KENNEBUNK – Kennebunk came to life on both sides of the ball during the second half to eke out a 15-13 victory against South Portland in an SMAA boys’ lacrosse game Wednesday night.

The Rams, who rallied from an early three-goal deficit, slipped past the Red Riots to become the top seed in the Western Class A tournament.

“The second half (of the game) has been our half all year,” Kennebunk Coach Vinny Lobello said. “Even though we were down at halftime, I knew we could come back on them if we just played our game and played tougher defense.”

The Rams held South Portland scoreless for the first 16 minutes of the second half and gradually moved into a 12-9 lead.

“We felt we were faster than them,” Lobello said. “We knew we could run (past) them. We just had to coordinate our offense so we could go more one- on-one against them.”

It was only the second loss of the season for the Riots, who will go into the regional tournament as the second seed.

“We came out flat in the second half and we just couldn’t get it going,” South Portland Coach Tim Fiorini said. “Credit to their team, they did a great job and they picked it up in the second half on us.”

South Portland, which led 9-7 at the end of the first half, was limited to two shots on goal during the third quarter.

“We did not play a very good game today,” Fiorini said. “We were missing a lot of balls. We were dropping balls. We weren’t facing off well.

“We were overextending on our defense. We were running (past) our guys. There were a lot of mental mistakes today.”

Nick Gross, Max Meserve and Blake Dowe each scored three goals for Kennebunk. Sean Finn and Bobby Kramer each had two goals. Nick Bath and Sean Foley each scored one goal, and John Grillo had three assists.

Adam Burpee led the Riots with five goals and two assists. Harrison Keithly and Garret Reuscher each scored three goals. Chad MacLeod and Alex Catrett each had a goal and an assist.

The score was 4-4 at the end of the first quarter.

South Portland seemed to grab momentum in the first 10 minutes of the second quarter when Reuscher scored all of his goals to help the Riots to a 9-6 lead.

But the third quarter belonged to Kennebunk, which held a 9-2 edge in shots.

The Rams took the lead for good 7:24 into the second half when Gross converted a feed from Kyle Brent on a fast break to snap a 9-9 tie.

“It was a great comeback,” Lobello said. “Everybody dug deep on offense and defense.”

South Portland (12-2) pulled within a goal of the Rams twice during the fourth quarter. But Kramer and Dowe clinched it by scoring goals 25 seconds apart to open a 15-12 lead with less than five minutes left.

Both teams will have first-round byes in the regional tournament that starts next Wednesday. 

Staff Writer Paul Betit can be contacted at 791-6424 or at:

[email protected]