La Plata boys lax loses to Hunt­ing­town

Hur­ri­canes come back af­ter two four-goal deficits

Maryland Independent - - Sports - By TED BLACK tblack@somd­news.com

One day af­ter hear­ing about the tragic loss of their for­mer ju­nior var­sity team­mate, Tyler Bland, the Hunt­ing­town High School boys lacrosse team ar­rived at La Plata High School on Fri­day with heavy hearts and they ap­peared emo­tion­ally drained through the first quar­ter.

When the host War­riors raced to 4-0 and 5-1 leads in the Class 3A-2A East Re­gion Sec­tion II semi­fi­nal con­test, the Hur­ri­canes’ chances of hon­or­ing their for­mer team­mate and school­mate with a vic­tory ap­peared to have van­ished early.

Hunt­ing­town had ral­lied to get within a goal at 7-6 at the in­ter­mis­sion, but La Plata re­gained the mo­men­tum in the third quar­ter on goals from Jonathon Kn­ode and Jor­dan Sin­clair that gave the War­riors a 9-6 lead with just over five min­utes re­main­ing in the pe­riod.

At that point, Hunt­ing­town head coach Pete Ker­win called a timeout sens­ing that the game and the Hur­ri­canes’ sea­son hinged on the lat­ter por­tion of the third quar­ter and the early stages of the fourth and he did not want to see his team’s chances evap­o­rate en­tirely.

With just over three min­utes re­main­ing in the third quar­ter, Hunt­ing­town ju­nior Johnny Not­tage picked up a loose ball near mid­field and headed up­field with his team’s sea­son rest­ing with the ball in the net­ting of his stick. Not­tage bounced off two La Plata de­fend­ers and headed down the mid­dle of the field, darted left briefly then shifted back to his right and fired a shot past War­riors goalie Sean St. Clair that trimmed the Hur­ri­canes deficit to 9-7. But Not­tage’s de­ter­mined goal had a gen­uine rip­ple ef­fect through the Hunt­ing­town squad.

“When Johnny scored that goal late in the third pe­riod, it def­i­nitely picked up the en­tire team,” Ker­win said. “You could see the look on ev­ery­one’s face when they came over to the side­line. They knew that if they each played with that same in­ten­sity and de­ter­mi­na­tion then we could come back. I thought we had the deeper team. We just had to make some plays and let our depth do its part.”

With less than a minute re­main­ing in the third quar­ter, Hunt­ing­town se­nior Kevin Holmes also scored the trim the Hur­ri­canes’ deficit to 9-8 head­ing into the fi­nal frame, where, con­trary to the scoreboard, the vis­i­tors had the mo­men­tum.

Holmes scored the equal­izer a minute into the fourth quar­ter and Not­tage and ju­nior Jake Brook­man gave the Hur­ri­canes their first two-goal lead of the game with con­sec­u­tive scores and later Allen McKel­ton sealed the ver­dict with just over three min­utes re­main­ing to lift the Hur­ri­canes to a 12-10 vic­tory.

Third-seeded Hunt­ing­town (13-4 over­all) ad­vanced to play at top-seeded North­ern for the sec­tional cham­pi­onship and fell 7-1.

Brook­man, who was one of the play­ers clos­est to Bland, who did not re­turn to the team this spring, scored the Hur­ri­canes’ lone goal in the first quar­ter and then tal­lied an­other early in the sec­ond. He com­pleted a 0hat trick be­fore the end of the first half and then scored off an as­sist from McKell­ton with less than six min­utes re­main­ing to lift the Hur­ri­canes to an 11-9 lead. Af­ter La Plata ju­nior Ben LeBar­ron scored to trim the Hunt­ing­town lead to 11-10 with five min­utes left, McKel­ton gave the Hur­ri­canes an­other twogoal cush­ion roughly two min­utes later.

“We were def­i­nitely a lit­tle slug­gish at first,” said Brook­man, who plans to

at­tend the St. Mary’s Col­lege of Mary­land and study marine bi­ol­ogy in 2017. “Be­tween the way La Plata came out with a lot more in­ten­sity and the other things that had hap­pened off the field were still weigh­ing on us. But Johnny had a great goal in the third quar­ter and then we scored the first three goals of the fourth quar­ter to take a two-goal lead and keep the mo­men­tum.”

Ini­tially it looked as through the se­nior-laden War­riors were never go­ing to relin­quish the mo­men­tum and ap­peared poised to ad­vance to the next round of the tour­na­ment. La Plata se­nior Zach Ward scored the game’s first goal 90 sec­onds into the con­test, then

Sin­clair scored his first goal a minute later and added an­other with three min­utes left in the opener. Kn­ode scored his first goal of the day with a minute left in the pe­riod to make it 4-0, but Brook­man got the War­riors on the board with only 14.3 sec­onds left in the opener.

LeBar­ron scored his first goal of the game less than 90 sec­onds into the sec­ond quar­ter to ex­tend the La Plata lead to 5-1, but Brook­man, John Os­borne and McKel­ton notched con­sec­u­tive goals to trim the Hur­ri­canes’ deficit to 5-4. Sin­clair tal­lied an­other goal for La Plata, but McKel­ton an­swered to make it 6-5. Cody Get­gen gave the War­riors a 7-5 lead with 24.8 sec­onds left in the half, but Brook­man brought the vis­i­tors back to within 7-6 on a goal with only 6.5 sec­onds re­main­ing.

“We def­i­nitely had all the mo­men­tum early, but that one goal [by Not­tage] def­i­nitely started to turn things around,” La Plata coach Kris Bayer said. The Ch­e­sa­peake Di­vi­sion cham­pion War­riors fin­ish the sea­son at 10-5. “We stopped run­ning our of­fense ef­fec­tively and we did not play well on de­fense. They were also get­ting to more of the ground­balls. We had 11 se­niors on the team and it’s go­ing to be tough to re­place a lot of them, es­pe­cially on de­fense where we had four guys play their last three years to­gether.”

STAFF PHOTO BY TED BLACK

La Plata High School sopho­more Cody Get­gen looks to get past Hunt­ing­town’s John Os­borne on Fri­day. Get­gen scored a goal in the first half, but the Hur­ri­canes dom­i­nated the fourth quar­ter en route to a 12-10 vic­tory in their 3A-2A South Re­gion play­off game in La Plata.

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