FARMINGTON — When James Anderson picked up his fourth foul with 3:46 left in the game, the Mt. Blue High School senior went to the Cougars bench. Anderson stayed there for six seconds.

“Coach (Travis Magnusson) just told me to play defense, keep my hands up, and stay out of foul trouble,” Anderson said. “I believe in myself, and knew that we needed it, and kept playing.”

When Anderson returned with his fourth foul with 3:40 to play, Mt. Blue led Lawrence by four points. The Bulldogs cut Mt. Blue’s lead to two, but could never overtake the Cougars, and it was Anderson sinking the clutch free throws in the final seconds to preserve a 67-62 Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference win.

The win improved Mt. Blue to 10-4, and jumped the Cougars from fourth place to third in the Class A North Heal Point standings. Lawrence, now 8-7, dropped from second to fourth in the standings.

“We knew it was going to be tough. Lawrence may be the hottest team in the league right now,” Mt. Blue coach Travis Magnusson said. “It was a great team win for us. I’m pretty happy about it.”

In the first half, momentum took wild swings, with each team enjoying a dominant run. Mt. Blue scored the first eight points of the game and led by 11 points, 23-12, early in the second quarter.

Then, Lawrence took the lead with a 22-2 run. When Nik Pomerleau made a three with just over three minutes to play in the first half, Lawrence led, 34-25.

“I thought we just showed our grit. We’re coming off a pretty tough stretch of eight straight games against playoff teams, and I think we’ve learned how to not back down,” Lawrence coach Jason Pellerin said.

The Cougars cut the Lawrence lead to three, 36-33, at the half, and opened the third quarter with a 16-6 run to take a 49-42 lead. Hunter Donald’s layup with 6:35 left in the third gave Mt. Blue the lead back for good.

“I think they key was, we cut it to three going into halftime, and we started off the second half pretty well,” Magnusson said.

“We had a rough game the other night against Cony, a real tough loss and we just wanted to bounce back,” Anderson, who scored a game-high 27 points, said. “It was going a little back and forth. We never felt we were going to go down and lose the game.”

Lawrence and Mt. Blue combined to make 19 3-pointers, 10 by the Bulldogs and nine by the Cougars. Anderson sank five threes. Nick Robertson made four 3-pointers for Lawrence and scored a team-high 18 points. Kobe Nadeau added 17 points for Lawrence.

Garrett Reynolds and Jacob Farnham each had 15 points for Mt. Blue.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM

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