WALES — A third-quarter featuring a fusillade of goals and penalties turned a boys lacrosse game between Gardiner and undefeated Oak Hill/Monmouth/Lisbon into a nail-biter on Tuesday.

But thanks to a Gardiner penalty and a three-goal surge by senior Caleb Richard and three assists from Riley Worth, the Raiders (9-0) held on for a 16-11 victory.

“I think we just needed energy,” Richard said. “Someone needed to start something. I don’t usually do that, but I guess today was the day I started. It was a tough test. They play very physical. We are not used to that, really, so that’s a big surprise for us. It was a great game; had fun and Gardiner played really good.”

The Tigers (4-4) were closing in fast with six goals, including two by Cam Rizzo (four goals), that put the Raiders on their heels in the third quarter.

But a two-minute penalty for a cross-check to the head of a Raiders player gave Oak Hill/Monmouth/Lisbon a man-up. That’s when Richard went to work on the Tigers with his four goals — three in a row, then one by Dandre Daniels, and the fourth by Richard.

“Yes, this was the strongest we’ve had,” Oak Hill/Monmouth/Lisbon coach Joe Hinkley said. “Every time we play Gardiner, it is always tough. KC (Johnson) is a great coach. He always has tough teams.”

Hinkley added that there were some impressive moments from his team.

“I think our fast breaks, when we caught the ball, they worked just fine,” he said.

Oak Hill/Monmouth/Lisbon managed to stay ahead with seven goals to the Gardiner’s six to carry a 13-9 into the fourth quarter, but the Raiders knew a three-goal lead might not suffice.

The Tigers weren’t finished yet, adding goals from Gabe Piorier (three goals, five assists) and Rizzo to keep the Raiders on their toes.

Oak Hill struck back with three goals to put the game out Gardiner’s reach in the fourth quarter: Tiger Hopkins, Gavin Leet and Spencer Berube gave the Raiders some breathing room with their goals, which were set up by assists from Travis Caron, Richard and Worth.

In the first quarter, Hopkins menaced Gardiner with two goals, while Berube and Daniels (three goals) each scored one to give the Raiders a 4-1 lead. Poirier scored the Tigers’ only goal of the period.

Gardiner started to close in on Oak Hill during the second quarter, with goals from Sean Doyle and Rizzo, but the Raiders answered with two goals of their own from Hopkins and Worth to give Oak Hill a 6-3 lead.

“Our guys have been grinding all season long,” Gardiner coach KC Johnson said. “We’ve had some tough games along the way. I think we are pretty good matchup for (the Raiders). (Our) kids are leaving it on the field every day.”

For the day, Hopkins dropped in five goals for the game

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