High School Boys



 
May 13, 2014

Nike/US Lacrosse South Boys' Region Report

by Laurel Pfahler | LaxMagazine.com

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

Player of the Week 

Nick Newell, Milton (Ga.)

The senior midfielder scored four goals, including the game-winner in overtime, to lift Milton past Johns Creek in the state quarterfinals Friday. Newell, a 2013 All-American, has been a key part of the Eagles success this season, as they are 18-2 overall and 13-1 against in-state opponents. He has consistently posted multi-goal efforts in big games, including three goals in a 15-13 win over Charlotte Latin (N.C.) and three goals in a narrow loss to upcoming state semifinal opponent Lambert (Ga.). Newell, who will play club at Clemson next year, has 35 goals and seven assists this season.

Also notable: Robbie Lavelle, Cardinal Gibbons (N.C.); Owen Armstrong, Charlotte Latin (N.C.); Brant Newman, Memphis University (Tenn.); William Holt, Walton (Ga.)

Game of the Week

Milton (Ga.) at Lambert (Ga.), May 13

The two teams meet in the state semifinals for a spot in the championship game May 17. This series has been a close one the past couple of years, so it should make for an exciting matchup. Lambert accounts for Milton's only in-state loss this season and is looking to make its fourth straight state final appearance. The Longhorns were the 2013 Class 6A runners up and winner of back-to-back titles in 2011 and 2012 (in the small-school division). Milton, the 2012 Class 6A champion, has lost two straight meetings against Lambert, also falling to the Longhorns 11-10 in the quarterfinals last year before losing 13-11 in a regular-season game March 18. Milton had beaten the Longhorns during the regular season last year, 9-7.

South Region Top 10

1. Lake Highland Prep (Fla.), 20-3

The Highlanders closed their season on a 14-game win streak to claim their second straight FHSAA state title and third in the last four years. They were 19-1 against Florida opponents, suffering their only loss, 12-10 to Jupiter (Fla.), on March 1. Lake Highland's other losses were by a combined four points against nationally-ranked McDonogh (Md.) and No. 1 Boys' Latin (Md.). Reid Thedford paced the Highlanders with 58 goals and 22 assists, while Max Parker won 78.5 percent of the faceoffs he took.

2. Episcopal Dallas (Tx.), 18-2

The Eagles won their fourth state title in program history and first since 2007, beating Dallas Jesuit (Texas) in the championship to avenge their only in-state loss of the season. Episcopal's other loss came at the hands of the elite IMG National (Fla.) squad during spring break. Richie Loftus finished with a team-high 88 points on 45 goals, 43 assists, while Jack Beare had 60 goals and nine assists. Charlie Sikes posted a 59.7 percent save rate.

3. Cardinal Gibbons (N.C.), 18-0

The Crusaders ended the regular season with a Big Eight Conference 3A championship, beating Chapel Hill (N.C.) 15-2 in the tournament final last week. Robbie Lavelle had a game-high seven goals, while Gannon Morrison added four goals and four assists. Gibbons earned a bye into the second round of the NCHSAA inaugural small-school playoffs, where it meets Roxborogh Community on Tuesday.

4. Milton (Ga.), 18-2

The Eagles advanced to the GHSA Class 6A Final Four with a 13-12 overtime win over Johns Creek (Ga.) on Friday, after beating Kennesaw Mountain (Ga.) 18-10 in the first round. Nick Newell led Milton with four goals against Johns Creek, including the game winner, after Hunter Sanna won the overtime faceoff to give the Eagles possession. Sanna won 68 percent of the faceoffs he took and added two goals and one assist.

5. Ponte Vedra (Fla.), 21-3

The Sharks' season ended in the state semifinals for a third year in a row, falling to eventual champion Lake Highland Prep. Their other two losses came against Boca Raton (Fla.) in the season opener and in overtime against Jupiter. Ponte Vedra had notable wins over Lake Brantley (Fla.) and Lake Mary (Fla.), as well as out-of-state wins over South Carolina's Wando and Greenville. Miles Silva finished with 62 goals, while Cody Legeza had 46 goals and 30 assists.

6. Charlotte Latin (N.C.), 17-1

The Hawks closed the regular season with a 17-9 win over Cannon School (N.C.) on May 6 with junior Owen Armstrong (five goals) and senior Ross Caldwell (four goals) pacing the attack. Latin earned a first-round bye as the top seed in the NCISAA playoffs and begins its quest to defend its 2013 title when Hawks meet Cape Fear Academy (N.C.) in the quarterfinals Tuesday.

7. Memphis University School (Tenn.), 15-3

The Owls advanced to the TSLA state semifinals with a 13-8 win over Montgomery Bell Academy (Tenn.) on Saturday, after beating Briarcrest Christian (Tenn.) 19-4 in the first round. They were tied 5-5 with MBA at halftime but outscored the Big Red 7-1 in the third quarter to break away for the win. Patrick Dimento had four goals and one assist, John Madden won 17 of 25 faceoffs and added 11 ground balls, and Brant Newman had 12 saves in goal.

8. Dallas Jesuit (Tx.), 15-3

Despite returning just three starters from last year's team, the Rangers made their fifth straight Final Four and first state final since 2011 – only to finish runner-up to Episcopal Dallas, a team they had beaten in the regular-season finale. Jesuit's other two losses were both 8-6 games against Memphis University (Tenn.) and Highland Park (Texas). The Rangers had out-of-state wins over St. Anne's-Belfield (Va.) and Needham-Broughton (N.C.).

9. Westminster (Ga.), 18-2

The Wildcats opened the GHSA small-school division with a 16-6 win over Pace and then advanced to the Final Four by beating Greater Atlanta Christian (Ga.) 11-4. They have won nine straight since a one-goal loss to Northview (Ga.), a game Westminster might have a chance to avenge in the final. The Wildcats have wins over McCallie (Tenn.) and Charlotte Catholic (N.C.) and their only other loss was the Harrison (Ga.).

10. Benjamin (Fla.), 15-6

The Buccaneers bounced back from a 4-5 start to the season, winning 11 straight to advance to their first state championship game. They finished runner-up to Lake Highland Prep and had notable wins over St. Thomas Aquinas (Fla.), Jupiter and Boca Raton. Two of their losses were to Maryland's Severn and Calvert Hall. Andrew Packer led the team with 40 goals, 29 assists and a 59 percent faceoff win rate, while McKenna Johnson (29 goals, 19 assists) and Ryan Silvester (27 goals, 20 assists) also were key contributors.

NOTEBOOK

The Tennessee Scholastic Lacrosse Association Final Four is set. Defending state champion Memphis University School will play Ensworth (13-4) in the first state semifinal Friday at Father Ryan, followed by a matchup between McCallie (17-4) and Ravenwood (15-2).

Memphis University beat Ensworth 18-6 in a regular-season matchup April 5, but McCallie and Ravenwood have not played this season.

The Blue Tornado and Raptors each have just one in-state loss – both fell to Montgomery Bell Academy. McCallie advanced to the semifinals with a 13-3 win over Brentwood (Tenn.), while Ravenwood edged Baylor School (Tenn.), 7-6. The Tornado was led by Braiden Davis (four goals) and Zach Stephenson (11-of-14 on faceoffs).

***

Harrison (Ga.) saw its best season to date come to an end in the state quarterfinals with an 8-7 loss to Lambert. The Hoyas tied a program record for wins, finishing 17-2 to match the win total of the 2009 team, which was 17-5.

Lambert never trailed, though it remained close throughout. Harrison won a faceoff with 30 seconds left to get possession but couldn't find the net for the potential tying goal. Artie Lewis, Seth Cowan and Zach Danneman each had two goals, while Lucas Wittenberg finished with one goal and four assists. Mitchell Barnes had eight saves for the Hoyas.

***

Georgia Class 6A, Area 2 rivals Walton (15-5) and Roswell (15-3) will meet in the state semifinals Tuesday. Roswell won a regular-season matchup 12-9 on April 23.

The Hornets advanced to the Final Four with a 12-10 win over defending state champion Centennial (Ga.) last week, while Walton beat Peachtree Ridge (Ga.) 12-7 with the help of solid defense from William Holt (four caused turnovers) and Jake Hornberger (13 saves).

***

Cardinal Gibbons (N.C.) is firing on all cylinder as it heads into the playoffs.

The Cougars had no trouble winning their conference title, beating Chapel Hill 15-2 in the final with all of the goals coming from four players. In addition to Lavelle's seven goals and Morrison's four, Hunter Van Horn had three goals and Danny Geiger added one.

***

The Kentucky Scholastic Lacrosse League state playoffs are underway, as teams were set to play in the quarterfinals Monday. Semifinals take place Wednesday and the championship is Friday. Louisville Trinity (11-5), the defending state champion, is one of the eight teams still alive, but Louisville St. Xavier (14-3) enters as the favorite, power-rated as the top team in the state.

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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