KENNEBUNK – Sometimes in lacrosse, the best defense is an offense that can control of the ball.

Second-seeded Kennebunk held on to the ball long enough Wednesday night to eke out a 5-3 win against No. 7 South Portland in a Western Class A boys’ lacrosse quarterfinal.

“We like to keep the ball out of the defensive end as much as we can and tire out their defense,” Kennebunk Coach Dan Seavey said. “Today, we did a good job of not turning the ball over, and we executed some long possessions, which was very good. We want to move the ball around and set something up.”

The Rams (10-3) will host No. 3 Marshwood on Saturday in a semifinal.

“I’m glad we won, but it wasn’t clean or pretty,” said Clayton Spang, a middie who had three goals and an assist.

“We tried to move the ball around until there was a good shot.”

Spang scored his first two goals in the first nine minutes to send Kennebunk into a lead it never relinquished.

“It was a good game,” South Portland Coach Tom Fiorini said. “Both teams played extremely well. It came down to just a couple of turnovers one way or the other.”

South Portland (4-9) had its chances.

After middie Duncan Preston made it 4-3 by bouncing in a shot from 15 yards fewer than two minutes into the second half, the Riots twice moved into man-up situations during the third quarter but couldn’t hang onto the ball.

“When it was 4-3, we had man-up and if we got a goal instead of turning the ball over, it was a different game, I think,” Fiorini said.

After one turnover, attackman Sean Foley turned a long pass from Spang into the final goal of the game with 1:25 left in the third quarter.

“(South Portland) played us hard,” Seavey said. “They’re physical, and they move the ball well. They’re a scrappy group of kids and there was good competition here today.”

During the regular season, Kennebunk scored two goals in the fourth quarter to pull out an 8-5 victory against South Portland.

Blake Dowe also scored a goal for Kennebunk, and John Grillo had an assist.

Alex Neal and Chris Mitchell scored first-half goals for the Riots.

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

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