Kennebunk guard Ellen Neale (11) drives past Mt. Ararat’s Kyla Greenleaf in the first half of a Class A South basketball game at Mt. Ararat High School on Tuesday. (Bob Conn / The Times Record)

TOPSHAM — Mt. Ararat High School girls basketball coach Julie Petrie was concerned prior to Tuesday’s Class A South home matchup with 11-win Kennebunk.

Her squad has been beset with a team-wide sickness, leaving the bench a bit thin. On top of that, Petrie’s Eagles had already met the talented Rams once this season, falling 47-24 back on Jan. 4, with turnovers the main culprit in the setback.

In the early going, things appeared downright perfect for Mt. Ararat, which raced out to a 9-2 lead to stun Kennebunk. However after a timeout with 6:05 remaining in the first quarter, the Rams turned the game around by using their superior size to wear down the depleted Eagles for a 52-37 victory.

Mt. Ararat’s Jaden Lohr (25) looks for someone to pass to while being defended by Kennebunk’s Emily Archibald (23) during Tuesday’s Class A South girls basketball game in Topsham. The visiting Rams picked up a 52-37 victory over the Eagles (Bob Conn / The Times Record)

Kennebunk left town with a 12-3 record and currently sits in second place in the Class A South Heal Point Standings, while Mt. Ararat fell to 6-9 and holds the No. 8 spot in the region.

Two minutes into the contest, the Eagles held a seven-point lead thanks to five points from Lauren Magno and a bucket each by Elsa Daulerio and Kyla Greenleaf.

“We start well, got a little excited,” said Petrie after watching her team make four of its first five shots from the field. “Our goal tonight was to not play scared and timid against a very good team, like we did the first time. We really went at it.”

“Mostly it was just our team energy, running our offense and playing good defense. We just needed to slow it down.,” said Kennebunk forward Emily Archibald, who scored nine first-quarter points to rally her team to a 19-12 advantage after eight minutes.

Eagle guard Eliza Libby (15) has her eyes up the court with Kennebunk’s Ellen Neale close by. (Bob Conn / The Times Record)

Kennebunk continued to use its size advantage to control the paint, out-rebounding the Eagles 14-10 in the first half while gaining a 34-26 halftime advantage.

“We have a height advantage as a team, so it is important to get inside,” said Archibald, who led her team with 13 points in the first half, while Alaina Schatzabel chipped in 12, including 10 points in the second quarter. “They had a fire right in the beginning of the game and they battled. We battled back. It was a good game.”

Mt. Ararat managed to stay close thanks to Magno, Morgan Ruff and Theresa Breed, as they combined for 20 first-half points.

Defensive second half

After combining for 60 points in the first half, the defenses made an appearance in the third quarter. Archibald picked up her fourth foul with 4:45 left in the frame, forcing the 6-foot-2 forward to head to the bench. Mt. Ararat held the Rams to just 2-of-11 shooting in the frame.

Offensively, the Eagles didn’t light it up, but did manage to cut the Ram lead to 39-34 as Eliza Libby swished a trey off a pass from Greenleaf, and Magno found room and sent a rainbow through the twine for a 3-pointer, giving her a team-high 11 points.

“We talked about playing team defense, and we switched up,” Petrie said. “We talked about help-side D, and seemed to get after it a bit more at times in the second half.”

With Archibald still on the bench, Isabelle Okwuosa picked up the inside slack, scoring all six of her points in the second half while leading the defense with three blocked shots. Archibald returned and scored inside, and Schatzabel finished off her game-high 17-point, 11-rebound effort with three free throws down the stretch, allowing the Rams to pull away for a 15-point victory.

“We didn’t execute in the fourth quarter offensively, and I thought we didn’t rebound as well as we needed to down the stretch,” said Petrie after the Eagles managed just one field goal — a Greenleaf lay-in with 19 seconds left — in the final quarter.

Breed and Ruff had six points for Mt. Ararat, with Greenleaf and Daulerio adding four points apiece. Greenleaf dished out six assists, with Daulerio and Jaden Lohr grabbing six rebounds each. The Eagles shot 25% (14-of-55) from the field and made 4-of-8 at the free-throw line.

Archibald had a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds, with Emily Hogue adding eight points and three steals. The Rams were 16-of-41 (39%) from the field and went 16-of-31 at the charity stripe.

Mt. Ararat visits Leavitt on Friday at 7 p.m.

Kennebunk 52, Mt. Ararat 37

At Topsham

Kennebunk — 19 15 5 13 — 52

Mt. Ararat — 12 14 8 3 — 37

Kennebunk — Emily Hogue 3-0-8, Ellen Neale 0-1-1, Isabelle Okwuosa 2-2-6, Alaina Schatzabel 6-3-17, Emily Archibald 4-7-15, Elizabeth Kiezulas 0-2-2, Sofie Dumas 1-1-3, Isabella Real 0-0-0, Delaney Roche 0-0-0, Guliana Dupler 0-0-0. Totals — 16-16-52.

Mt. Ararat — Elsa Daulerio 2-0-4, Kyla Greenleaf 2-0-4, Eliza Libby 1-0-3, Jaden Lohr 1-1-3, Lauren Magno 4-0-11, Morgan Ruff 2-1-6, Theresa Breed 2-2-6, Alexa Eaton 0-0-0. Totals — 14-4-37.

3-point field goals — (K) Schatzabel 2, Hogue 2; (MtA) Magno 3, Libby, Ruff.

Records — Kennebunk 12-3, Mt. Ararat 6-9.

Up next for the Eagles — Friday at Leavitt, 6:30 p.m.



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