NEWPORT — The Lawrence girls basketball flipped the script Tuesday Night.

The Bulldogs raced out to a quick start and then held off a furious charge from host Nokomis, holding on for a 53-50 win in a Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference game between two Class A North tournament-bound teams. Lawrence (11-6) led by as many as 14 points in the second half and needed an easy layup in the final minute from Brooklynn Lambert against the Warrior press to secure the win.

Lambert, a junior guard, scored a team-high 15 points as Lawrence won for the seventh time in its last eight games. She was one of four Bulldogs to hit double figures as Camryn Caldwell added 12 points and Lexi Lewis and Molly Folsom each chipped in with 11.

For Nokomis (9-8), senior guard Chelsea Crockett had a game-high 17 points — all but two of those in the second half. Junior Gabrielle Lord’s double-double also helped keep the Warriors’ hopes alive, as she finished with 10 points and 11 rebounds.

REVERSAL OF FORTUNE: The Bulldogs didn’t look much like themselves in the victory.

Typically a slow-starting team that emphasizes big starts to the second half, Lawrence came out firing — building an early 11-3 lead midway through the first quarter that it was able to nurse all the way until the end of the night.

“Typically, that’s not us,” Lawrence coach Greg Chesley said. “Typically, we start slow and have a good third quarter and pull away by doing the right things.”

Lambert in particular got off to a good start — scoring seven of her 15 points in the opening quarter. She hit a pair of field goals in the first minute of the game, and capped an early 11-2 run with a 3-pointer from the top of the key before the midway point of the period.

“We created space well and pushed it out,” Lambert said. “I got the ball and I was just open.”

Lawrence posted 20 points in the opening quarter. They had only 23 points after halftime.

Nokomis outscored Lawrence 15-5 over the final 6:45 of the contest.

“We got a little tentative,” Chesley said. “It was not my call, but the girls kind of went into stall mode. It wasn’t an intentional thing where they said, ‘We’re pulling it out.’ They just got a little tense and didn’t quite know what to do and that felt like the right thing.

“I think we’re so much better when we continue to attack.”

SENIOR PERFORMANCE: Crockett’s senior night was one to remember, despite the loss. She scored 10 of her 17 points in the final period, as the Warriors tried to erase a nine-point deficit to begin the quarter.

Crockett hit a 3-pointer from the right side on the opening possession of the period, then rattled home another trey with 5:44 left. Consecutive Crockett steals with under three minutes remaining turned into points, including a pair of free throws that made it a 51-45 game with 2:09 to play.

She made two of a possible three foul shots after being fouled with 26.6 seconds left to account for the final 53-50 score.

SECOND-HALF SURGE: Big efforts from Lambert have become something of the new norm for Lawrence in the second half, Chesley said.

“It seems like after most games lately that’s what I’m talking about is Brooklynn,” Chesley said. “She’s really coming around. The 3-pointer, she’s put that weapon in her arsenal. She’s coming out firing and attacking the rim a lot more.”

Lambert made getting to the basket look easy, despite a size advantage for Nokomis. With 6:18 left, she found a big seam in the Warrior defense for a layup that made it 50-38.

“We need to get shots off, and I’ve tried to step up and score some points,” Lambert said.

UP NEXT: No. 7 Nokomis wraps up its regular season at No. 1 Hampden on Thursday night, though the Warriors are safely in the top eight in the Class A North Heal point standings. Lawrence, which sits at No. 4, hosts rival Skowhegan on its senior night the same night.

Travis Barrett — 621-5621

[email protected]

Twitter: @TBarrettGWC

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