FARMINGTON — Tuesday night’s game against Edward Little High School was Steve Yardley’s fourth consecutive game at point guard for Mt. Blue. When point guard Eric Berry went down with an ankle injury, Yardley slid over to the position, and now he feels he’s getting the hang of the new position.

“I’m getting better at ball-handling, and when Eric comes back, we’re going to come back strong,” Yardley said.

Against the Red Eddies, Yardley scored nine of his 12 points in the fourth quarter, including a 7-for-8 effort at the line, to help the Cougars hold off an Edward Little rally and take a 58-50 Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class A win.

Mt. Blue is 6-3. Edward Little is 5-4.

“I think Steve has done a heck of a job. Not only is he getting the ball up, he’s scoring big baskets,” Mt. Blue coach Jim Bessey said.

The Cougars led by as many as 20 points in the second quarter, but when Quin Leary hit a baseline 3-pointer with 37.3 seconds left in the game, Mt. Blue’s lead was cut to 54-50. Yardley hit a pair of foul shots with 33.1 seconds left, and Aaron Gagnon and Blake Hart each made one free throw in the final 20 seconds to preserve the win.

“We kept our composure. Both audiences we pretty loud, but we played smarter than them, I think,” Yardley said.

Mt. Blue trailed just once, 1-0 in the opening minutes, and used a 14-0 run in the second quarter to pull away.

“I don’t think we were awful defensively, but offensively, quick shots, bad shots, and it just created offense for them, and got us in a big, big hole,” Edward Little coach Mike Adams said.

A Gagnon basket gave the Cougars a 33-13 lead with seven seconds left in the first half, but Omar Haji-Hersi’s 3-pointer at the buzzer gave Edward Little some momentum to carry into the second half.

“We had two assists in the first half and 10 in the second. We had 11 turnovers in the first half and two or three in the second. They definitely made us go faster than we wanted to go,” Adams said.

By the end of the third quarter, the Red Eddies had cut Mt. Blue’s lead to 10 points, 41-31.

“I think we got a big lead and maybe got a little conservative. Probably my fault as much as it is the players’ fault. Try and make them reverse the ball and use a little more patience,” Bessey said.

Although Edward Little finished the game with a slim 32-30 advantage in rebounds, the Eddies did a nice job keeping Mt. Blue’s two big men, Cam Sennick (17 points, two rebounds) and Nick Hilton (nine points, five rebounds) off the boards.

“I thought we had an advantage on the glass and we talked about rebounding yesterday, in the sense of our game plan, that would be an important issue,” Bessey said. “I thought in the first quarter we didn’t rebound well. I thought the difference in the second quarter was our rebounding.”

Sennick did a nice job defensively on Leary, helping hold the Red Eddies’ scorer to 10 points. Haji -Hersi led Edward Little with 15 points.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

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