Yarmouth’s boys’ lacrosse team whoops it up after Tuesday’s 18-6 win over Brunswick in a Class B state semifinal. The Clippers avenged last year’s playoff ouster and advanced to meet Greely in Friday’s state final.

Ben McCanna / Portland Press Herald photos.

More photos below.


Class B state semifinal

Yarmouth 18 Brunswick 6

B- 1 1 2 2- 6
Y- 4 5 5 4- 18

First quarter
9:56 B Lyne (Glover)
9:13 Y Heywood (Garrett)
7:04 Y Corey (unassisted)
1:47 Y Corey (Hamm) (MAN-UP)
48.5 Y Garrett (unassisted)

Second quarter
11:22 Y Hamm (unassisted)
11:09 Y Garrett (Hook)
10:16 B Glover (unassisted)
9:25 Y Garrett (unassisted)
8:20 Y Garrett (Guertler)
3.0 Y Guertler (unassisted)

Third quarter
10:23 Y Corey (unassisted)
10:07 Y Primeau (unassisted)
9:03 Y Corey (Garrett)
4:15 Y Corey (Guertler)
2:09 B Belanger (Glover)
1:50 B Belanger (Lyne)
1:09 Y Hamm (unassisted)

Fourth quarter
10:08 Y Heywood (unassisted)
7:23 Y Garrett (Heywood)
6:42 Y Heywood (Hamm)
6:07 B Glover (unassisted)
2:38 Y Hamm (unassisted)
1:33 B Mitchell (unassisted)

B- Belanger, Glover 2, Lyne, Mitchell 1
Y- Corey, Garrett 5, Hamm, Heywood 3, Guertler, Primeau 1

B- Glover 2, Lyne 1
Y- Garrett, Guertler, Hamm, Heywood 2, Hook 1

Faceoffs (Yarmouth, 21-6)
B- Girardin 3 of 6, Lopez 0 of 7, N. Curtis 1 of 6, Ellis 1 of 4, Mitchell 1 of 1, Upham 0 of 2, Coombs 0 of 1
Y- Primeau 20 of 25, Sullivan 1 of 2

Ground balls:
B- 21
Y- 46

B- 21
Y- 15

B- 28
Y- 62

Shots on cage:
B- 13
Y- 40

B (Pendergast) 21 (T. Curtis) 1
Y (King) 7

YARMOUTH—Avenging an agonizing playoff loss was sweet.

Ending a decade-long championship drought could be even sweeter.

And based on how Yarmouth’s boys’ lacrosse team performed in its Class B state semifinal, the Clippers have to feel good about their chances on the big stage.

Hosting defending champion Brunswick Tuesday evening, the team which rallied to beat it in overtime in last year’s semifinal round, Yarmouth came out sizzling, launching 19 first quarter shots and grabbing a 4-1 lead behind goals from senior Kurt Heywood, junior Anders Corey, Corey again and senior Andy Garrett.

Dragons senior Connor Pendergast did his best to keep his team in the game, but he could only hold the Clippers at bay so long and Yarmouth extended its lead in the second quarter, getting goals from junior Gavin Hamm and Garrett and after senior Aiden Glover scored for Brunswick, Garrett scored twice more and senior Michael Guertler added another goal for a commanding 9-2 halftime advantage.

And Dragons’ comeback hopes were dashed quickly in the third quarter, as Corey scored early, senior Griffin Primeau, who was sensational in the faceoff circle all night, added his first career goal and Corey scored twice more to end all doubt.

The Clippers held a 14-4 lead after three quarters and went on to an 18-6 victory, which was equal parts therapeutic and historic.

Corey and Garrett both scored five times, Primeau won 20 of 25 faceoffs and Yarmouth improved to 10-4, concluded the Dragons’ season at 11-3, ended the longtime coaching career of Brunswick’s Don Glover and advanced to meet No. 1 Greely (11-3) in the Class B state final Friday at 5 p.m., at Fitzpatrick Stadium in Portland.

“The boys played really great tonight,” said Clippers coach David Pearl. “I’m really, really proud of them. They’ve worked really hard. Brunswick has some great players, which makes this victory special.”

Sweet revenge

In last year’s state semifinals, visiting Yarmouth appeared en route to victory, but the Clippers couldn’t hold a three-goal fourth period lead and after Henry Doherty tied the game with six seconds to go in regulation, Max Gramins’ score 33 seconds into overtime gave Brunswick a stirring 14-13 win.

Gramins would produce another OT game winner three days later to give the Dragons a 14-13 victory over Greely, giving Brunswick a Class B state championship to go with a Class A crown won the previous season, in overtime over Scarborough.

This spring, Brunswick and Yarmouth have clearly been two of the top three teams in Class B, along with Greely, although both suffered some tough losses (see sidebar, below, for links to previous game stories).

The Dragons won their first six games, lost at Greely, then won three in a row, including a 12-9 win at Bowdoin College over defending Class A North champion Falmouth, which was number 300 in Don Glover’s career. After a decisive home loss to South Portland, Brunswick finished with a home win over Mt. Ararat.

Prior to the playoffs, Glover announced he would retire at year’s end and the Dragons had no trouble with No. 6 Gardiner in Friday’s quarterfinal round, winning 20-9.

The Clippers, meanwhile, started fast with a nine-goal home win over Greely, then lost in improbable fashion at Cape Elizabeth in overtime. Wins over Kennebunk and North Yarmouth Academy were followed by a one-goal loss at South Portland. Yarmouth then won four straight before losing, 9-2, at home to Cape Elizabeth and at Greely (13-5). The Clippers got back on track with a 12-5 home victory over defending Class C champion Waynflete to close the regular season.

In Friday’s state quarterfinal round, Yarmouth dominated No. 7 Camden Hills, 19-3.

“I hate to say it, but that Greely loss exposed some things we needed to work on and I that got us fired up,” Primeau said. “A blessing in disguise, maybe.”

“We had to search and see what our identity would be after the Greely loss,” Pearl said. “We went back to square one and built it back up.”

The Clippers and Dragons didn’t play this season.

The squads had met four previous times in the postseason, with each winning two.

In addition to last year’s victory, Brunswick prevailed, 11-5, in the 2002 Southeast Division Final en route to its first state game appearance.

Yarmouth dominated the Dragons, 13-3, in the 2004 East Division Final en route to its first championship, then won again, 17-3, in the 2005 East Region semifinals.

Tuesday, on a windy, 70 degree evening, the Clippers started fast and never let up en route to a surprisingly decisive win.

Primeau won the opening faceoff and Garrett had a great look just eight seconds in, but he missed high.

After Pendergast denied Corey and Hamm hit the post, it would be Brunswick scoring first, as Aiden Glover set up Lyne with 9:56 to go in the first quarter.

And that would be as good as it would get for the Dragons.

Forty-three seconds later, after another Primeau faceoff win, Garrett found Heywood on the doorstep and he finished to tie the score.

Yarmouth took the lead for good with 7:04 remaining in the frame, as Corey eluded a defender, then fired a rocket that Pendergast couldn’t stop.

“We knew they’d try to lock us off, so we’ve practiced off-ball movement and our picks,” Corey said. “It was great team play. We just had to shoot around (Connor) and get bounce shots in and shoot off-hip.”

Late in the frame, the Clippers gained a little separation, as Corey scored from Hamm (man-up) with 1:47 to go and with 48.5 seconds on the clock, Garrett’s unassisted tally made it 4-1.

In the first 12 minutes alone, Yarmouth won all six faceoffs and unleashed 19 shots. Only nine saves by Pendergast kept the game within reach.

“Connor saw a lot of shots in the first half and stood on his head,” Don Glover said. “Guys in front of him worked hard.”

The Clippers would continue to pull away in the second period.

Hamm scored unassisted 38 seconds in and 13 seconds later, in transition, senior defenseman James Hook raced into the offensive zone and set up Garrett to make it 6-1.

The Dragons ended the 6-0 run when Glover scored unassisted with 10:16 to play in the half, but Garrett scored on a rebound 51 seconds later, Guertler set up Garrett for a goal off a pretty pass with 8:20 remaining and after Hamm hit the post, Guertler scored unassisted off a nice dodge with 3 seconds on the clock and Yarmouth enjoyed a 9-2 halftime advantage.

In the first 24 minutes, Primeau won all 13 faceoff opportunities, the Clippers took 39 shots and they were well on their way to victory.

Brunswick hoped to rally, but never got a chance when the second half started.

With 10:23 to go in the third period, Corey scored unassisted.

Sixteen seconds later, after winning the faceoff, Primeau raced in and beat Pendergast for his first goal and an 11-2 lead.

The onslaught continued, as Garrett fed Corey for a goal with 9:03 on the clock and with 4:15 left in the third, Corey scored again, from Guertler, and the lead was 13-2.

Senior Jacob Belanger got a pair of goals back for the Dragons, scoring from Aiden Glover with 2:09 to go, then, in transition, taking a pass from Lyne and finishing 19 seconds later, but with 1:09 on the clock, Hamm’s unassisted tally put the Clippers ahead, 14-4, heading for the final stanza.

Where they put an exclamation mark on their triumph.

With 10:08 to go, Heywood scored unassisted.

Heywood then set up Garrett for a goal with 7:23 remaining and improbably, the mercy rule was applied, running the clock.

Hamm then fed Heywood for a goal 41 seconds later.

Aiden Glover answered with his final high school goal, an unassisted tally with 6:07 to play, but with 2:38 to go, Hamm scored unassisted for Yarmouth’s final goal.

With 1:33 remaining, senior Finn Mitchell scored Brunswick’s last goal, unassisted, and the Clippers went on to run out the clock and at 7:43 p.m., celebrate their 18-6 victory.

“It’s such a good feeling,” Primeau said. “Last year, the Brunswick game was my worst game of the season, so you could say it was in the back of my head. I wanted to come out firing. We were focused. We wanted it really bad. The whole team worked together.”

“This is a lot better than last year,” Corey said. “We’ve focused on that game all year. We knew we’d see them again and we knew we had to bring it. We’ve had a history of being a first half team. That’s what happened last year. We knew we had to bring it tonight all the way.”

“Last year, the leaders of this team were juniors and now, those leaders are seniors,” Pearl added. “We remember Brunswick (last year) like it was yesterday. That was a really hard loss. We’ve used it as motivation in practice.”

Six different players scored for Yarmouth, as Corey and Garrett had five goals apiece, Hamm and Heywood each scored three times and Guertler and Primeau had one goal apiece.

Garrett, Guertler, Hamm and Heywood had two assists apiece and Hook finished with one.

King made seven saves.

The Clippers won 21 of 27 faceoffs, as Primeau was successful on 20 of 25 tries.

“I give a lot of credit to our wings,” Primeau said. “When we play as a team, there’s nothing better than that.”

“Griffin did a great job controlling possession,” said Pearl. “Faceoffs are such a huge part of the game and he got us possession every time. He was unbelievable. I’m proud of him. It was phenomenal he got a goal too.”

Yarmouth had a commanding 46-21 ground ball advantage (Primeau had a game-high 14), a 62-28 edge in shots (40-13 on cage) and turned the ball over 15 times.

End of an era

Brunswick’s offense featured two goals apiece from Belanger and Aiden Glover and one each from Lyne and Mitchell.

Glover also had two assists, while Lyne had one.

Pendergast made 21 saves in his swan song.

The Dragons committed 21 turnovers.

“Yarmouth was hot,” Don Glover said. “They’re very good. They’re very skilled and very savvy. We knew we were getting off the bus as a pretty serious underdog. We played at a ‘7’ level and they peaked at a ‘9’ or ’10.’ We got hurt at the X. In the first half, they won 100 percent of the faceoffs. We tried all sorts of things to counter it. (Primeau) was exceptional. It was like a make-it, take-it basketball game and it was tough.

“I just said to the kids, it’s more about the memories. We had 18 seniors. I don’t want them to think of the score of the last game. It was just a game. We didn’t play super and they played really well.”

Don Glover bows out having won 303 games and four state titles. He left his mark on countless players and coaches across the state and will long be hailed for his contributions to high school lacrosse.

“Coach Glover and I have a lot of history together,” Pearl said. “I’ve seen how he’s built that program. No question he’s a legend. He’s mentored so many great players and coaches in this state.”

“I say all the time, my cup runneth over,” Don Glover said. “I got teary-eyed in one of the timeouts, but I’m happy. It will hit me a little bit later. It will hit me harder this weekend. I’ll walk away and remember the good stuff. I’ve had a long stand here on high school fields. There’s a lot of really good memories.”

Fifty minutes to glory

Yarmouth, meanwhile, will get a chance to capture an elusive state title (the Clippers haven’t won it all since 2009) Saturday.

Standing in the way will be Greely, which looks to finish what last year’s team nearly accomplished. The Clippers beat the visiting Rangers by nine April 18, then lost by eight in Cumberland May 27.

Surprisingly, the neighbors have never before squared off in the postseason.

Their first meeting promises to be something to behold.

“We just have to play our game,” Corey said. “We just have to focus on us and what we can control.”

“We’re excited,” Primeau said. “We have to play as a team, play a complete game. They have a great team and we know it. I’m excited to go against (faceoff specialist) Jackson (Williams). It will be an awesome game.”

“This is a sweet victory, but now we have to go to work on Greely,” Pearl added. “We’re really excited. We’ll savor it tonight, then be right back at it tomorrow.

“We need to play like we did today. We need to play with confidence. When we play as a team, the sky’s the limit.”

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter: @foresports.

Yarmouth junior Anders Corey, who scored five times, fires point blank on Brunswick senior goalie Connor Pendergast, who made 21 saves.

Yarmouth junior Gavin Hamm gets a step on Brunswick junior Chandler Coombs.

Yarmouth senior Kurt Heywood celebrates after scoring a goal.

Yarmouth senior Andy Garrett is congratulated by seniors Connor Senger (34) and Michael Guertler after one of his five goals.

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Season Preview

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South Portland 13 Yarmouth 12

Yarmouth 10 Falmouth 4

Greely 13 Yarmouth 5

Yarmouth 12 Waynflete 5

Previous Brunswick stories

Greely 11 Brunswick 8

Brunswick 12 Falmouth 9

South Portland 21 Brunswick 8