BELFAST — After the first quarter, the Tuesday night, Dec. 14 high school boys basketball game between Belfast and Mount View had the makings of a blowout victory for the visiting Mustangs.

However, the Lions dusted themselves off in the second eight minutes, dug out of a deep hole and — with a buzzer-beater by K.J. Payson, which capped an impressive 24-5 second-quarter run — took a one-point lead into the locker room.

Mount View’s Draedyn Furrow (11), as well as Belfast’s Pat McConnell (23) and Liam McConnell. Photo by Mark Haskell

Alas, the Mustangs returned to form in the second half and, sticking to their tenacious defense which forced a multitude of Lion turnovers and resulted in quick transition baskets, surged past the hosts to emerge with a 77-50 victory.

Mount View led 26-8 after the first quarter before Belfast rallied to take a 32-31 lead at halftime. Mount View retook a 57-41 advantage after three stanzas.

Draedyn Furrow paced the ‘Stangs with a 21-point effort, while Tyler Russell added 17; Noah Hurd and Wyatt Evensen, 13; Declan Knowlton, eight; and Nicholas Cobb and Collin Jones, two.

Mount View’s Declan Knowlton, right, and Belfast’s Pat McConnell. Photo by Mark Haskell

Liam McConnell scored 11 points to lead the Lions, while Payson and Pat McConnell added 10; Keegan McGowan, six; Drew Abelon, five; James Ritter and Zepherin Leppanen, three; and Rico Washington, two.

The Mustangs were 9-of-13 (69 percent) from the charity stripe, while the Lions were 4-of-9 (44 percent).

Furrow scored twice in the game’s first 20 seconds and eight of the team’s first nine points as the Mustangs galloped out of the pen early, which prompted a Lion timeout.

Mount View’s Draedyn Furrow, left, and Belfast’s K.J. Payson. Photo by Mark Haskell

Pat McConnell put out the fire with a short baseline jumper, but the advantage continued to swell for the ‘Stangs after Russell canned a trey and Hurd forced a steal on the press and scored a quick layup to make the score 14-2 with 4:45 to go.

However, the Lions eventually found their offensive rhythm, while the shots that fell for the ‘Stangs in the first quarter failed to in the second.

Mount View’s Tyler Russell. Photo by Mark Haskell

The Lions got a trey from Pat McConnell and Abelon and two more from Payson — the latter of which came from the top of the key and just beat the halftime buzzer — as the hosts took their first edge to the delight of the hometown crowd.

Hurd started the third quarter with a jumper and Pat McConnell responded with a pair of free throws. From there, the Mustangs rattled off the next 18 points, which put the game out of reach for the Lions.

Knowlton began the run with a hoop from close range, while Evensen converted a three-point play off an offensive putback and added another hoop in transition moments later. Hurd and Evensen had back-to-back transition layups, followed by a Hurd three-pointer — and a steal off the ensuing inbounds play from Hurd that earned him another layup seconds later — to make the score 49-34.

Evensen scored another field goal moments later to make it 18 in a row. Belfast got no closer than 12 points the rest of the way.