WINSLOW — The Lawrence girls basketball team found its rhythm in the second half, finally finding a way to hit important buckets on the way to a 54-49 win over Winslow in a Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference crossover game Saturday night.

Guards Camryn Caldwell and Megan Curtis led Lawrence (8-5) with 12 points apiece, two of four Bulldogs to finish in double figures. Brooklynn Lambert and Keagan Alley finished with 11 points apiece, while forward Molly Folsom completed a balanced attack for the Class A North tournament-bound Bulldogs with eight points.

Winslow junior point guard Weslee Littlefield sank a 3-pointer with 1:28 remaining in the fourth quarter to cut the Lawrence lead to five, and later she drove the lane for a layup that made it a 52-48 game. Caldwell made two foul shots in the final second, however, to seal the Bulldog victory.

Senior Haley Ward led Winslow (10-3) with 13 points, while Littlefield chipped in with 11.

IT’S GOOD: After scoring just 20 points in the first half on 6 of 21 (28 percent) shooting, Lawrence found its touch after the halftime break.

The Bulldogs — who missed their first eight attempts from the floor to open the game — made four of their first six shots in the third quarter. Curtis’ 3-pointer with just over six minutes remaining in the third handed Lawrence a 27-25 lead, its first advantage since it led early in the second quarter.

“I was beyond a little worried,” Lawrence coach Greg Chesley said. “At halftime, we gave them the speech that those were good shots and we couldn’t pass them up. We wanted them to keep shooting and keep shooting with confidence. The biggest part of being a good shooter is confidence.”

The uptick in shooting percentage helped the Bulldogs to a 10-3 run to begin the second half that left the Black Raiders playing catch-up the rest of the way. Lawrence was 8 of 18 (44 percent) over the final 16 minutes.

BOARD PLAY: Trailing by two at halftime, 22-20, Lawrence turned the tide in the second half with a much better rebounding effort.

“It’s really important and one of the things we talk about,” Folsom said. “We’re usually shorter than our opponents, so it’s key for getting control of the rim.”

Lawrence out-rebounded Winslow 20-10 after halftime, keeping a number of possessions alive, including once midway through the third period that allowed Folsom (eight rebounds) to get to the foul line to extend the Bulldog lead to 45-37 — its largest lead of the night.

“First half, we did a really good job with (rebounding),” Winslow coach Lindsey Withee said. “We scouted them against Hamden and Erskine, and we knew it was going to be the case. We’re the same size, and it just came down to who had better position and executed. You’ve got to give them credit.”

FREE THROWS: Caldwell, a senior, connected for nine of her 12 points on the night from the charity stripe, including seven in the fourth quarter. She hit two foul shots with just half a second left on the clock to clinch the victory.

“Tough games, close games, always come down to free throws,” Caldwell said. “You’ve just got to block everything out and do what you do in practice.”

In all, 16 of Lawrence’s points came from the foul line. By contrast, Winslow finished just 9 of 18 from the stripe.

“Free throws and we got out-rebounded,” Withee said. “It’s all fixable. We’re going to continue working on our rebounding and working on our free throws… If it wasn’t something we could fix, we’d be in trouble. We’re in a good spot right now.”

FOUL TROUBLE: Both teams had to navigate their way through foul trouble.

Curtis picked up her third foul less than three minutes into the third quarter and didn’t return to the floor until there was 3:29 remaining in the game. For Winslow, Ward — one of the few inside presences for the Black Raiders — picked up her fourth foul at the offensive end with 4:49 to play.

“I definitely played more minutes,” Caldwell said. “I’m usually the one who gets quick fouls. Getting in foul trouble is definitely something we need to work on.”

UP NEXT: Lawrence hosts Medomak Valley on Monday, while Winslow travels to winless Belfast the same night.

Travis Barrett — 6215621

[email protected]

Twitter: @TBarrettGWC

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