The regional playoffs are nearly three weeks away, but several boys’ lacrosse games scheduled for this week could be previews of what lies ahead.
It starts Wednesday night with key matchups in Scarborough, Cape Elizabeth and Yarmouth.
Kennebunk will put its unbeaten record on the line when it visits three-time defending Class A champion Scarborough in a SMAA contest that could ultimately determine the top seed in the Western Class A tournament.
The Rams have gotten off to an 8-0 start primarily to the work of junior attackman Tyler Elkington in the offensive end and junior long-stick middie Nicco DeLorenzo in the defensive end.
All-American attackman John Wheeler continues to spark the Red Storm.
The two squads appear to be evenly matched.
In league play, the teams have three common opponents. Kennebunk has outscored Biddeford, Portland and Westbrook 34-2, and the Red Storm held a 47-4 edge in scoring over those same three teams.
GRUDGE MATCHES also are scheduled Wednesday night in the Western Maine Conference between some long-standing rivals.
North Yarmouth Academy will travel across town to play Yarmouth, while Cape Elizabeth will host two-time defending state champion Falmouth about 15 miles away. Both games are scheduled to start at 6 p.m.
On April 29, Griffin Thoreck scored with 16 seconds left in the first overtime to lift the Capers to an 11-10 win over the Yachtsmen in Falmouth.
“It’s always a big game for both teams,” said Cape Elizabeth Coach Ben Raymond. “This one is probably bigger for them than us because they need to split the Heal points. We’ll probably see them again (in the playoffs), and that’s the game that really matters.”
In each of the past four seasons, the Capers and the Yachtsmen have played for the regional championship.
“Our goal is to play better than last time and to react better to their pressure,” Falmouth Coach Mike LeBel said.
Cape and Falmouth are ranked one-two in the Western Class B Heal point standings, so the outcome could determine home-field advantage throughout the upcoming regional tournament.
Two-time defending Eastern Class B champ NYA and the Clippers also play each other for the second time this season. In the April 20 season opener, Ian Edgecomb scored with 44 seconds left to lift Yarmouth to a 7-6 win on the Panthers’ home turf.
“We look forward to the rematch,” Yarmouth Coach David Pearl said. “I know we’ve been working hard and I know NYA has been working hard to improve.”
The Panthers (5-2) and Yarmouth (6-1) are ranked second and third in Eastern Class B. A victory Wednesday night could vault the winner over Gardiner, the unbeaten front-runner.
IT DOESN’T GET any easier during the weekend.
It’s crossover week between the SMAA and the WMC.
On Friday night, Kennebunk visits Cape Elizabeth for a nonconference contest.
On Saturday afternoon, Scarborough visits Yarmouth in another intriguing nonconference matchup.
Paul Betit can be contacted at 791-6424 or at firstname.lastname@example.org