Bucs cruise in matchup of state cham­pi­ons

Kent Is­land still un­beaten in Bay­sides, rides 9-0 run in de­feat of War­riors

Record Observer - - Sports - By WIL­LIAM HAUFE bhaufe@star­dem.com

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

bhaufe@star­dem.com

PHOTO BY WIL­LIAM HAUFE

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.

PHOTO BY WIL­LIAM HAUFE

Kent Is­land’s Frankie Kra­tovil (3) car­ries into the of­fen­sive zone un­der pres­sure from Eas­ton’s David Con­nelly dur­ing last Thurs­day’s first half.

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