SOUTH PORTLAND — It may have been the first game of what will be a long season for the South Portland boys’ lacrosse team, but if the Red Riots make a deep postseason run, they could look back and point to their 14-13 win Friday over Scarborough as a big confidence builder.

The Red Riots trailed by four goals late in the first half against Scarborough, the defending Class A state champion. But they fought back to take the lead before the Red Storm got a late goal to force overtime.

South Portland got possession in overtime and never gave it back.

David Fiorini took a pass from Cooper Mehlhorn behind the net and found Jack Angell on a backdoor cut. The senior midfielder buried a shot from about 10 feet, one minute into the extra session.

“We came out of halftime talking about deciding what kind of team we’re going to be,” said Red Riots Coach Tom Fiorini. “Are we the kind that will come out and play hard in the second half and come from behind and win … or not. And these kids showed that’s what they want to do.”

The faceoff win by Jack Tierney to start was vital, said Angell.

“I was just hoping for an early goal (in overtime),” said Angell, who finished with five goals. “I knew if it kept going it would be rough. If we let them go down they might score a goal. I wanted to make sure we scored first and end the game.”

Finn Zechman also had five goals, while Mehlhorn added three goals and two assists. Fiorini had two assists and Mitchell Adams scored the other goal.

South Portland got three goals in a 1:44 span midway through the final quarter to take its first lead of the game at 13-12. Mehlhorn, who had 43 goals and 28 assists as a freshman last year, netted the first two only 20 seconds apart before Angell put the Red Riots ahead.

The teams traded chances for the next six-plus minutes before Scarborough’s Marc Guerette (four goals) finished off a give-and-go with Joshua DaRosa (one goal, one assist) with 26.6 showing on the clock.

The Red Riots won the ensuing faceoff but lost possession and gave the ball back to Scarborough (1-1) with 13 seconds left. Sam Neugebauer (three goals) didn’t have shot and tried a cross-field pass that was high and went out of bounds with three seconds left.

“(Neugebauer) has the ability to freelance and he wants to score there, but he’s mature enough now and he realized (the defense) slid to help (against him). He tried to find a guy open and just missed the pass,” Scarborough Coach Joe Hezlep said.

The Red Riots turned the game around with a 4-2 edge in the third quarter, holding Scarborough to one goal for the first 10:47 before Neugebauer’s goal gave his team a 10-9 edge heading into the final 12 minutes.

“South Portland came out and made a ton of big boy plays in the third quarter to rally and turn the momentum. And we had a tough time picking it back up,” said Hezlep.

The importance of an early win against a top foe was not lost on Angell.

“This win gives us a huge boost (knowing) that they knocked us out (of the playoffs) last year and we can beat them this year,” he said. “And we came back from (being down) in the beginning (of the game).”

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