FAIRFIELD — With some big games on the horizon, the Winslow girls basketball team looked at Tuesday’s game against Lawrence as a bellwether.

“It’s a really big win. We needed this win to get regrouped,” Winslow sophomore guard Weslee Littlefield said after the Black Raiders earned a 40-31 victory in Lawrence’s Folsom Gym. “We have Skowhegan coming up, another Class A team.”

The victory improved the Class B Black Raiders to 6-1 in Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference play. Lawrence dropped to 5-4.

The Bulldogs led just once, 2-0, before Winslow took control of the game with a 9-0 run. The Black Raiders’ ball movement was key, with quick, precise passes setting up open shots. Littlefield made three of Winslow’s five 3-pointers.

“We’ve really been working a lot on our offense and trying to create open looks for players,” Winslow coach Lindsey Withee said. “I think it’s finally paying off and they’re buying in offensively.”

“We had a lot of good looks. Coach Withee was really making us move the ball,” added Littlefield, who scored a game-high 15 points and grabbed six rebounds.

Winslow led 29-14 at the half, and when Littlefield nailed a 3-pointer early in the third quarter the Black Raiders had an 18-point lead, their largest of the game.

“We had a bad start. We panicked. Once we panicked, they got out to a big lead and we just couldn’t stop the ball from rolling. They just kept on expanding that lead, and it took us too much energy to get back into it,” Lawrence coach John Donato said.

Defensively, Winslow did a nice job containing Lawrence’s dribble-drive offense, preventing the Bulldogs from penetrating and kicking the ball out for an open three. The Black Raiders focused on preventing Lawrence from going to the middle, Littlefield said.

“We just knew we wanted them to put it to the floor more rather than getting open looks,” Withee said.

With Winslow slowing the tempo and going cold from the field, Lawrence made a run in the second half, cutting the deficit to eight points in the final minute. That was as close as the Bulldogs would get.

“I’m proud of the way our kids fought back, but when we had the opportunity to close the gap, we made little mistakes, and that hurt us,” Donato said.

Heather Kervin scored 12 points for Winslow, all in the first half. Hunter Mercier led Lawrence with 10 points.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

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Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM