Behind an unbeaten Gardiner Area High School boys squad, the race in Class B North remains wide open.

With its win over Erskine Academy on Tuesday, Cony has won six of its last seven to catapult itself into the No. 3 spot in the current Heal point standings with an 8-3 record. Even a young Maranacook/Winthrop co-op (5-5), which has seen some inconsistency from a results standpoint, ranks fourth. Oak Hill, Winslow and Erskine rank sixth through eighth, respectively, with Lawrence holding down the 11th and final would-be playoff spot.

“I think everyone’s kind of getting closer together,” Cony coach Chad Foye said. “Everyone’s playing better, players are getting better… Gardiner is above everybody, I think, but it’s pretty wide open.”

Cony’s run into midseason form might be the most remarkable, after dropping its first two games of the season to Maranacook/Winthrop and Gardiner. Since those early season struggles, in which the Rams mustered only seven total goals in those defeats, they’ve averaged almost 11 goals per game over their current five-game winning streak.

Senior attack Chad Bickford scored seven goals to add to his team leading total against Erskine on Tuesday.

“Chad’s really turned it on. He’s scoring a lot,” Foye said. “We’re creating more openings, moving better without the ball.”

Still, despite five straight wins, Foye remains focused on some of lacrosse’s basics as his team rounds into postseason form.

“We just want to tune up and make sure we’re catching passes, moving to space better, getting ground balls better. Offensively, that’s where we’re focusing,” Foye said. “Defensively, we need to step up and challenge shooters a bit more. We’re still giving up a little bit too much space, but we’re getting there.”

Preliminary round play begins in less than two weeks, on June 6.

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After a slow start while trying to rebuild an offense that was lost, in large part, to the graduation of Jimmy Fowler last spring, the Winslow boys have turned a corner in the second half of the season.

The Black Raiders (4-6) have won three of their last five contests and currently sit seventh in the Class B North Heal point standings. Eleven teams make the tournament out of the bracket, and currently seven of those 11 teams are from central Maine.

“We started out with a pretty difficult schedule,” Winslow coach Bruce Lambrecht said. “We’re still trying to find our offense. Every week, it’s a new project trying to squeeze out some goals.”

While junior attack Bryce Hillier leads the team in scoring, it’s been the play of the team’s midfielders that has helped it increase scoring production — which topped out with 11-goal outbursts against Erskine and St. Dom’s.

Senior Sam Lambrecht has had a role to play there, as have sophomores Jared Lambert, Isaac Lambrecht and Kyle Gurney.

“It’s different formations, different players, different kids in different positions,” Bruce Lambrecht said. “Sam has been moving the ball and getting things into the right spots for us. You never know how much you rely on someone who an run, catch and avoid trouble until you don’t have them.”

Winslow wraps up its regular season with games at Mt. Blue and at Lincoln, which should give the Black Raiders a better than average shot of wrapping up with a .500 record.

“I feel better about the playoffs when I can see these last two games,” Lambrecht said. “We’re where every team is, in that we’re probably a lot better today than we were a month ago. You’ve just got to play the games in front of you.”

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Don’t look now, but the Cony High School girls are starting to look like a dangerous squad setting itself up nicely for a postseason run in Class B North.

Back-to-back wins, including the team’s first on the road this season by an 11-10 score at Erskine on Monday, has Cony (4-4) sitting fourth in the Heal point standings.

“Defensively, we’re more confident. We’re stronger,” Cony coach Gretchen Livingston said. “We’re comfortable in a zone, we’re comfortable in a player defense, and we’ve been able to transition out of them more quickly. Offensively, a lot of girls been able to find back of net. Our top scorers, certainly, but a lot of different girls looking to go to net or set up a teammate. That’s one strength of our team, we’re unselfish.”

Lauren Coniff, a junior, is the team’s leading scorer, and her offensive output out of the attack has been augmented nicely by the unexpected arrival of sophomore Sydney Avery. Avery, just called up to the varsity last week, scored twice in each of her first two games with the big club. Seven or eight different attacking options exist for the team offensively.

The balance has allowed the Rams to think about the playoffs, which at the beginning of the season was the outright goal.

“Once you get there, anything can happen,” Livingston said. “We’ve just got to take care of business the next three games.”

Travis Barrett — 621-5621

[email protected]

Twitter: @TBarrettGWC

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