KENTS HILL — Maranacook/Winthrop/Spruce Mountain boys lacrosse coach Kyle Dennett put it succinctly. There’s a theme to every Hawks practice and it centers around not just going on the attack, but staying there.

“Possession. That’s what we preach every time when we get to practices, out-possessing teams,” he said. “We know that if we can own the ball, they can’t score goals, so for us it’s getting down there, running our offense and owning the ball.”

Practice made perfect Monday. The Hawks jumped on Winslow early, made a home in the Black Raiders’ side of the field and never gave up control, eventually earning an 11-4 victory at Kents Hill School.

Maranacook/Winthrop/Spruce Mountain’s Ian Dow fires a shot on Winslow goalie Sean Rooney during a lacrosse game Monday at Kents Hill School. Kennebec Journal photo by Andy Molloy

Maranacook/Winthrop/Spruce Mountain improved to 2-1 on the strength of a balanced scoring effort that was led by three goals and an assist from Ian Dow, but also got two goals apiece from Collin Adair, Garit Laliberte and Skyler Boucher.

“We went into the season with the first loss, and we’ve really bounced back with two wins in a row now,” said Dow, who led an attack that fired 43 shots during the game. “(It was a) big game for all of our attackmen and midfield, the defense played really great. It just feels good to win again.”

Winslow fell to 1-2. The Black Raiders were down 5-1 after the first quarter, but narrowed the gap to 6-4 before the Hawks scored the last five goals of the game.

“I think it shows where the program is coming along. It is rather new, and this has always been one of the more competitive games,” said Black Raiders coach Dakota Gendreau, who got two goals from Colby Nadeau, one apiece from Landon Hotham and Jared Lambert, and 14 saves from goalie Sean Rooney. “When you can play a good, established program like Maranacook and keep them competitive, it’s good for momentum.”

The Hawks didn’t give Winslow much of a chance to start the game on its own terms. By pouncing on ground balls, they were able to lead one wave of pressure after another into the Winslow end. The attack began to translate to the scoreboard when Boucher whipped in a shot 2:22 into the game and Beau Schmelzer collected the ball after it was jarred loose following a Rooney save and fired it in moments later, giving the Hawks a 2-0 lead with 8:04 left in the period.

Hotham scored with 5:59 left to make it 2-1, but Dow, Tim Worster and and Laliberte added tallies later in the quarter to put the Hawks up 5-1.

“Once we started running our plays and moving the ball around, it was much easier to keep possession,” Laliberte said. “It’s huge. Being able to keep the ball, it does things for you on the scoreboard and morale-wise. It just brings down the other team if they can’t get the ball in their offensive end.”

The Hawks were stymied during a scoreless second quarter and saw momentum begin to swing back when Winslow closed within two goals at 6-4 with 5:32 to go in the third. Rather than give in, however, the Hawks appeared to use the Winslow counter-punch as a wake-up call, with Laliberte scoring with 3:16 to go in the quarter and Adair, Dow (twice) and Boucher adding goals in the fourth to seal the win.

“I think we were getting comfortable with the lead, and the guys kind of get complacent when they’re in the lead,” Dennett said. “Our goal is to try to keep guys from staying in the game, and keeping teams from hanging around.”

Dow said he saw the team gain a new resolve over the final portion of the game.

Maranacook/Winthrop/Spruce Mountain’s Ian Dow takes a hit from Winslow’s Robert Clark during a lacrosse game Monday at Kents Hill School. Kennebec Journal photo by Andy Molloy

“Winslow definitely picked up their pace,” he said. “We knew we had to pick up the pace, put balls in the back of the net and really capitalize on that.”

Gendreau took positives from the game and that third quarter in particular, during which goals by Nadeau with 8:34 left, Lambert on a man advantage with 6:51 to go and Nadeau again with 5:32 remaining temporarily had the Hawks on their heels.

“Absolutely. This may be one of the few contenders from up north in Class C that we could see reasonably make a championship game,” he said. “Being able to come back and say ‘Hey guys, remember, Maranacook had us in the lead, and we managed to fight back and force them to panic a little bit,’ is definitely something that we can build on.”

Drew Bonifant — 621-5638

[email protected]

Twitter: @dbonifantMTM

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