If you looked at this game based entirely on the seedings, then sixth-ranked Lincoln Academy’s 53-48 victory over third-ranked Morse in the Western Class B boys’ basketball quarterfinals Saturday afternoon was an upset.

But if you considered what happened in the regular season between the schools – they split, each winning at home, neither game decided by more than six points – then you can see how close these teams really were.

And the game played out just like you would expect.

The Eagles built an early lead and then held on for the victory at the Portland Expo as senior guard Sawyer Pinkham hit three foul shots in the final 27 seconds. Morse had two chances to tie the game in the final minute but a missed foul shot and a traveling violation ended the Shipbuilders’ momentum.

“This is what we expected,” said Lincoln Coach Ryan Ball. “Except I think they expected a different winner. Morse is a little more experienced than us. We’ve got some seniors, but they’re not used to winning.”

Lincoln Academy (13-6) will play Cape Elizabeth in Thursday’s regional semifinal at 7:30 p.m. at the Cross Insurance Arena. Morse, which led only four times in the game, finished 13-6.

“Today was all on me,” said Morse Coach Sam Hayes. “I didn’t find us easy ways to get buckets. The kids played hard, did everything I asked. It’s 100 percent my fault.”

Morse held a very early advantage but the Eagles took control midway through the first quarter and led 26-23 at the half.

Ethan Winglass (24 points, eight rebounds, five assists), scored six quick points in the third and the Shipbuilders led, 31-30.

“It goes back to our whole season,” said Ball. “We’ve had trouble at the beginning of the third. We talk about it, we even practiced it, practicing for a half hour, an hour, then sitting for 15 minutes, then getting back on the court.”

Pinkham, who led Lincoln Academy with 17 points, hit back-to-back 3-pointers as Lincoln regained the lead at 36-31. A 3-pointer by Winglass made it 36-34 entering the fourth.

There, senior guard Brady Leeman made back-to-back steals to score four points and give Lincoln a 47-41 lead with 4:05 left. Morse would cut it to 49-48, but Winglass missed a foul shot that would have tied it with 1:00 left.

After Leeman hit one foul shot to make it 50-48, the Shipbuilders had a basket negated on a traveling call. Pinkham then made two foul shots with 26.3 seconds left.

Pinkham said he was “just trying not to worry too much about what the score is, what the outcome could be if I missed. I was just trying to focus on those two foul shots, just focus on me and the rim.”

He swished both and it was 52-48. Pinkham rebounded a Morse miss and was fouled. This time he hit just one but that would be enough.