Bucs cruise in matchup of state champions
Kent Island still unbeaten in Baysides, rides 9-0 run in defeat of Warriors
K. Island 20 — Easton 9
EASTON — Whether the formula produces the desired result — another state championship — is yet to be determined.
But the blueprint of playing heavyweights early in the season in preparation for the playoffs is once again working quite nicely for Kent Island High’s boys’ lacrosse team.
Mikey Quinn, Luke Fromert, Jackson Kratovil and Brandon Galloway each scored four goals Thursday night, as the Buccaneers used a 9-0 first-half run on the way to a convincing 20-9 victory over Easton in a clash of defending state champions at Warrior Stadium.
“It’s been a progression since the beginning,” said Fromert, a senior attackman. “We started kind of rough and shaky, but now we’re starting to jell together as a team. I think we’re going to be looking pretty strong in the playoffs.”
The two-time defending Class 3A-2A state champion, Kent Island lost three of its first five games this season, including a 9-8 triple-overtime loss to Broadneck in the annual Case Holiday Tournament. Then came an 8-7 heartbreaker against Severn, and a 14-7 setback at Boys’ Latin.
“In the beginning of the year we find out who we are,” senior midfielder Quinn said. “We find out what we need to work on because we’re always competitive when it comes to those teams. But we always lose at the very, very end. And it’s minor things that cause the loss. Against really good teams, it’s just the one thing that you don’t do right that the other team will capitalize on. And you’ll end up losing. So as we go on further in the season, it’s just about perfecting who we are as a team.”
The Bucs (6-2 overall, 2-0 North Bayside) seem to be doing a pretty good job in the perfecting process. Since entering the Bayside Conference portion of its schedule, Kent Island has outscored its five opponents 96-19. The latest victim was Easton (6-2, 1-1), the defending 2A-1A state champ that came in riding a four-game winning streak.
The Warriors actually went up 1-0 in the game’s fourth minute when Sam Phillips (four goals, one assist) scored off JoJo Marasco’s feed. Easton had a chance to add to that after the Bucs were flagged for two 1-minute penalities on the scoring play.
The Warriors couldn’t capitalize, and with 6 minutes, 13 seconds remaining in the first quarter, Quinn wheeled around from the left side of the goal and scored to ignite a nine-goal Buccaneers’ scoring frenzy that lasted less than seven minutes.
“They’re very good,” Easton head coach Dennis Keenan said. “They’re solid. Attack, middies, defense, goalie. I mean they just keep reloading with players every year. They’ve got a great coaching staff.
“We jumped out a little early and then they went on that (9-0) run,” Keenan added. “And they were poised and composed. They were just staying with it; they were moving faster.”
It didn’t seem to matter how they moved, what angles they took, whether they dodged or dished, or whether they patiently waited for an open cutter, or simply charged downfield with the draw, Kent Island scored.
Quinn, Kratovil and Shane Slotterback scored in a 50-second window for a 3-1 Kent Island lead. Easton called time with 4:06 left in the quarter. Quinn and Kratovil each scored twice, and Galloway netted his first in a 2:34 stretch that fattened the Bucs lead to 8-1 by the end of the first quarter.
“We’re confident and we know what we have to do in the Baysides,” Quinn said. “We have so much talent on offensive. And if we just run the offense the way we’re supposed to, then we know that the goals are going to come, even if the goalie is having a day.”
Stone Stitcher (assist) capped the 9-0 spree 54 seconds into the second quarter with a goal before Easton answered, as Clay Schmidt set up Phillips, then scored himself to trim the deficit to 9-3 with 8:45 remaining in the half.
Kent Island responded with four goals in less than 2 minutes for a 13-3 bulge.
“We’ve been working on just basically our team offense, and instead of individually, trying to get assisted goals,” Fromert said. “That was our main goal for the day. We did a pretty good job of that.”
Indeed, the Bucs totaled 11 assists, with Sean
Mooney (two goals) setting up five scores and Fromert four.
Goals from Chris Gibbs, Mitch Reeley and Phillips in the final 30 seconds of the first half, pulled Easton within 13-6 at halftime. But Quinn (assist) scored unassisted before Fromert converted a pair of Mooney passes for goals and a 16-6 bulge with a little over 3 minutes left in the third quarter.
“We find that at this time of the year, after we’ve gone through those tough games, we’re in a stretch now where we get to focus on ourself,” Kent Island head coach David Jones said. “We’re not doing a ton of game planning. We’re looking at game film on us. Putting some new stuff in and having fun. And we start playing our best lacrosse in late April, early May. So hopefully that will carry us into playoffs here.
“I’m thrilled with how they guys played,” Jones added. “I thought they ran our offense through the end of the game and the defense played outstanding too.”
Notes: Corey Hall had a goal and one assist, and Connor Butler had an assist for Easton. … Warrior goalie Nick Robbins finished with 14 saves. … Kent Island outshot Easton, 42-25. … Bucs goalie Austin Fowler made 16 saves. Follow me on Twitter @ Bill_Haufe. Email me at
Kent Island’s Brandon Galloway, left, stays ahead of the crowd and he rushes toward the goal during the Bucs’ 20-9 win over Easton last Thursday.
Kent Island’s Frankie Kratovil (3) carries into the offensive zone under pressure from Easton’s David Connelly during last Thursday’s first half.