The low-scoring, down-to-the-wire court battle between the Belfast and Mount View girls basketball teams on Monday, Feb. 1 was not so much a defensive battle, but an offensive struggle.

Which means the Waldo County high school athletic rivals had a difficult time putting the ball in the hoop.

The Lions and Mustangs — with two wins under their belts — struggled to find offensive rhythm over the 32-minute affair, as balls clanged the rim and turnovers hampered the sides.

In the end, it was a bounty of late buckets by Kricket Thompson that helped the Mustangs gallop away from the Lions to a 32-26 win.

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Mount View improved to 3-3, while Belfast dropped to 2-3.

The foes were deadlocked 8-8 after the first quarter, while the Mustangs held a 14-12 edge at halftime and 23-20 advantage after three stanzas.

Hannah Coolen placed the ‘Stangs with a 16-point effort, while Thompson added 13; Hannah Ferriera, two; and Madison Roux, one.

Six of Thompson’s 13 points came in the fourth quarter, which helped the visitors take their biggest lead of the game in the waning minutes.

Lillie Mitchell led the Lions with 12 points, while Madison Farris and Emma Waldron added four; Lindsey Goughnour and Halle Tripp, two; and Krista Staples and Hailee Lindelof, one.

Mount View finished 7-of-13 (54 percent) from the charity stripe and Belfast 5-of-14 (36 percent).

The first quarter saw two ties and four lead changes, which began as Farris and Ferriera traded hoops before Mitchell gave the Lions a 5-4 advantage with a straightaway 3-pointer.

Thompson and Coolen scored four straight points to put the visitors ahead 6-5, but Waldron put the Lions back on top when she ripped a 50/50 ball from a Mustang defender and converted a layup to give Belfast back the lead.

Coolen sliced through the lane for a layup followed by a foul shot by Staples to round out the stanza.

Neither team led by more than two points throughout the second quarter and until midway into the third, when Coolen gave Mount View the advantage for good when she converted a rare four-point play — a 3-point basketball and foul shot — to give the ‘Stangs an 18-15 edge.

The visitors could not pull away until well into the fourth quarter when a Thompson offensive putback put Mount View up 27-22.

Tripp cut the Lions' deficit to two points off a long layup, but back-to-back buckets from Thompson as time wound down gave the Mustangs their largest lead at 31-25.