The Ellsworth basketball teams are two of the top-ranked high school squads in Class B North this season.

Thus, a win over either opponent for Belfast — which hosted the Eagles in a doubleheader on Saturday, Jan. 12 — would have been enormous and put either Waldo County squad into the discussion for a potential playoff berth in next month’s regional tournament.

The Lions battled valiantly against the Eagles — particularly the winless girls, who had the Eagles on the ropes until the waning minutes of the contest.

But, the experienced Eagles emerged with wins as the girls netted a 56-47 victory and the boys a 75-59 decision over the Lions.

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The following is a recap of both games:

Girls

Ellsworth 56, Belfast 47

At Belfast Jan. 12, the Eagles pulled away from the Lions in the waning minutes to net their ninth win in 11 tries. Ellsworth led 13-6 after the first quarter, while Belfast rallied to take a 31-29 advantage at halftime. The Eagles retook a 41-39 edge after three quarters.

Grace Fitzjurls tossed in 20 points to pace the hosts, while Lillie Mitchell added 13; Kiara Doolan, eight; and Madison Farris, six.

Trinity Montigny scored 25 points to lead Ellsworth, while Sam Carter added 14; Sara Shea, eight; Sierra Andrews, six; Sam Higgins, two; and Kayla Duhaime, one.

The Lions were 13-of-19 (68 percent) from the foul line, while the Eagles were 3-of-7 (43 percent).

Belfast led by as many as five points in the second quarter when Fitzjurls made it 25-20 after converting a three-point play, but the Eagles responded with a 3-pointer by Carter to move it back to a two-point game. The waning moments of the half went back and forth as Ellsworth tied the score 29-29 after a 3-pointer by Montigny, but Farris scored on her second straight fast-break basket just before the halftime buzzer sounded.

The Lions saw their lead swell to six points in the third stanza after Farris hit a pair of free throws and Fitzjurls followed with a field goal, but Carter and Shea hit back-to-back treys — followed by a buzzer-beater to end the quarter by Montigny — as the Eagles took a two-point lead into the final quarter.

Fitzjurls added two more foul shots with four minutes to play as Belfast took a 45-44 lead, but that would be its final advantage of the game as Higgins put Ellsworth back on top moments later after an offensive putback.

The visitors milked a full minute off the clock on their next possession before Montigny drilled a 3-pointer to give the Eagles a 49-45 lead. The Lions got no closer.

In the Maine Principals' Association Heal Point Standings for Class B North, Belfast (0-11, no points) is tied for 15th with Washington Academy of East Machias, while Hermon (9-0, 38.6420 points) is first in the 16-team region. The top 11 teams qualify for the playoffs.

Boys

Ellsworth 75, Belfast 59

At Belfast Jan. 12, the experienced Eagles slowly pulled away from the Lions in the second half and emerged victorious. The squads were tied 16-16 after the first quarter, while Ellsworth led 38-30 at halftime and 55-39 after three quarters.

Jason Bartlett tossed in 14 points for the Lions, while Wilder Magruder added 13; Chris Kelley, nine; Dakota Payson and Tanner Veilleux, six; Chase Sanders, five; Luke Lightner, four; and Ethan Hall, two.

Jackson Curtis keyed the Eagles with 25 points, while Norman Jordey added 16; Austin Harris, nine; Darby Barry, eight; Devin Grindle and Hunter Curtis, seven; Colin Lacasse, two; and Noah Neleski, one.

Belfast was 9-of-10 (90 percent) from the foul line, while Ellsworth was 8-of-19 (42 percent).

In the Maine Principals' Association Heal Point Standings for Class B North, Belfast (2-9, 3.5185 points) is 15th, while Hermon (10-0, 68.8272 points) is first in the 16-team region. The top 11 teams qualify for the playoffs.

Courier Publications' sports staff can be reached by email at sports@villagesoup.com or by phone at 594-4401.