FAIRFIELD — If Team A beats Team B, and Team B beats Team C, does Team A clobber Team C? In Class A North girls basketball this winter, that’s a loaded question.

There are no undefeated teams left in the region at the midpoint of the season, and to say that there are scores out there each night raising eyebrows is an understatement. And when Lawrence held off Erskine Academy for a 52-46 win Thursday night inside Folsom Gym, it was less about playoff positioning and more about continuing to fine-tune their play for when the tournament rolls around in mid-February.

“Any given night, anybody can beat anyone else. It’s just that way,” said Erskine coach Bob Witts, in his first season on the Eagles bench. “It’s just that type of league.”

Lawrence High School’s Megan Curtis is blocked by Erskine Academy’s Mackenzie Roderick during a game Thursday in Fairfield. Kennebec Journal photo by Andy Molloy Buy this Photo

Witts has been pleasantly surprised with his team, not because of their win-loss record, their top-five spot in the Heal point standings, or even the manner in which they’ve played against some of the region’s top teams like Gardiner, Hampden Academy and Messalonskee.

He’s been most impressed with the bond forged by the group and how that’s translated to the on-court play for Erskine (5-5).

“We’re a family. For me, as an older coach, it’s not all about wins and losses — even though that’s what the job is about,” Witts said. “I want to see them get better, I want to see them do the things we talk about doing, and if we lose, that’s OK. But if you’re going to try and do everything on your own, that’s what I’ll have a problem with.”

Lawrence head coach Greg Chesley has been through this dance a time or two during his tenure with the Bulldogs, who improved to 6-4 with the win over the Eagles.

Each year, Chesley has been among the voices proclaiming Class A North to be a wide open race. He’s tried each winter to insist that there was parity behind dominant, undefeated teams like Messalonskee or Skowhegan. He’s been the voice of those hoping for some lower seeds to post jaw-dropping upsets in the tournament at the Augusta Civic Center.

This time around, Chesley wants you to know he actually means it.

“People always say that anyone could win it all — but this year, anyone could win it all,” Chesley said prior to Thursday’s tip-off. “When the games get over and we all get on the (Maine Principals’ Association) website to see who’s beating who and where the Heal points stand, it’s craziness what we’re seeing. You expect so-and-so to win, and nope. You expect so-and-so to lose, and they win.

“It’s just crazy.”

There are some new faces in Chesley’s lineup, including senior guard Deleyni Carr, who transferred to Lawrence after becoming a 1,000-point scorer with Class D Temple Academy.

Last season, Chesley tried to play the Heal point game and lineup favorably enough to avoid an early-round matchup against Skowhegan, which went to the regional finals after an undefeated regular season.

He’s not sure it’s wise to try and line up anything over the next couple of weeks.

Lawrence’s Megan Curtis blocks Erskine Academy’s Emma Stred during a game Thursday in Fairfield. Kennebec Journal photo by Andy Molloy Buy this Photo

“My wife keeps score for us, and tonight on the way here we were talking about wins and the number of wins you might need and tournament positioning and that stuff,” Chesley said. “Unfortunately, someone with a fair number of wins isn’t even going to make (the tournament). Look at Skowhegan. They’re a good team, and going into tonight they were one spot out of it. Somebody else could very well be .500 and on the outside looking in.”

In that way, it’s been a challenge to get the Bulldogs geared up to play every single night with the same focus, the same intensity.

There are no longer any easy games on the schedule.

“it was nice to be able to count on some wins in the past,” Chesley said. “Trying to convey it to the girls has been difficult, but they’re starting to see it now. They’ve noticed that we can’t just show up and beat anybody. We’ve got to play our game.”

Witts echoed that sentiment.

“I don’t know about the other teams, but our focus on what we’re doing and trying to get better,” Witts said. “It’s a long process and a long season, and we want to get better. One or two games isn’t going to make your season at this point. We just want to get better and be at 100 percent (for the tournament).”

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