WINDHAM — It was a game to build on for both teams.

For Windham High’s sixth-seeded boys’ lacrosse team, its 16-8 win Wednesday in a Class A prelim against No. 11 Deering was a chance to polish its diversified offense and play a full 48-minute game – things the Eagles (10-5) will need Saturday in a quarterfinal at No. 3 South Portland (11-3).

Blake McPherson set the tone with four first-half goals. Windham also received three goals and three assists from two-way midfielder Alex Yeaton and three goals and two assists from physical attackman Tobias Perkins, who thrived close to the cage.

“It was really a team effort, everyone moving the ball,” Perkins said. “Not a lot of bad drops and we passed very well and then just finished when it came time to take the shot.”

Jake Lord added two goals and Owen Gaulrapp, Jack Henry, Bradley Muse and Devin O’Brien each scored once for Windham.

“We just worked hard as a team and we played together,” said Windham senior defender Logan Hirning, who helped the transition game with several runs into the offensive end.

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Windham showed the ability to raise its game at times and string goals together – three straight in the second quarter and five straight including three man-up goals in the third quarter to take a 14-4 lead.

“I do think after the 16-minute mark we sort of elevated it but I think we were consistent throughout,” said Windham Coach Pete Small. “And I felt really good about that because as we move on we’re going to have to play consistent minutes against South Portland.”

Deering finished its season with a 6-9 record and had 25 engaged and enthusiastic players dressed for the game. That’s a marked improvement from a year ago when the Rams won one game and finished the season with 12 players in a playoff loss against Edward Little in Auburn.

Deering doesn’t have the same firepower but it was fundamentally sound and competed from beginning to end, as evidenced by Windham’s modest 48-40 advantage in shot attempts and 12-11 edge in face-off wins.

“From where we were day one of this year to where we are now, I’m very proud,” said Deering Coach Geoffrey Arris. “(Windham) has a lot of upperclassmen, a lot of experience, tournament experience and they’re ready to roll. We’re so young. The future’s bright at Deering. We got ourselves on the map.”

The Rams are very young. Freshman Joey Foley showed he could dodge, create his shot and fire a wicked riser that found the net four times. Andrew Burke, a junior midfielder and a tri-captain, added three goals.

“This is a good step in the right direction,” Foley said. “I do think we can build on this because we have a very young team.”

Defensively, sophomores Christian Silva and Santino Cavallaro and freshman James Johnson will return as starting long-poles along with freshman goalie Vinny Cavallaro (13 saves). Silva demonstrated the team’s desire with his constant, positive on-field encouragement of teammates and his willingness to challenge Windham’s top offensive threats.

“We all fought for that last ground ball,” Silva said. “I definitely did and I felt like it was that way for all of my teammates.”

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