Mt. Blue guard Eva Stevens (12) drives to the hoop against Medomak Valley’s Autumn Ripley (1) during Saturday’s game in Farmington. Tony Blasi/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

FARMINGTON — Mt. Blue guards Lexi Mittelstadt and Eva Stevens both had a hand in the flow of Saturday’s game and the Cougars’ destiny.

The pair kept the ball moving as Mt. Blue eventually shook off pesky Medomak Valley with a 57-49 victory.

Cougars coach Fred Conlogue liked what he saw from his playmakers, who worked their magic from the top of the key and delivered a combined total of 33 points. 

The pair also took care of business from the foul line, with Stevens (14 points) going 2-for-2 and Mittelstadt (19 points) dropping in five free throws in eight attempts. 

“It was a big win for us,” Conlogue said. “We slipped back and they are in playoff contention, so it was a good win for us today. (The Panthers) had a couple of big wins over Lawrence.”

Besides the guards’ performance, Conlogue liked the play of the Mt. Blue reserves.

“I thought the bench really contributed two or three points every quarter and they really settled us down and when we needed settling down,” Conlogue said. “The other piece to that is the two guards (Mittelstadt and Stevens) had 11 assists as a group. That is important to your team’s success when you are moving the ball like that and getting hoops from that, and that’s the most points we have scored in the season.”

Mt. Blue’s Lexi Mittelstadt drives to the basket as Medomak Valley’s Zaniah Puchaski (4), Addison McCormick (23) and Abby Lash (10) try to intervene during a girls basketball game in Farmington on Saturday. Tony Blasi/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

Besides being the team’s leading scorer, Mittelstadt pulled down 10 rebounds and was credited with five assists, four steals and three blocks.

“I was just able to get to the rim,” Mittelstadt said. “That’s what did it, I think. My 3s weren’t falling. I was trying to find my rhythm at the beginning of the game with my shots, and I said, “All right, I’ve go to drive, I have to get the fouls, and I was going up strong.

“I have been having a hard time with that lately, just getting to the rim strong. So today I felt like I had a turning point, personally, on that level.”

Medomak Valley (4-5) hounded the Cougars (3-6) all night even though Mt. Blue led after all four quarters, including 29-25 at halftime.

“We came out with the best energy we had all season,” Mittelstadt said. “We knew going into this game it was going to be one of our biggest games. 

“Medomak, they are going to give us some (Heal) points in the long run, which is what we need. And we came out with energy and confidence, both of which we have been lacking these past few games.”

Mittelstadt noted the full team effort by the Cougars.

“We had six different people score, and having six people score on the team is spectacular,” she said. “If we could have that every game, that would be great.”

Senior forward Sadie Cohen scored a team-high 10 points for the Panthers, and Autumn Ripley, Alyssa Creamer and Addison McCormick each deposited eight.

“We did some good things here and there,” Medomak Valley coach Ryan McNelly said. “We had some freshmen step up. McCormick played well down the stretch. We flashed well at times, but at the end, when we made a run, we didn’t give up. Shots just wouldn’t go down. We had some times when we said, ‘Hey, we are back in it.’

“The (Cougars) were going to be good. Mittelstadt and Eva (Stevens) make a pretty good combo.” 

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