. Casey finished with nine and McNally and Jackson Theriault split 16 down the middle.

For Mt. Ararat, they held Marshwood to just 23 points in the second-half, and kept the Hawks from running away with it with a strong second-half.

“We’re really pushing that in practices,” Dubreuil said about his team’s effort and not giving up. “We know the season hasn’t gone the way we wanted it to but we want to be the team no one wants to play and they proved that here late today.”

Mt. Ararat’s Lukas Holman (41) drives to the hoop as Marshwood’s Justin Bryant attempts a block from behind. (Eric Maxim / The Times Record)

“We had a lot of guys step up and we played unselfish ball in the second half,” Dionne added.

Singleton led all scorers with 18 points, Dionne had 12 points and Manuel and Holman each had 10 in the loss.

 

Comments are not available on this story.