KENNEBUNK — Three weeks ago, the Kennebunk High girls’ basketball team lost to Marshwood by 18 points as the Hawks hit 17 3-pointers. Things were a little different Monday in the rematch.

Kennebunk’s defense never let Marshwood get into any rhythm – especially from the outside – as the Rams pulled away in the final 1:30 to defeat the Hawks 54-46 in a pivotal Class A South game.

The Rams (7-2) held Marshwood (7-2) to six 3-pointers.

“They were definitely contesting our 3-point game and we weren’t on,” said Marshwood Coach Steve Freeman. “And we didn’t rebound like we like, too. I thought they grinded it out and out-gutted us.”

Kennebunk still played a zone defense, but this time put 6-foot-2 sophomore Emily Archibald – the Rams’ best interior defensive player – at the top of it.

Her presence made the Hawks rush some shots. And the other Kennebunk defenders took away the dribble-drive pass that often sets up open perimeter shots for Marshwood.

“We switched our defense to focus on closing out their 3s,” said Archibald, who led Kennebunk with 16 points, 14 from the foul line. “We worked all practice on switching our defense and closing on their shooters to make sure they couldn’t get up as many shots as they did the last time,” said Jess Dupler, who had 15 points for Kennebunk.

Kennebunk took a 9-2 lead and trailed only once – at 17-15 early in the second quarter.

The Rams finished the second quarter on a 10-3 run and never trailed in the second half. Marshwood made it 44-44 with 3:02 remaining in the fourth quarter on a jumper by Nathalie Clavette, but the Rams regrouped.

Archibald, who had 16 rebounds, got her only field goal on an offensive rebound. She was fouled on the play and completed the three-point play to give the Rams a 47-44 lead with 2:35 left. A Marshwood missed 3-pointer led to a foul shot by Alaina Schatzabel (11 points) and a four-point lead.

Archibald hit four consecutive foul shots and Dupler added two with 45 seconds left to make it 54-44.

Archibald said the Rams were determined not to let this one slip away.

“We knew we had to keep our energy up to come out with a win and we did,” she said. “We worked hard as a team and kept it together, and got the result we wanted.”

And it wasn’t just Archibald and Dupler. Archibald struggled shooting the ball but everyone else contributed offensively.

“I’m happy the way the kids around (Archibald) stepped up,” said Kennebunk Coach Rob Sullivan. “It’s important for them to see that, too. If she’s not scoring a lot of buckets, for us to beat a team like that, that’s more important to me. We beat a good team.”

Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or:

[email protected]

Twitter: MikeLowePPH