FAIRFIELD — To a man, every coach in the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class A described the league this season as one of the deepest they’ve seen. Tuesday’s game between Brunswick and Lawrence in a raucous Folsom Gym did nothing to dispel that feeling.

Lawrence took an early double-digit lead, only to see the Dragons fight back and tie the game in the third quarter. Another run by the Bulldogs was the difference, and Lawrence took a 59-53 win.

“I’m not sure we were ready for this environment, but we’ve got to get ready, because it’s going to be like this every night, home and away,” Brunswick (1-1) coach Todd Hanson said.

Lawrence (2-0) led 24-11 early in the second quarter, when Keith Chesley converted a three-point play. Chesley came off the bench to score 13 points and grab six rebounds.

“Everybody on the team contributes. We get up and down, and we get things done,” Chesley said.

Brunswick chipped away, cutting Lawrence’s lead to 31-26 at the half. A 9-0 run by the Dragons in the third quarter tied the game at 35 when Garrett Erb made a pair of free throws with 2:29 left in the quarter.

“I thought Brunswick did a great job to come back, but we missed some layups, gave them some easy shots, and we threw the ball away. We really had a shot to put them away, but we just didn’t execute,” Lawrence coach Mike McGee said. “When you’re playing a great team like that, that’s what you get.”

Added Lawrence senior Alex Leathers: “They were killing us on backdoor cuts because we weren’t getting back on defense. We’d score and just lollygag back.”

They key to the comeback, Hanson said, simply was playing more aggressively against Lawrence’s tough man-to-man defense.

“Offensively, we stopped letting them dictate what we were going to do. We kind of took the offensive, we were more aggressive,” Hanson said. “We were smarter against their pressure. That defensive pressure they give is hard to replicate in practice, and it took us a while to get our legs under us and play against that.”

Lawrence answered with a 12-0 run, capped by a Nick Noiles layup with 7:18 left in the game. Brunswick cut Lawrence’s lead to four points in the final minutes but could get no closer.

“We didn’t quit, but I think we just spent too much energy digging out of the hole. We didn’t really have enough energy at the end to make that final push,” Hanson said.

Lawrence scored the first seven points of the game and held a 17-9 lead after one quarter. With the Dragons playing zone defense, the Bulldogs got and made open 3-pointers in the first quarter, with Tim Dudley hitting a pair and Emmitt Faulkner making another.

Spencer Carey led Lawrence with 15 points, while Leathers added nine points, nine boards and a block. Mitchell Black led Brunswick with 17 points.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

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