NORTH ANDOVER — The final game of the regular season carried a bit more significance than usual for the Hingham boys' lacrosse team.
With North Andover playing host in the postponed finals of the ninth annual Coaches Challenge Cup, second-ranked Hingham overcame an early 3-1 deficit to pull away for a convincing 12-5 victory, potentially setting the stage for a deep run in the Division 1 tournament.
The first two rounds of the Coaches Cup took place during April vacation, but the semifinals were postponed due to weather on April 19, pushing the final back to Wednesday.
This is the first time Hingham (19-1) has won the tournament after three previous appearances in the final.
"[The Coaches Cup] is great because it's high intensity competition," said Hingham coach John Todd.
"Having it come now, we don't have to transition away from that pressure atmosphere during the rest of the season. It's nice to win it for the first time and hopefully this can act as a little bit more of a springboard going into the [state] tournament next week."
No. 12 North Andover (15-3) jumped out to a 3-1 lead midway through the first quarter. But the Knights were held scoreless over the next 35 minutes while Hingham mounted a steady 10-0 run.
With ample opportunity to attack North Andover's defense, Hingham received goals from seven players with junior Will Kenney (three goals, assist), senior Ryan Hill (two goals) and senior captain Marshall Terres (two goals, assist) leading the charge.
"Our defense played well, caused some turnovers and got the ball back in the offense's hands," said Terres.
"We had long possessions and that gets the offense's confidence. We were getting the right looks and since we're such an unselfish team we're always going to get that second or third look and finish at the doorstep."
The Scarlet Knights allowed double-digit goals for the first time this season and the tally could've been much higher if not for great goalkeeping from Merrimack Valley Conference all-star Ethan Ford (12 saves).
Nate Weitzer can be reached at email@example.com