FAIRFIELD — Twenty-two years after they last played a meaningful game, the Winslow and Lawrence high school boys basketball teams tipped off at Folsom Gym on Tuesday night. The Black Raiders and Bulldogs picked up as if a few weeks had passed since their last meeting, not a generation.

Lawrence and Winslow are still in separate classes, with Lawrence playing in Class A and Winslow in Class B. With Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference schools playing across class lines this season for the first time in years, it was only natural that these rivals meet again, and they didn’t disappoint.

“We knew they were going to give their best so we had to give our best. We didn’t come out good in the first half, but we came out firing in the second half,” Lawrence senior Kyle Robinson said.

Down eight points at the half, Lawrence rallied, finding its offensive rhythm and tightening up defensively to take a 64-55 win.

After struggling to find its inside game in the first half, the Bulldogs (4-5) did a better job passing the ball in the second half, and that led to open layups. Seth Powers scored seven consecutive points midway through the third quarter for Lawrence to cut Winslow’s lead from eight points to one, 36-35. A few minutes later, Mason Cooper scored on a steal and layup to give the Bulldogs a 41-39 lead and the lead for good. Lawrence closed the third quarter on an 8-0 run to take a 43-39 lead into the fourth.

“We started moving the ball better. We started playing better defense and getting more stops,” Robinson said.

Robinson scored 10 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter, while Cooper — Lawrence’s leading scorer — tallied 15 of his 20 points in the second half, after going without a field goal in the first half. Powers, also shut out in the first half, scored all 10 of his points during Lawrence’s comeback.

“We just got into a flow and the ball just kind of found the right guy. It wasn’t any magic elixir. There was nothing besides saying we need to move the ball around and get our shot. Things started to click,” Lawrence coach Jason Pellerin said.

Winslow coach Jared Browne said the difference in the second half was, Lawrence finally was able to exploit the size advantage it had in the low post with Powers and Robinson.

“One of our biggest weaknesses is our physical weakness. We don’t have a lot of big kids. We have a lot of good athletes, but when you’ve got to match up on a kid like a Powers or a Robinson, and we’ve got to put one of our smaller guys on them, they’ve got the physical advantage,” Browne said. “We could do all the fundamentals we’d like on them, but sometimes it comes down to head to head. The bigger, stronger kid’s going to win a lot of those.”

The teams entered the second quarter tied at 12-all. Down 19-17 midway through the second, Winslow (6-3) hit three consecutive 3-pointers to take the lead. On the game, the Black Raiders made a dozen threes: six from Keanu Earle (18 points), five from Spencer Miranda (18 points) and one from Michael Wildes. Earle’s long buzzer beating three gave Winslow a 31-23 halftime lead.

“We know that going in, and they hit a lot of threes tonight. They were hitting them six, seven feet out beyond (the line). They were doing step backs. I give them credit for hitting shot after shot after shot. I’m not sure we really played bad defense, they were just hitting shots six, seven, eight feet in back of the three,” Pellerin said.

Winslow had to hit threes to stay in the game, with the Bulldogs preventing the Black Raiders from finding much offense in the paint.

“They were doing a really good job of keeping us out of the middle. They were switching a lot on our penetration. They were getting guys in the gaps. We don’t have a back to the basket post player, so we’re not going to do that. We like to drive and kick,” Browne said. “Second half, their adjustment was great on us. We couldn’t get anything off the dribble, and when we did it was intensely challeneged.”

Ahead 49-46 with just over three minutes to play, Lawrence made nine foul shots down the stretch to seal the victory.

Robinson had seven rebounds for Lawrence, all on the offensive glass, while Powers grabbed eight boards. Cooper had five steals for the Bulldogs.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM


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