WINSLOW — Everything about this game was a test for the Winslow boys basketball team.

As a matchup, it was a test of how the Black Raiders would stack up against a top opponent, a Lawrence team surging in Class A North; during the game itself, it was a test of how Winslow would find a way to win against a Bulldogs team that, despite trailing virtually the entire way, never let the Black Raiders seize control.

In the end, those tests were ones Winslow passed by earning a 63-61 victory that boosted the team’s standings in Class B North. The Black Raiders now stand above all but one team in the region following a game that saw the team showcase its title credentials in more ways than one.

“You always have to play 100 percent whenever you’re out there, and this was one of those games,” said Winslow’s Jason Reynolds. “We worked 100 percent — we worked our butts off — and when there were some tough points in the game, we really pulled through.”

After a Matt Quirion layup early in the first quarter tied the game 5-5, Winslow (10-1) would never trail the rest of the way. Getting the necessary scoring and defensive stops, the Black Raiders led throughout the second, third and fourth quarters after an Andrew Poulin basket late in the first broke a 19-19 deadlock.

Yet even as it stayed in front, Winslow, as the final score might indicate, never truly put Lawrence (8-4) to bed. The Bulldogs were equally resilient, trailing by a maximum of 10 points in the third quarter and fighting back to make it a one-score game on multiple occasions after that.


“We were never totally comfortable or totally in control, even with the lead,” said Winslow head coach Ken Lindlof. “They have so much firepower in terms of shooting 3s with (Michael) Hamlin, (Dane) Zawistowski and (Conner) Nutting, and (Gavin) Lunt did a good job for them off the bench. We had our hands full defending.”

Between the shooting of Zawistowski (20 points) and Nutting (16 points), who combined for six 3-pointers, Lawrence certainly did provide challenges for Winslow’s perimeter defense. The Bulldogs also gave the Black Raiders trouble in the post through Lunt (10 points, six rebounds) and Lucas Campbell (eight points, nine rebounds).

Winslow’s defensive troubles in the post came as Lawrence beat the Black Raiders on ball screens to produce good looks. To alleviate that, Lindlof made an adjustment that, albeit “small,” in his own words, made a big difference in a game decided by the thinnest of margins.

“We just sagged off the post a little bit because we were getting hurt on ball screens,” Lindlof said. “They were setting their ball screens closer to the basket, and we weren’t able to provide help, so we just dropped off and tried to help on the ball better. … It definitely helped.”

It was a game in which Winslow’s two standouts, Poulin and Reynolds, picked one another up. Poulin was hot for the home team early, scoring 10 points in the first quarter en route to a game-high 22. When the senior guard cooled off late, Reynolds (20 points, 12 rebounds), who struggled earlier, stepped up with eight points in the fourth.

Lawrence’s Parker Higgins (11) looks to pass the ball as he is defended by Winslow’s Jason Reynolds and Lucas Boucher (5) in the first half of a boys basketball game Tuesday in Winslow. Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel

Lawrence fought through Winslow’s defensive adjustments and Reynolds’ big fourth quarter to stick right with the Black Raiders as Zawistowski got hot from beyond the arc. Still, the Bulldogs were always playing from behind, something that caught up with them in the end.


“I think if we get the lead, maybe things change, and you see that seed of doubt get planted,” said Lawrence head coach Jason Pellerin. “You have to give credit to Winslow because they made some backdoor cuts and some nice adjustments. In a game this close, it comes down to little things and those one or two extra plays, and they made them.”

The win was the eighth in a row for Winslow, which hasn’t lost since a 69-59 defeat to Lincoln Academy on Dec. 20. It’s a streak that began two days following that loss when the Black Raiders claimed a 77-75 victory over an Oceanside team that’s now 12-1 and ranked first in Class B South.

Now, Winslow has added another marquee win to its résumé. It’s a victory that has the Black Raiders, who were already confident after losing just once in the first half of the regular season, even more so as they enter a stretch of seven games in 11 days.

“It’s a good confidence booster, kind of like the Oceanside game,” Reynolds said. “They’re No. 1 in the South, and (Lawrence) is a good team in Class A. It’s a good start as we head into these next few games.”

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