GARDINER — The disparity between lacrosse in central Maine and teams to the south remains significant.

The gap in talent, tradition and scheduling was displayed Wednesday night at Hoch Field where sixth-seeded Yarmouth handled top-seeded and previously unbeaten Gardiner 13-2 in the Class B North regional championship game.

Yarmouth (9-6) advances to its ninth straight Class B state championship game Saturday at Fitzpatrick Stadium in Portland where it will face Cape Elizabeth. The Clippers have won four state titles overall, the last coming in 2009. Gardiner, which has played in three regional title games without a victory, finishes at 14-1.

That the Clippers lost six regular-season games is no surprise. They fell to Class A powers Scarborough and Brunswick and twice each to Falmouth and Cape Elizabeth, arguably the four toughest teams in the state.

“We’ve played the most difficult schedule of any team in the state of Maine,” Yarmouth coach David Pearl said. “The tempo and the pace that our younger players are playing at, I think it’s paid off in their development. This whole team has really skyrocketed.”

The Clippers came out flying and took a 6-0 lead in the first quarter, getting two goals from junior Silas Chapelli and one each from Remi LaBlanc, Cooper May, Anders Corey and Henry Venden. Chapelli finished with three goals while fellow junior Venden scored four.

“We’ve brought in a lot of freshmen who have contributed a lot,” Venden said. “Especially in the midfield. We knew that transition for us was key especially on defense. It mostly came down to us playing our game.”

After being out-shot 16-0 in the first quarter, the Tigers regained their composure and matched Yarmouth’s four shots in a scoreless second period.

“We buried ourselves in a little hole,” Gardiner coach K.C. Johnson said. “When we played our style of lacrosse, we did fine. When we play a pressing defense, we do well. Today we didn’t do a good job with our pressing defense.”

The Clippers limited the shots of Gardiner’s two leading scorers, senior Tristan Hebert and junior Sloan Berthiaume, and kept both of them off the scoreboard.

“We scouted them,” Pearl said. “We knew a team of this caliber and the team that they had . . . we came up here prepared.”

Gardiner trailed 7-0 before Connor Manter put them on the board when he scooped up a ground ball and shoveled it into the goal past freshman goalie Spencer King (two saves). A minute and a half later Manter fed a cutting Parker Hinkley from behind the net to cut the lead to 7-2.

Venden answered with a goal to make it 8-2 going into the final quarter. The Clippers dominated the final 12 minutes, aided by four Gardiner penalties, as they out-shot the Tigers 10-4. Gardiner goalkeeper Noak Keene (nine saves) made some nice stops but the outslaught and Yarmouth’s quick passing offense created too many good scoring chances.

“We had a rough start (to the season),” said Yarmouth senior captain Bill Jacobs, who scored a goal and had six assists.”But I think towards the middle of the season we kind of locked it in. I think our practices have gotten much faster and we’ve had a kind of different momentum.”

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