The regional finals are nothing new to the Messalonskee High School girls lacrosse team. This is the Eagles’ fourth consecutive trip to the regional championship game. The Gardiner boys lacrosse team hasn’t played in a regional final in four years, although the Tigers face a playoff foe with whom they’re quite familiar.

Messalonskee (13-1) is the top seed in the Class A North girls tournament and hosts No. 2 Windham (12-2) on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. at Thomas College.

At 14-0, Gardiner is the top seed in the Class B Boys North tournament and hosts No. 6 Yarmouth (8-6) on Wednesday at 6 p.m. at Hoch Field.

“I’ve said that from the beginning of the season, I have a lot of girls on my team that refuse to lose, and that will help us. I’m sure Windham’s the same way,” Crystal Leavitt, Messalonskee’s first-year head coach, said.

Messalonskee and Windham did not play in the regular season.

“We know they’re an athletic group of girls and play good defense,” senior co-captain Lydia Dexter said.

Messalonskee survived a close game scare to beat Portland in the quarterfinals, before it played a much stronger game to beat Cheverus in the semis.

“I’ve played three sports for Messalonskee all four years, and I’ve just been amazed at the athleticism and competitiveness,” said Dexter, a member of Messalonskee’s state champion basketball team last winter. “I wouldn’t say every year we have the most skilled team, but all my success at Messalonskee with these teams has been from athleticism from everyone and will to win. We just have a lot of heart and all work well together.”

Messalonskee has won seven games in a row. At this point, Leavitt said, she has to rely on her team’s experience and talent. Windham’s two losses came against Massabesic and Marshwood, the teams playing each other for the Class A South title.

“I want to make sure I give the girls everything they need without giving too much. I talked about the speed of Windham and how they’ll adjust on defense,” Leavitt said. “But I don’t want to give too much because it’s not us changing to how anyone plays. It’s too late in the season to do that, of course, and I think what we do is very good. It’s just about adapting to a few minor details.”

Like Messalonskee, Gardiner faces an opponent it did not play in the regular season. That doesn’t mean the Tigers aren’t familiar with the Clippers. For a long time, Yarmouth has been Gardiner’s playoff kryptonite. Wednesday’s regional final marks the seventh consecutive season in which Gardiner and Yarmouth hooked up in the playoffs. Each of the previous six games went Yarmouth’s way, including 2013, Gardiner’s last trip to the regional championship game.

“They’re Yarmouth. They’re still as good as they’ve always been. They’re a fundamentally sound team and battle-tested because of the conference they play in,” Gardiner coach K.C. Johnson said, adding that he’s scouted Yarmouth three times.

After dropping the final two games of the regular season, Yarmouth rolled through the first two rounds of the playoffs, outscoring opponents Erskine and Maranacook/Winthrop by a combined score of 28-3.

This Gardiner team, which has scored at least 10 goals in each game, has the best shot at snapping Yarmouth’s four-year run as regional champion.

Tristan Hebert has 42 goals for Gardiner.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM

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