OAKLAND — The Lawrence High School girls basketball team knew it had a size advantage over Messalonskee, and on Saturday afternoon, the Bulldogs wasted little time in establishing it.

Center Nia Irving scored 29 points and grabbed 20 rebounds, while forward Paige Belanger had 13 points and 12 rebounds for the Bulldogs, as Lawrence took a 64-41 win at Messalonskee.

For Lawrence (11-0), it was the fourth time in five games they scored at least 63 points. Messalonskee is now 6-6.

“There’s a reason they’re undefeated. Their inside-out game is fantastic, and Nia just finishes around the rim. She makes free throws, she rebounds. She’s a complete player,” Messalonskee coach Keith Derosby said.

Lawrence took control of the game with an 11-0 run in the second quarter. Irving and Belanger accounted for nine points in the run.

“We’re stronger than they are inside. They’re a good little team. They got some good guard play. They’re young,” Lawrence coach John Donato said. “We did pretty good defending the perimeter, but they had a hard time defending us underneath.”

The Bulldogs led 36-18 at the half, and Messalonskee could get no closer than 15 points in the third quarter.

“When we settled down and ran our offense, we were good in spurts. Our zone was good in spurts, just not consistently enough. In order to play against a team like that, you have to be consistent the whole game,” Derosby said.

Donato was pleased with his bench play. When guard Dominque Lewis got in foul trouble, players like Emily Tozier came off the bench and played well.

“When Dominique got in foul trouble, somebody came off the bench and stepped up,” Donato said.

Sophia Holmes had nine points and 13 rebounds for Messalonskee. Halee Flewelling added eight points for the Eagles.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM

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