YARMOUTH – All season long the North Yarmouth Panthers have taken turns with their offensive leaders. One day it’s senior midfielder Than Wellin. The next match it may be Graham Bartlett. Saturday it was Kevin Catir’s turn.

The senior attacker scored seven goals as the top-seeded Panthers defeated No. 4 Oak Hill Raiders 17-4 in an Eastern Class B boys’ lacrosse semifinal at Lewis Field.

Bartlett attempted to play on an injured knee and scored two goals and assisted on another, but he was forced to sit out much of the match. Wellin found himself surrounded as soon as he entered the offensive zone and was held in check with a goal and an assist. Through the revolving offensive door stepped Catir.

“We have a well-rounded team,” said North Yarmouth coach Jeff Thoreck. “With this group, one guy can be marked our double teamed and someone else can score.”

Catir connected for a pair of early goals as the Panthers (12-1) took a 4-1 lead after one quarter. First Taylor Gorman cut down the middle and sent a pass across to Catir on the doorstep of the goal for an easy score. A few minutes later, Catir converted an Oak Hill turnover into another score.

The turnover was one of many that plagued the Raiders (11-3) throughout the match.

“Transition definitely was a tough thing for us along with clearing the ball,” said Oak Hill coach Greg Lynch. “They’re a good team. They’re disciplined and well coached.”

Later in the first half, Gorman (one goal, four assists) found Bartlett in front for his second score. Less than a minute later, it was Gorman to Catir for another transition goal as the Panthers built a 7-1 lead at the half.

“It took us a while to get going,” said Thoreck. “Once (we) settled in and began moving the ball around, we got our composure.”

The Raiders received some momentum early in the second half when Joe Gilbert scored his second goal in the opening seconds. The visitors then had three more opportunities in the next few minutes, but NYA keeper Stephen Hansel (nine saves) thwarted two shots and Nicholas Brown had another volley bounce off a post.

Seconds after Brown’s clanger, the Panthers notched a pair of goals within seconds to squelch any possible comeback. Two goals by Catir and single tallies by Gorman and Nicholas Lolar put the Panthers up 11-2.

“We have a really good midfield,” said Catir. “We started to move the ball well and worked a lot on our set plays today.”

North Yarmouth’s offensive proved to be too explosive for the Oak Hill defensive unit.

“We went to a zone in the crease with man-to-man at the top,” said Lynch. “We wanted to cover the cuts. What killed us was being a little scattered at times.”

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