Belfast and Mount View boys basketball teams had aspirations of finally getting off the schneid — and starting 2019 trending upward — as the winless opponents renewed their Waldo County rivalry on Thursday night, Jan. 3.

The Lions used supreme foul shooting in the first half — in addition to a defensive surge late in the second quarter — to distance themselves from the Mustangs and seemingly put the game out of reach.

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However, the visitors responded with a long-range barrage in the fourth stanza, which helped the ‘Stangs get back into the game, and cut their once sizable deficit to four points.

And while Mount View rallied to make things interesting, the visitors could not complete the comeback as the hosts got timely late buckets by senior Wilder Magruder, which helped the Lions collect their first win — a 63-58 decision — over the winless Mustangs.

Magruder led all scorers with a 17-point effort — seven in the first and fourth stanzas along with a three-point bucket in the second — to pace Belfast, while Chris Kelley added 16; Jason Bartlett, 14; Luke Lightner, seven; Andrew Akles, six; and Dakota Payson, three.

The scrappy Mustangs had four players in double-figures, including Declan Knowlton with 16 points, Sean Raven with 12; Brennan Grant, 11; Draedyn Furrow, 10; Neal Kenney, five; and Kyle Noble and Garrett Smith, two.

Belfast led 16-9 after the first quarter, 35-18 at halftime and 43-30 after three quarters.

Both teams were lights-out from the foul line, but it was Belfast’s shooting from the charity stripe in the first half that helped the Lions amass a 17-point lead, as the hosts connected on 14-of-15 (93 percent) attempts in the game’s first 16 minutes.

By game’s end, Belfast netted 20-of-24 (83 percent) attempts, while Mount View connected on 5-of-6 (83 percent).

The Lions had four treys on the night, two by Akles — one of which rang true just before the halftime buzzer — while Magruder and Lightner added one.

The ‘Stangs connected on seven hoops from beyond the arc, three from Grant, two from Raven and one by Kenney and Knowlton.

Belfast scored the first four points of the game off hoops by Bartlett and Kelley and led by as many as six points before Magruder was fouled attempting a 3-pointer with no time left on the clock to end the stanza.

Magruder connected on all three from the line to extend Belfast’s lead to nine points.

Mount View hung tough in the second quarter as it scored the first five points of the stanza after a hoop from Furrow and a 3-pointer by Grant to cut its deficit to 16-14, but Belfast rattled off eight straight off treys by Magruder and Akles, along with a pair of Bartlett foul shots.

Raven and Grant collected buckets for Mount View to make the score 24-18, but the Lions ended the stanza on an 11-0 run after eight straight points by Kelley — six of which were from the foul line, two of which were off a technical foul — before Akles buried a 3-pointer at the buzzer to give the hosts a 17-point lead.

Knowlton hit a 3-pointer with a minute to play to bring Mount View within 57-52, but Belfast broke Mount View’s fullcourt pressure defense and Magruder converted a three-point play on the other end to extend the Lion advantage back to eight points with 44.2 seconds to play.

Grant canned a 3-pointer with five seconds to play to make the score 62-58, but the ‘Stangs got no closer.

The Waldo County rivals square off again to end the regular season on Thursday, Feb. 7 in Thorndike.

In the Maine Principals’ Association Heal Point Standings for Class B North, Belfast (1-6, 0.5556 points) is 13th, while Mount View (0-6, no points) is 15th. Mount Desert Island (6-1, 27.9012 points) is first in the 16-team region. The top 11 teams qualify for the playoffs.

Foxcroft Academy 71, Mount View 37

At Dover-Foxcroft Dec. 29, the Ponies galloped past the Mustangs. Foxcroft Academy led 16-8, 32-18 and 48-29 at the quarter breaks.

Knowlton dumped in 16 points for the Mustangs, while Noble added six; Smith, five; Grant and Furrow, four; and Raven, two.

Hyatt Smith scored 22 points for the Ponies, while Jediah Smith added 17; Logan Smith, 10; Jeremy Richard, nine; Lucas Ames, eight; Jair Garcia, three; and Matt Spooner, two.

Mount View was 1-of-4 (25 percent) from the foul line, while Foxcroft Academy added 9-of-15 (60 percent).