TURNER — Leavitt’s goal to start Tuesday’s game against Westbrook seemed simple enough: score as much as possible early to build large lead by halftime.

Fulfilling that plan ended up being fairly simple with the way Wyatt Hathaway played.

The junior guard hit shot after shot in the first half to boost Leavitt to a 78-62 boys basketball victory. 

Hathway scored 26 of his 30 points in the first two quarters as the run-and-gun Hornets (11-4) seemed to be on a fast break every other possession. 

“We kind of talked before the game, and their best player (Mike Connolly) wasn’t out there and so we were at an advantage, so we tried to score a lot early and get a lead and keep it bigger at the half,” Hathaway said. “I was trying to listen to coach, score the buckets I needed and find my teammates.”

Last night, Hathaway fell injured his shoulder in Tuesday’s game, leaving his status against Westbrook (3-12) up in the air. 

“He kind of got banged up at the end of the Mt. Blue game last night, so we weren’t even really sure if he was going to play,” Leavitt coach Mike Hathaway said. “He’s a tough kid, and we knew Westbrook was worth a few (Heal) points, and points are at a premium. I thought his energy was good early.”

Drive after drive, Hathaway either beat his man and hit a floater or layup at the rim, or pulled up and drilled a shot from 3-point range.

He also had plenty of help. 

Joziah Learned scored eight points on three field goals in the first half, and Cole Morin ripped rebound after rebound and added six points. The Hornets took a 45-28 lead into the break. 

Westbrook changed its defensive scheme in the third quarter and began to double Wyatt Hathaway as soon as he crossed midcourt. 

“We sent two guys at him every time he had the ball,” Westbrook coach Bryan Hoy said. “You’ve got to get the ball out of his hands. He had (26) at halftime and we had 28. We needed to make other guys beat us, and a couple times they weren’t really used to that and they kind of threw the ball away a couple times.”

The adjustment was effective at slowing Hathaway’s scoring. On the other end of the floor, Westbrook’s Kyle McKone and Tyler Hethcoat caught fire. 

McKone hit five 3-pointers in the second half to finish with 20 points, while Hethcoat made baskets from all over the court and scored 14 of his 20 points after halftime.

Westbrook’s Tyler Hethcoat blocks Leavitt’s Wyatt Hathaway’s shot during Tuesday’s boys basketball game in Turner. Adam Robinson/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

“Kyle is, I don’t know what he scored tonight, but he had two games of 29 in the last week and so he’s really hitting his stride and getting open shots,” Hoy said. “Tyler is so quick, he can get to the middle and hit that little floater over anybody. We did a much better job of moving the ball from side to side.”

The Blue Blazes pulled to within six points of Leavitt, 50-44, on a Hethcoat layup after a McKone steal. 

Westbrook’s defense on Wyatt Hathway worked for a while, until the Hornets guard started to find Morin and Learned for easy buckets. 

Morin and Learned combined for 22 second-half points to help the Hornets pull away in the fourth quarter. 

Westbrook’s Kyle McKone (35) defends a shot from Leavitt’s Wyatt Hathaway during Tuesday’s boys basketball game in Turner. Adam Robinson/ Sun Journal Buy this Photo

“They were kind of running a guy at me, and so I wasn’t trying to shoot it,” Wyatt Hathaway said. “I was looking for the open guy because we were playing four-on-three if I pass, so I was just trying to get more assists than points.

“It’s kind of tough for a team to pick out one thing, they can go after me but (Cole and Joziah) will get 20 each. It’s hard to guard us. You need three good basketball players to stop us.”

 

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