FAIRFIELD — Against a bigger Messalonskee team, Lawrence girls basketball coach Greg Chesley knew the boards would be key. With the game over, Chesley studied the box score on his iPad, his eyes going to the rebounds column first.

“I’m just going to look to see what Sarah Poli had… I’ve got her for nine on here. Savannah (Weston) with 12,” Chesley said. “Those two rebounding, with the outlet and push, some easy baskets that were key.”

Crashing the boards and getting open shots, particularly in the fourth quarter, Lawrence pulled away from the Eagles, taking a 57-46 Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference win at Folsom Gymnasium.

Lawrence (9-4) outrebounded Messalonskee (6-6), 41-27.

Lawrence’s Sarah Poli, left, and Messalonskee’s Mackenzie Mayo battle for positioning during a Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class A North game Monday night in Fairfield.

“This year, coach has really been stressing boxing out. Getting rebounds, jumping on the boards, I think we’ve really improved on that,” said Weston, who had 12 points to go with her 12 rebounds.

Ahead 43-38 with just over six minutes to play, the Bulldogs closed the game with a 14-8 run.

“They’re just very physical, very strong, and just gritty,” Messalonskee coach Keith Derosby said of Lawrence. “At the defensive end, they work so hard at everything they do.”

On Monday, the Bulldogs’ defensive focus was on Gabrielle Wener, Messalonskee’s high-scoring junior. The goal was to keep Wener under 10 points, Chesley said. In the first game between these teams (a 53-33 Lawrence win on Dec. 11, the Bulldogs held Wener to six points. With a Bulldog defender, usually Miranda Lambert or Keagan Alley, face-guarding Wener throughout the game, Wener finished with 16 points, 10 coming in the fourth quarter.

“(Wener) scored a couple more, but she hit a couple unbelievable baskets. If she can hit those, I guess good for her,” Chesley said.

Lawrence’s Brooklynn Lambert and Messalonskee’s Gabrielle Wener go up for jump ball during a Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class A North game Monday night in Fairfield.

Down 27-19 late in the second quarter, Messalonskee scored the final four points of the first half and opened the third quarter with a 6-0 run to take a 29-27 lead. During that stretch, the Eagles were able to force turnovers and attack the basket, but a Megan Curtis 3-pointer with 4:59 left in the third gave Lawrence the lead for good, 30-29.

“Like any game, if you can play that kind of defense and turn the ball over, you can get layups. But you have to be able to sustain that for 32 straight minutes,” Derosby said.

Curtis led Lawrence with 17 points, and Brooklyn Lambert joined Weston with 12. That offensive balance has been a strength for the Bulldogs, Chesley said.

Lawrence’s Savannah Weston is pressured by Messalonskee’s Emily Parent during a Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class A North game Monday night in Fairfield.

“That’s been really the key for the year. All five of our starters have led us in scoring. They’re all capable of double digits,” Chesley said.

Emily Parent added 11 points for Messalonskee.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM


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