When play begins today in the Maine Principals’ Association regional tournaments for boys’ and girls’ lacrosse, most teams will remain home waiting for their chance to play.

Forty teams qualified for the eight regional tournaments, but only 18 of them are scheduled to play in today’s quarterfinal round. The other 22 drew first-round byes and will wait for the semifinals to begin.

The regular season ended nearly two weeks ago for some teams, and coaches have had to come up with ways to keep their players focused and ready for tournament play.

“It’s kind of a strange time of year to have this much time off,” Portland boys’ lacrosse coach Eric Begonia said. “But we will do what we can to get better. We’ll watch some video together and see where some of weaknesses are, see what we can correct.”

The Bulldogs, who finished the regular season June 1 with a 16-12 victory against Scarborough to remain unbeaten, are seeded first in Eastern Class A.

“It’s a busy time,” Begonia said. “The seniors are graduating. There’s project graduation. There’s a lot going on.”

To stay sharp, Portland scrimmaged Falmouth, the top-seeded team in Western Class B, on Tuesday.

The Scarborough girls, the top-seeded team in Western Class A, ended their regular season May 28. When the Red Storm play in a regional semifinal Saturday, they will have gone 15 days without playing a game.

“My main concern is keeping them in condition and keeping them focused,” Scarborough Coach Marcia Wood said. “It’s kind of hard to keep them focused when you’re not playing games.”

To help fill that void, the Red Storm scrimmaged Waynflete, the top-seeded team in Western Class B, last Thursday. Today they were scheduled to scrimmage Falmouth, which is seeded second in Western Class B.

MPA rules limit teams to five scrimmage dates during the preseason and regular season. However, teams receiving first-round byes in the tournament were able to add one scrimmage date, although not every team took advantage of that bonus.

Yarmouth, the two-time defending Class B boys’ state champion and the top-seeded team in Eastern Class B, didn’t schedule any scrimmages leading up to the tournament.

“At this point in the season, we know who we are and what we need to work on,” Yarmouth Coach Craig Curry said. “We moved some kids up from the junior varsity and we have had some older guys come back from college, and they provide all the competition we need.”

Some of the higher-seeded teams were able to play at least one meaningful game during their time off.

The Brunswick girls, the top-seeded team in Eastern Class A, played Mt. Ararat last Friday night for the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference championship. It was the third game of the season between the cross-river rivals, and the Dragons won, 8-2.

“We would have had an 11-day layoff, but we had the luxury of having that extra game for the conference championship,” Brunswick Coach Beth Caputi said.

For some teams, the layoff has come at a good time.

The Kennebunk boys, who finished the regular season June 2 with a 15-13 win against South Portland to become the top-seeded team in Western Class A, benefited from the lengthy break as starting goalie Rob Stockbridge and leading scorer Nick Gross recovered from sprained ankles.

“We were going to put in a scrimmage because of the long delay,” Kennebunk Coach Vinnie Lobello said, “but we decided to go with conditioning and stick skills. We’re going to be light and keep it fun.”

 

Staff Writer Paul Betit can be contacted at 791-6424 or at: [email protected]