HERMON, Maine — The defending Class B North champion Hermon High School Hawks had their hands full with the freshmen-laden Ellsworth Eagles on Thursday night.

But senior guard Maddie Lebel nailed a critical 3-pointer with six minutes left and added seven free throws over the final 3:15 to enable the Hawks to hold off the Eagles 40-34.

Hermon bounced back from a 44-35 loss to Ellsworth’s Hancock County rival Mount Desert Island on Tuesday night and improved to 11-2.

Ellsworth fell to 8-5 with its second consecutive loss after winning its previous seven.

The 6-foot-1 Lebel, who will play basketball at St. Joseph’s College in Standish next season, finished with a double-double, including a game-high 16 points and 13 rebounds to go with three blocked shots and two steals.

Senior forward Charlotte Caron scored eight points for the Hawks, winners of nine of their last 10. Guard Sydney Gallop and center Meg Tracy, both seniors, had four points apiece with Gallop also producing three blocks, two steals and two rebounds and Tracy hauling down five rebounds.

Freshman forward Grace Jaffray led the way for Ellsworth with 15 points, eight rebounds, three steals and a blocked shot. Junior guard Morgan Clifford had nine points, three assists and two steals and forward Jocelyn Jordan, the team’s lone senior, added seven points and three rebounds.

Sophomore guard Megan Jordan, Jocelyn’s cousin, grabbed seven rebounds and also had two assists. Freshman point guard Abby Radel had four rebounds.

“We were missing one of our big players, Liz Wyman, so different people had to step up in different ways,” Lebel said. “It definitely wasn’t pretty but we got the win.”

Ellsworth led by as many as eight in the first half but the Hawks reeled off an 11-3 run to close out the half and tie it up 21-21.

Five different Hawks scored during the spurt and the Eagles made just one basket over the final six minutes of the half.

Both teams had only one field goal and one free throw in the third period as both went stone cold but Ellsworth’s field goal was a Clifford 3-pointer to give Ellsworth a 25-24 lead after three.

Two free throws by Gallop and two more by Tracy gave Hermon a 28-25 lead early in the fourth quarter and triggered a 9-0 run before Lebel gave Hermon its biggest lead of the night with a wide open 3-pointer from the left side off a Caron pass.

“I wanted us to get off a good shot because things weren’t going our way,” Lebel said. “We needed a game-changer. I took the shot and hoped for the best.”

“Maddie is one of our best scorers,” said Hermon coach Chris Cameron. “She is a four-year varsity player, a senior leader, a captain. She came up big in the second half.”

Caron finished off the run by getting behind the Eagle defense and taking a long inbounds pass from Faith Coombs and laying it in.

But the scrappy Eagles, who have four freshmen among their top seven players and press all over the court, responded with six straight points on Clifford jumper, two Jaffray free throws after she blocked a shot and was fouled going in for a layup and a Jocelyn Jordan turnaround jumper  after she gathered up a loose ball.

The teams swapped points until Lebel sank both ends of a one-and-one with 29.4 seconds left to make it 38-34 and she added two more in the final seconds.

“At the beginning, I was 0-for-2 from the foul line. So I had to take my time and focus on my shooting,” said Lebel, who went 10-for-16 from the free throw line.

“We tightened up our defense in the second half and started making shots. You have to knock down shots to win games,” Cameron said. “Ellsworth pressured us and tried to speed us up in order to get us throwing the ball around. But we calmed down, we were patient and we knocked down our foul shots.”

Ellsworth coach Andy Pooler, whose Eagles shot 5-for-26 in the second half and missed 17 of their first 18 shots, said with a young team like he has “you are going to run into a wall.”

“Their physicality caught up to us a little bit and Hermon did a great job slowing us down. We couldn’t get out and run,” Pooler said. “They ran their stuff and took time off the clock which took us out of our offensive rhythm. But I was proud of the effort.”