6-6 Kent earns bye, home field in lacrosse sec­tional

Kent County News - - SPORTS -

CAM­BRIDGE — It was a huge week for Kent County’s boys lacrosse pro­gram, said head coach Brendon Ire­ton.

He wasn’t un­der­stat­ing the mag­ni­tude of wins over North Caro­line and Cam­bridge that al­lowed over­looked Kent to pin down the top seed in Sec­tion II of the Class 1A East Re­gion tour­na­ment.

Kent (6-6) is idle un­til the Sec­tion II fi­nal on May 14.

Havre de Grace, Jop­pa­towne, Pat­ter­son Mill and Per­ryville will face off in Sec­tion I.

The 1A East cham­pi­onship game is May 16.

“The kids have worked hard. They de­serve it,” Ire­ton said of their first-round bye and sec­ond-round game at home.

“The de­fense has re­ally stepped up the last few games and played awe­some against Cam­bridge,” Ire­ton said. “Of­fen­sively, we are play­ing com­plete games and mak­ing plays that I’ve never seen us make be­fore.”

He added, “I am very proud of how far these guys have come, but we also need to un­der­stand it’s play­offs and we have to turn it up even more.

“We must move on from these games and be ready for our next op­po­nent. If it’s Cam­bridge, they will be ready and more de­ter­mined so we must have a great week of prac­tice and con­tinue get­ting bet­ter.”

Cam­bridge (4-8) will host Bo Manor (3-9) in the sec­tional semi­fi­nal to­mor­row night.

The win­ner trav­els to Kent next Mon­day. The open­ing face-off will be at 5:30 p.m.

Kent de­feated host Cam­bridge, 11-4, in the reg­u­lar-sea­son fi­nale for both schools May 4.

The Tro­jans led 4-2 at half­time af­ter clos­ing with a 3-0 run.

Ire­ton said the Vik­ings “did a good job scout­ing us and gave us a new look, but we ad­justed and the de­fense stepped up.”

Sopho­more Joey Cerino net­ted his sec­ond hat trick of the week, and led the Tro­jans in scor­ing. Drew Baker (three as­sists) and Kolby Wal­ters con­trib­uted two goals apiece.

Zach Argo and B.K. Saun­ders were one-and-one, while Si­las Phillips, Ny’tre Green and Gbenga Taiwo each scored a goal.

Jeremy Gra­ham was cred­ited with three saves.

He got a lot of help from close de­fense­men Xav­ior Jones, Tyler John­ston, Ryan Argo and Kenny Jones and long-stick mid­dies Jack­son Brocker, Ty Wil­son and Felipe Men­doza.

Wil­son “re­ally brings an en­ergy to the team that lifts oth­ers up,” Ire­ton said of the fresh­man.

Over­all against Cam­bridge, Ire­ton said, Kent took its game to the next level af­ter a 14-9 victory over North Caro­line two days ear­lier “helped us get some con­fi­dence.”

The May 2 game at home against North Caro­line was Se­nior Day for Kent, and Baker put on a clinic with three goals and a hand­ful of as­sists.

Class­mates Zach Argo (two goals), Saun­ders (one goal, one as­sist) and Phillips (one goal) con­trib­uted on the score­board.

Gra­ham, a ju­nior, stopped 11 shots.

Kent spot­ted North Caro­line an early 1-0 lead, but by the end of the first quar­ter had taken charge.

Green from Wal­ters (two goals, one as­sist) scored the ty­ing goal with 9 min­utes, 10 sec­onds re­main­ing in the pe­riod. Argo scored the go-ahead goal off a look from Baker at 2:46 and snuck in another goal just be­fore the horn sounded for a 3-1 lead.

North Caro­line (4-8) scored two of the first three goals of the sec­ond pe­riod to close to 4-3 with 7:15 to play in the half.

The Tro­jans kicked it up a notch af­ter that, bar­rel­ing into in­ter­mis­sion on a 5-0 run that started with Baker’s goal from point-blank range at the 6:17 mark.

Baker scored again 32 sec­onds later on a ter­rific in­di­vid­ual ef­fort, scoop­ing up a ground ball fol­low­ing a scrum on the face-off and then de­liv­er­ing a bul­let to the top shelf.

Phillips got his goal on a quick-stick shot af­ter re­ceiv­ing a pass from be­hind from Baker at 2:52.

Bump­ing off a de­fender to gain some sepa­ra­tion, Cerino found the back of the net with a sidearm shot with less than a minute and a half to play be­fore in­ter­mis­sion.

Wal­ters made it 9-3, fin­ish­ing a pass from Tad Ja­cob in an un­set­tled situation with 32.5 sec­onds to play in the half.

At in­ter­mis­sion, the ABCs — Argo, Baker and Cerino — each had two goals. Baker also al­ready had three helpers.

Kent took its largest lead of the game at 13-6 with 1:24 re­main­ing in the third pe­riod on a play that started with long pole Tyler John­ston’s clear.

PHOTO BY TR­ISH MCGEE

Se­nior mid­fielder Zach Argo scored three goals and as­sisted on another in the Tro­jans’ 2-0 week, bring­ing his sea­son to­tals to 17 goals and 10 as­sists.

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