WALES — Dan Brannigan has told his team it needs to shoot more.

By now, his Oak Hill boys’ lacrosse squad is likely tired of hearing the cliche that 100 percent of the shots they don’t take won’t go in. Brannigan tends to preach that often in practice.

So the Raiders did a little something about it Tuesday. Oak Hill shot early and often and did its share of scoring as well in a 17-1 win over Mountain Valley.

“That’s all I’m asking — to put shots on the cage,” said Brannigan.

Kyle Flaherty led the Raiders (2-2) with eight goals and two assists. He put over 20 shots on net himself as Oak Hill outshot the Falcons, 56-6.

“We definitely needed this for a confidence boost,” Flaherty said. “We play Maranacook Thursday. That’s a big game. We needed to do good today to get us ready for Thursday.”

The Black Bears are among the top teams in Eastern Class B, while Oak Hill was seventh entering Tuesday’s game. Mountain Valley (1-2) was sixth.

“I told them that if they’re going to break out, this was the game,” Brannigan said. “They needed to break out today and get ready for Thursday.”

Kaleb Sturtevant had two goals and an assist, while Matt Gilbert scored twice. Steven Gilbert and Chad Merrill each added a goal and an assist.

After beating St. Dom’s 3-2 to open the season, the Raiders had lost two straight.

“We started off the season awful,” Brannigan said. “We were missing a lot of kids in preseason. We’ve been practicing with only half a team. Now that we’ve got everybody back on the field, the first game we played against St. Dom’s was absolutely ugly. It’s probably the ugliest game I’ve ever seen. We were both rusty. Then we played Morse, and we probably should have done it again, but we were still shaking off the rust. Against Gardiner, I thought we broke out and started to play our own game.”

Mountain Valley got a goal from Tucker Phelps in the second half. Goalie Coyote Freeman had a great effort with 19 saves.

“Our effort was there,” said Mountain Valley coach Rick White, whose team had opened the year with a win over Mt. Blue but then lost to St. Dom’s, 7-1. “They’re just a better team. Every now and then, you play a better team. We have some kids that can shoot the ball. I thought my goalie did well. We looked good at times and at times we didn’t. We’re learning.”

The Raiders put the Falcons in an early hole with five goals in a span of just four minutes in the first quarter. Flaherty had two goals and two assists during that span. He added another late goal in the quarter for an 6-0 lead.

“We practiced all week and knew we needed to get a good start on this team to win,” Flaherty said. “So we just came out firing.”

Noah Carney, Matt Gilbert and Alex Pomerleau also had goals in the first quarter.

The lead was up to 8-0 at the half after Sturtevant and Flaherty each scored in the second quarter.

In the third, Oak Hill broke it wide open. Flaherty scored four goals, two in the first three minutes. Steven and Matt Gilbert each added goals for a 14-0 lead.

“We really need to get our offense moving,” Flaherty said. “Our defense is solid. We need to get the offense on the same page, and we did that today.”

Sturtevant, Merrill and Mulherin added goals for the Raiders in the fourth. Phelps got the Falcons lone goal with 6:10 left in the game, beating Matt Martin, who finished with four saves.

“I’m proud of my kids,” White said. “They played within what I thought they could play. They never quit.”

[email protected]

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.