After a long drive and a tough battle, No. 6 Belfast (7-4-3) fell to No. 3 host Nokomis (12-2) Tuesday afternoon in an Eastern Class B playoff quarterfinal game. But this time the Lions scored against their seemingly annual playoff nemesis Warriors.

After 60 minutes of regulation and nearly two minutes of the eight-minute, seven-on-seven overtime, the Warriors had stuck the Lions with a disappointing 2-1 loss, ending BAHS’ solid campaign.

Madison Cummings scored the Lion goal and Sasha Small had the assist.

Jordin McGinnis scored a goal and assisted Lindsay Whitney with the Warriors’ second, game-winning score in overtime. Leah Edmonson also added an assist for the hosts.

Nokomis finished with an 8-4 lead in shots and 13-4 edge in penalty corners.

Lion goalie Paxton Mohny made seven saves, while Maria Adams (3 saves) worked in the cage for Nokomis.

It was Belfast’s third straight postseason trip to Nokomis. The previous two, the Lions returned home scoreless, once in a semifinal playoff and another in a quarterfinal game. “So we were very determined to score,” said veteran Belfast coach Allen Holmes. “So starting off that second half — after readdressing things at halftime and making a couple adjustments — it was very, very nice to come out and score.”

“The girls were disappointed, obviously,” the coach said of the team’s loss. “But we got it together, got our heads up, shook hands, wished them luck, and hopped on the bus.”

The coach said Belfast could have pulled out the game and Nokomis players and coaches knew it. “It didn’t take them long to figure out they lucked out,” Holmes said. “We could have had them it would have been six upsets three and they came out hard.”

“We didn’t get a break there,” he said. “We put ourselves in a good position and just couldn’t come away.”

According to Holmes, Belfast had close deflections on the Nokomis goal. “I mean, I don’t know why they didn’t go in,” he said. “I can’t explain, just the angle and the way the ball bounced.”

He said his players couldn’t have done any more than they did. “It’s just the way the ball bounced. No, you couldn’t have done any more. We were there.”

McGinnis opened the scoring with 21:55 left in the first half on Edmonson’s assist.

The Lions trailed 1-0 at halftime and needed an offensive pick-me-up. They got that with 27:50 remaining in the second half as Cummings netted a goal off Small’s penalty corner for the 1-1 tie.

However, 1:59 into overtime, Nokomis had McGinnis ready to seal the game. The Warrior made a hard shot at the Lion cage, but Mohny made the block. However, the ball spun out and landed directly in front of the cage where Whitney tapped it in for the win.

Nokomis bested Belfast 1-0 Sept. 11 in a regular-season game and have handed the Lions other postseason losses in recent seasons.

With seven seniors on the team, Holmes said his squad knew the effort it would take to get this far this season. “We had great practices all season long, we had some nice wins that were just like wins against good teams,” he said.

Holmes praised his goalies and the defense for their strong efforts and said he didn’t believe a player missed practice by choice. “Everything was positive,” he said. “It was just a good overall experience.”

Holmes said he feels bad for the seniors after the loss, but also has to feel good for them, in a way, too.

“Third time over there — we did it,” he said of scoring against the Warriors. “After getting down 1-0 at half it would be pretty easy to tank it and say, ‘You know, well, this happened to us twice before. Looks like it’s going to happen again.’ And they stepped it up.”

“They were very fortunate to come out of there with a win, very fortunate,” he said of host Nokomis. “We did everything but sell popcorn.”

The Lions, led by coach Holmes, who ends this campaign with a career mark of 405-149-38, include seniors Kasey Laveway (midfield), Helene Wallace (midfield), Small (forward), Rosie LaCivita (back), Mohney (goalie), Lauren Rice (forward), Ashland Hall (forward) and Lauren Martin (back); juniors Ally James (forward), Krissy Martin (back), Britt Mellor (forward), Emily Blood (back), Sierra Wood (goalie), Kari Osgood (forward), Kristi Osgood (forward), Brooklyn Curry (midfield) and Kendra Kirby (forward); sophomores Julia Ward (goalie), Katrina Lapham (back) and Makaila Gould (back); and freshman Cummings (forward).

Village NetMedia Sports Reporter Frederick Freudenberger can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by e-mail at fritz@villagesoup.com