KENTS HILL — For one quarter, the Maranacook/Winthrop boys lacrosse team looked tired, rushed and out of sorts.

It was a different story for the next three — and particularly the last one.

Skyler Boucher scored the game-winning goal with just over eight minutes left as Maranacook/Winthrop scored three straight goals to break a 6-all tie and come away with a 9-7 victory over Cony at Kents Hill School.

“We came out flat to begin with,” Boucher said, “…but we fought back in it, we stuck together and I’m proud to get the ‘W.’ “

Owen Austin scored three goals, including the Hawks’ last two, while Boucher and Collin Adair scored twice and Tanner Evans and Tanner Laliberte had single tallies for Maranacook/Winthrop (4-2). Goalie Will Hays made 12 saves.

Nick Robinson and Zack Whitney scored twice apiece for Cony (3-4), which took an early 3-0 lead, while Nic Mills, Quincy Tobias and Miqueias Biasuz also had goals. Cam Gallant made seven saves.

“We’re still not moving as much as we should on offense. Off ball, we’re not moving as well,” Cony coach Chad Foye said. “Overall, we’ve just got to keep getting better. We’re better than we were at the beginning of the year, but we haven’t quite made the progress I’d hoped.”

TURNING POINT: The teams went back-and-forth, each losing a multi-goal lead in the process, until they went into the fourth quarter tied at 6.

The Hawks took it from there.

Boucher got the rally started, firing a straight-on shot in with 8:17 to play for the 7-6 advantage.

“I’m just happy to score, happy to be there when they need me,” he said. “Catch, collect and shoot, you know? I like it low and away, so I tried to put it low and away.”

The Hawks struck again with 6:30 to play when Austin whipped a shot over Gallant’s shoulder from nearly 20 yards out. Austin, who needed to replace his stick during the game, struck again with 1:16 left for an insurance tally to make it 9-6.

“In lacrosse, you really need a two-goal lead to feel safe,” he said. “All credit’s to coach’s stick. He came in clutch.”

Hawks coach Zach Stewart was pleased with the level of execution with the go-ahead tallies.

“The way that we scored those goals was quite impressive,” he said. “It was good lacrosse. … being able to maintain that and keep growing into that win was very impressive by our team.”

ROCKY START: That wasn’t the story, at least for the Hawks, in the first quarter.

Cony came out and seized control of the game early, taking a 3-0 lead when Robinson scored with 4:01 left in the first, Mills rifled in a straight-on shot with 2:56 left and Whitney scored a short-handed tally with 1:06 remaining.

The game was a 24-hour turnaround after the Hawks played St. Dominic, and Stewart said he could see the wear showing early.

“I was wondering how that was going to go. We’re a team with such light numbers, and it definitely did not go very well,” he said. “We were just panicking out there, making poor mistakes, just not really playing lacrosse the way we know we should be.”

The Hawks got some life when Evans scored with 20 seconds left, and by the time there was 4:13 to go in the second quarter, they had tied the game on goals by Boucher and Laliberte.

Foye said his team’s play slipped somewhat after the fast start, but credited the Hawks with finding their rhythm.

“I think it was a little bit (our play), I think a lot of it was them too,” Foye said. “They weren’t making mistakes. Early on, they made some mistakes. They were forcing things a little bit. When they settled down and started playing, they played a little better. I think that’s when we noticed a difference there.”

TIGHT BATTLE: With the game back even, both teams took their shots trying to regain control for good.

Only nine seconds after losing the lead, the Rams jumped back ahead when Tobias won the ensuing faceoff, raced down the field and scored with 4:04 to go in the half. Maranacook/Winthrop pulled even before halftime on a fine transition play, with Boucher passing the ball upfield before absorbing a hit to Ian Dow, who quickly found Adair for the tying marker with 1:11 left.

Neither team was finished. Austin struck 48 seconds into the second half and Adair scored after shaking a defender with 3:32 to go, putting the Hawks up 6-4, but Cony had an answer first when Robinson darted back in front of the goal from the left side and scored with 2:38 to go, then when Biasuz zipped in a shot from nearly 30 yards out with 38 seconds left.

Both teams had exchanged punches. As the fourth quarter revealed, however, the Hawks had their biggest one left.

“When this team plays together, we are strong,” Stewart said. “Make no question about it. … We don’t have one particular stud. I have no idea who’s going to pop off for three or five goals, which is a really good thing to have that much balance on the team.”

Drew Bonifant – 621-5638

[email protected]

Twitter: @dbonifantMTM

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