FAIRFIELD — The Skowhegan-Lawrence regular-season finale proved what many fans already knew. The upcoming Class A North girls basketball tournament should be a wild one.

In an up-and-down game that saw nine ties and eight lead changes, Skowhegan pulled away in the final four minutes for a 56-46 victory in front of a packed house at Folsom Gymnasium.

The Indians finish the regular season at 14-4 and will likely enter the tournament as the No. 2 seed while Lawrence closes at 11-7 as the No. 4 seed. Both teams knocked off top-seeded Hampden this season.

“We expected it to be a hard game,” said Skowhegan junior Alyssa Everett, who tied teammate Annie Cooke for game scoring honors with 17 points. “It was their senior night so there was a lot of energy around the gym. And we expected to get rattled a little bit.”

The Bulldogs took a 44-40 lead with just under four minutes left when Camryn Caldwell (16 points) converted two free throws and followed with a steal and layup. The Indians responded with a 9-0 run, their longest of the night. Sydney Reed (11) started it with a jumper from the left side then Cooke followed with two free throws. Sydney Ames tossed in a 3-pointer from the left side then Everett slipped inside and took a nice pass from Reed for an uncontested layup.

“Fortunately, we had enough to execute in the end and get it done,” Skowhegan coach Mike LeBlanc said.

Caldwell interrupted the run with two more free throws to cut the Indians lead to 49-45 with 1:29 left, but Everett scored another easy layup off a Reed assist.

“It was off our delay game,” Everett said.

The Indians put the game away from the free throw line, converting 5 of 6 in the final minute.

The lead see-sawed throughout the first half with the Indians banging the boards hard and taking advantage of second-chance opportunities.

“They’re very aggressive,” Lawrence coach Greg Chesley said.

Cooke finished with nine rebounds while Everett added eight and Ames six to go with nine points. The Bulldogs drew strong games from Caldwell, Molly Folsom (11 points, six rebounds) and their entire defense. They led 25-23 at the half, scoring most of their baskets off their dribble drive offense.

“We’ve spent an awful lot of time on that,” Chesley said.

The Bulldogs finished the third quarter with a 6-0 run capped by Caldwell’s reverse layup to take a 38-35 lead.

“It is very wide open,” LeBlanc said of the tournament. “I wouldn’t want to be anybody on a bad day.”

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