KENTS HILL — Collin Adair raced into the attacking zone, fired a shot that sailed into the net for his third goal, then leapt into the air, turned and yelled in celebration at his teammates.

After an impressive regular season, the Maranacook/Winthrop boys lacrosse team had no problem translating that energy into the postseason as well.

Adair scored five goals, Garit Laliberte added three and the eighth-seeded Hawks started the Class C playoffs with a flourish, routing No. 9 Fryeburg Academy 15-4 in a first-round matchup at Kents Hill School.

Maranacook/Winthrop/Spruce Mountain junior midfielder Garit Laliberte, center, is checked by Fryeburg Academy’s Ethan Burke, left, and Will Galligan during a Class C prelim game Wednesday at Kents Hill. Kennebec Journal photo by Andy Molloy

“A big part of playoffs is coming in ready every day,” said Adair, who helped his team improve to 9-4. “The emotion is key. Getting ready, mentally prepared, everything is just key in the playoffs.”

The Hawks needed more than eight minutes to get on the board, but once they did, the game turned for good. Maranacook/Winthrop was up 3-0 after the first quarter, 5-1 after the half, then scored eight straight goals in the second half to pull away.

“We’ve been in this situation before, we know what it’s like to play in the playoffs,” coach Kyle Dennett said. “The first half, we were a little sluggish. The second half, we really kind of turned it on and changed things up.”

Fryeburg, which had its best chance after back-to-back goals made it 7-3 at the end of the third quarter, fell to 5-8, and coach Matt Haley said the team’s lack of depth — the Raiders had only 12 field players available — proved costly late.

“I think we competed with them pretty well,” he said. “We were real short on the bench, so we just got tired. It looked like we were going to come back there for a bit, but we only had three subs, and we were exhausted.”

Adair started the scoring with 3:51 left in the first quarter after taking a pass from behind the net from Beau Schmelzer. Laliberte then worked his way through the defense for a goal with 2:27 remaining, and Ian Dow (two goals) scored off of a pass from Adair to make it 3-0 with 10 seconds left.

Fryeburg’s Tri Nguyan scored 1:45 into the second quarter to make it 3-1, but the Hawks’ Tim Worster (two goals) had the answer, winning the ensuing faceoff and going down the field and scoring eight seconds later. A slashing penalty on the Raiders put the Hawks on the man advantage in the last minute of the half, and Adair whipped a sidearm shot that took one bounce and went in for a 5-1 lead with 30 seconds remaining.

“We have the mentality going into the playoffs that everybody’s 0-0. Everybody’s an even team, it’s just who wants it more,” Adair said. “I think we really just came out and wanted it.”

While the Maranacook/Winthrop offense built the lead, the defense, led by Jacob Sousa, Will Colvin and Jon Rioux, helped the Hawks win the possession battle and limit Fryeburg opportunities. As the game went on, the Raiders found it increasingly difficult to transition into the offensive end, with Hawks defenders constantly ready to swipe at a stick or land a check.

“Really, (we) just (wanted to) keep the momentum, don’t let them over the top, shut down the middle and watch the slides,” Sousa said. “We just killed it, all-around.”

Maranacook/Winthrop/Spruce Mountain junior attacker Ian Dow gets checked by Fryeburg Academy’s Will Galligan during a Class C prelim game Wednesday at Kents Hill. Kennebec Journal photo by Andy Molloy

“Fighting for the ground balls really helped our gameplay out a lot,” Dennett said. “Generally, throughout the year we’ve kind of struggled in that area, and today we really stepped it up.”

In the third quarter, Adair scored on the run and Laliberte whipped in a shot from the top of the offense, making it 7-1. Fryeburg’s Will Galligan and Caleb Bowles scored with 58 and 29 seconds left to make it 7-3 and re-introduce some suspense, but Adair scored with three seconds left, and goals by Laliberte, Dow and Worster bumped the lead to 11-3 with 9:40 to play in the fourth.

Goals by Skyler Boucher, Schmelzer, Richard Down and Adair again made it 15-3, and Bowles’s second goal rounded out the scoring. Will Hays made eight saves for the Hawks, while Yukon King made 13 for Fryeburg.


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