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April 15, 2014

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Nike/US Lacrosse South Boys' Region Report

by Laurel Pfahler | LaxMagazine.com

Related: National Top 25 | NortheastMid-Atlantic | Midwest | West

Player of the Week 

Richie Loftus, Episcopal Dallas (Texas)

Loftus led the team with three goals and two assists in the Southwest Prepatory Conference final and had four goals and one assist in the semifinal over Kincaid. The conference title is the first time ESD has hoisted the crown since 2008.

Also Notable: Evan Weiner, Ponte Vedra (Fla.); Bailey Perrone, Montgomery Bell (Tenn.); Grayson Miller, Highland Park (Texas).

Game of the Week

Episcopal Dallas (Texas) at Dallas Jesuit (Texas), April 17

This might be the mostly highland anticipated game in Texas this season, as it will determine who gets the top seed in the highly competitive Dallas district. Episcopal Dallas already is guaranteed one of the top two spots and an automatic berth to Super Regionals, but Dallas Jesuit could end up having to play a district playoff to get in if the Rangers lose to the Eagles and Highland Park beats Plano West. Jesuit is coming off its only in-state loss last week against Highland Park and looking to rebound, while Episcopal Dallas is fresh off a SPC title. The teams split games last years, and both were decided one-goal margins.

South Region Top 10

1. Episcopal Dallas (Texas), 14-1
The Eagles won the Southwest Preparatory Conference championship on Saturday, beating 2013 victor St. Mark's, 12-9, following an eight-goal win over Kincaid (Texas) in the semifinals. Richie Loftus led the team with three goals and two assists in the final and had four goals and one assist in the semis.

2. Lake Highland Prep (Fla.), 13-3
The Highlanders enter their district tournament on a seven-game win streak, including last week 11-2 win over Maclay (Fla.), which is now 15-3. Lake Highland has been tested by the best teams in Florida this year and owns just one in-state loss, a 12-10 decision against Jupiter (Fla.) on March 1. Its other losses were by three to national No. 1 Boys' Latin and No. 5 McDonogh (Md.)

3. Cardinal Gibbons (N.C.), 14-0
The Crusaders outscored conference opponents Hillsborough Orange (N.C.) and Northwood (N.C.) 35-3 last week, and they now prepare for a big game against Lake Norman (N.C.), which is 6-2, on Wednesday. It should be smooth-sailing into the playoffs after that.

4. Barron Collier (Fla.), 14-1
The Cougars handed Gulf Coast (Fla.) its second loss last week, winning 5-4 at home, and added a 15-1 win over Fort Myers (Fla.) to cap off the regular season. Barron Collier has now won nine consecutive games since a 4-3 loss to Jupiter (Fla.) on March 7.

5. The Woodlands (13-4)
The Highlanders have won seven straight since suffering back-to-back losses to Cardinal Gibbons (N.C.) and St. Anne's Belfield (Va.) in early March. The current streak includes a notable 10-7 win over Highland Park (Texas). Woodlands' only in-state losses were to Episcopal Dallas on March 1 and a February loss to Coppell (Texas).

6. Montgomery Bell Academy (Tenn.), 10-2
The Big Red added a 7-5 win over Decatur (Ga.) on April 10 and also edged Father Ryan (Tenn.), 7-6, last week. Chris Burrus had two goals and one assist against Decatur, and Bailey Perrone paced the defense with four caused turnovers. Montgomery Bell is 5-2 against out-of-state opponents and owns a notable in-state win over McCallie.

7. Ponte Vedra (Fla.), 16-2
The Sharks went 4-0 last week, outscoring their opponents 66-18, and head into district tournament play with some confidence, as they begin a quest for a third straight Final Four appearance. Junior Miles Silva leads Ponte Vedra with 46 goals this season, while senior Evan Weiner has dominated on defense with 80 ground balls and 49 caused turnovers.

8. Northview (Ga.), 13-0
The Titans added a 20-11 win over Nease (Fla.) last week, making them 2-0 against Florida competition, though both teams were right around .500. Northview has notable in-state wins over Lambert (Ga.) and Westminster School (Ga.).

9. Charlotte Latin (N.C.), 10-0
The Hawks tacked on two more wins last week, beating Charlotte Country Day 15-7 and Providence Day 11-2. They look to keep the momentum going as they prepare for two big tests next week against Georgia opponents Milton (Ga.) and Decatur. Charlotte Latin is 2-0 against out-of-state opponents so far.

10. Westminster (Ga.), 12-2
The Wildcats rejoin the list with the help of a 7-6 overtime win over Walton (Ga.) last week. They are 8-1 since suffering a three-goal loss March 1 at Harrison (Ga.), whose only loss is to Centennial. Westminster plays one of the more challenging schedules, and its only other loss was to Northview (Ga.)

NOTES

Jupiter (Fla.) dropped out of the rankings after falling to 12-4 with a 14-6 loss to Milton (Ga.) and 8-5 loss to St. Thomas Aquinas (Fla.) last week. Inconsistency has been a struggle for the Warriors, who also have losses to Vero Beach (Fla.) and Benjamin (Fla.) but own wins over Lake Highland, Barron Collier and Ponte Vedra.

***

Dallas Jesuit (Texas) also moved off the list after losing its first game to a Texas opponent last week, 8-6 to Highland Park. The Fighting Scots (7-5) have losses to Woodlands, St. Mark's, Episcopal Dallas and McCallie (Tenn.) from the South Region. Grayson Miller had four goals to lead Highland Park in the win over Jesuit. The Rangers are 12-2 but can bounce back with good results against Episcopal Dallas in their rivalry game Thursday.

***

Milton (Ga.) remains on the cusp despite beating Jupiter, with losses to St. Thomas Aquinas (Fla.) and Lambert (Ga.) keeping the Eagles off the list for now. Aquinas is a strong team that regularly plays the best teams in Florida, but owns four losses against in-state competition and still needs to prove it can beat South Florida competition.

***

McCallie (Tenn.) gave coach Troy Kemp his 200th win with the Blue Toronado, beating Knoxville Catholic (Tenn.) 20-1 on Friday. Kemp has been McCallie's head coach since 1992. Tyler Wilks led the Tornado with three goals and three assists in the win, while Sam Viscomi added three goals and one assist. McCallie was coming off a 12-6 win over previously unbeaten North Gwinnett (Ga.) on Tuesday, a game in which Wilks finished with four goals, three assists, and Braiden Davis had five goals.

***

Centennial (Ga.) ended its trip to Florida on a high note last week, beating Lake Brantley 12-5 to finish 2-1 against teams from the Sunshine State. Jupiter was the only team to beat the Knights on that trip.

Check back to LaxMagazine.com every Tuesday throughout the high school season for updates to the Nike/US Lacrosse Regional Boys' Top 10 rankings and the Nike/US Lacrosse National Boys' Top 25.

2014 South Region Report Archive


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