WATERVILLE — Lawrence is rounding into tournament form at just the right time.

Wednesday night the Bulldogs won their third straight against a potential tournament team with a 44-37 win against Waterville.

Both teams are 8-5 in Class A North.

The Bulldogs won the battle at both ends of the floor. On the offensive end, Hunter Mercier (16 points) and Camryn Caldwell (nine) combined for eight 3-pointers against the Purple Panthers’ 3-2 zone. At the other end, they played a box-and-one against Waterville senior Jordan Jabar and held her to six points.

“This is a big win for us,” Lawrence coach John Donato said. “We’ve been hanging around seventh place (in the Heal point standings) and this should put us in four or five.”

The Bulldogs move into fifth place, just behind Skowhegan and Hampden, teams they defeated last week.

“After the Hampden game, we got a lot of confidence,” Mercier said. “We have talent but we haven’t been using it very well. We’ve played to our competition but I think going forward we’re going to be OK.”

The Purple Panthers got off to a flying start behind Jabar, who scored six points in the opening quarter and freshman Sadie Garling (12), who hit the first of four 3s to near the end of the quarter to stake her team to a 13-4 lead.

But Jabar went to the bench with her second foul early in the second quarter and Lawrence went to work. Caldwell hit a pair of 3s while Mercier and Morgan Boudreau each had one to account for all 12 points in the second quarter. Waterville managed just three as the teams went to the locker room tied at 16.

Boudreau finished with 10 points, all on layups, including four on back-door cuts and feeds from Molly Folsom at the high post.

“John did a good job,” Waterville coach Rob Rodrigue said. “He put himself in position where he had a kid for a layup or a shooter in the corner. It was a good adjustment for him in the second half.”

Waterville got back into the game behind Darling, who connected on three 3-pointers in the third quarter and point guard Mackenzie St. Pierre (14), who hit four free throws. Garling’s third 3 drew the Panthers within a point (30-29) at the break.

Jabar could find little shooting room as she was shadowed primarily by freshman Keagan Alley. Mercier, who leads the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference in made 3-pointers, connected on one from the right side and another from the corner to push the lead to 42-32.

“They’re a good shooting team,” Rodrigue said. “We can’t shoot with them. We need to get more in the seams and more to the rim We settled too much for outside shots.”

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