High School Boys

March 6, 2013

Nike/US Lacrosse South Region Report

by Laurel Pfahler | LaxMagazine.com

Related: National Top 25 | Northeast | Mid-Atlantic | Midwest | West

Top Performers

Max Parker, Lake Highland Prep (Fla.)
The junior midfielder won 15 of 19 faceoffs in the Highlanders 9-6 win over Ponte Vedra on Feb. 20. In four games this season, he has won 50 of 75 face-offs.

Viper Scheele, Jupiter (Fla.)
The freshman goalie came up big for the Warriors in their 8-7 overtime win over 2012 state runner-up Lake Highland Prep on Feb. 23. Scheele faced heavy pressure throughout the game and recorded 17 saves.

Brian Welling, The Woodlands (Texas)
The junior middie scored one goal and had seven groundballs in the Highlanders' 3-2 win over defending state champion Highland Park on Feb. 22. Welling has been a key part of the team's midfield dominance during a 9-0 start.

Games to watch

Milton (Ga.) at Lambert (Ga.), March 8
Milton's next big challenge comes Friday when the Eagles play two-time Georgia 4A state champion Lambert (3-1), who had a 43-game win streak halted in a 11-9 loss to Northview on Feb. 22. The Longhorns bounced back with two-straight wins leading into this matchup. Lambert beat Milton 10-4 last year.

Charlotte Latin (N.C.) vs. Dallas Jesuit (Texas), March 9 at UNC Henry Field
Dallas Jesuit plays the defending North Carolina state champions in the Brine "King of Spring" Face-Off Classic, which brings 20 of the nation's top teams to compete in Durham, Chapel Hill and Raleigh to raise money and awareness for the Chordoma Foundation. Charlotte Latin went 17-2 last season with losses to Blue Ridge School (Va.), 12-7, and Milton (Ga.), 10-9.

St. Andrew's (Fla.) vs. Boys' Latin (Md.), March 12
This is a matchup of two of the Top 25 teams in the nation. Three days after the Scots play No. 19 McDonogh (Md.) in the Brine "King of Spring" Face-Off Classic in North Carolina, they host top-ranked Boys' Latin. St. Andrew's lost this matchup 7-6 last year. The Lakers open their season against St. Andrew's state tournament rival Lake Highland Prep on March 9.

1. St. Andrew's (Fla.) 5-0

The Scots picked up right where they left off last year when they won their 15th state title in 18 years. After winning its first two games of 2013 by a combined score of 40-4, St. Andrew's earned an 11-8 victory over Benjamin. Most recently, the Scots beat Lake Highland Prep – the team they beat in the championship last year – 10-5 on Friday. The game was tied at four going into the fourth quarter, but the Scots scored on six of seven shots in the final stanza to earn the win.

2. Milton (Ga.) 4-0

After outscoring opponents 61-1 through the first three games, the Eagles were tested in a rematch of last year's Georgia 5A championship against Lassiter. Milton won 14-12, but Lassiter bounced back from a 12-6 deficit in the second half.

"It was a good one," Milton assistant coach Graham Hirsch said. "Most of their late goals came on emotion after some questionable penalties but we held on strong for the win."

3. Dallas Jesuit (Texas) 4-0

The Rangers have eased through the first part of their schedule, but they'll see just how good they are over the next four games, which are against out-of-state competition. Dallas Jesuit is coming off a 16-2 season that ended with a 5-4 loss to eventual champion Highland Park in the state semifinals – their only in-state loss. The Rangers' midfield and attack remain solid, but the close defender positions are a concern with the loss of Michael McCarney (now at Maryland).

4. Jupiter (Fla.) 4-0

Coaches around the state of Florida were expecting Jupiter to be tough this season, and the Warriors have proven they can be a force. Three days after opening the season with an 18-2 win over Martin County in district play, Jupiter earned a marquee win over Lake Highland Prep on Feb. 23, beating the Highlanders 8-7 in overtime. It was Jupiter's first meeting against Lake Highland.

5. St. Mark's (Texas) 4-0

The Lions haven't been challenged yet this season, while outscoring the competition 61-12 in four games. Before a 15-9 win over Allen (3-2), they hadn't given up more than two goals in a game. The schedule picks up this week, as St. Mark's plays its first of four out-of-state opponents Friday against Memphis University School (Tenn.). The Lions finished 17-4 last year as state runners-up to Highland Park, and their only other in-state loss was to Dallas Jesuit.

6. Lake Highland (Fla.) 2-2

The Highlanders' two losses were to teams expected to be among the state's best this season. Jupiter edged them 8-7 in overtime, and perennial power St. Andrew's handed them a 10-5 loss on Friday. Lake Highland's wins include a 9-6 decision at Ponte Vedra, a quality opponent that is off to a 4-1 start.

7. Lassiter (Ga.) 3-1

The Trojans pulled through in close games against Westminster and Chattahoochee but couldn't do the same in a 14-12 loss against defending state champion Milton on Friday. Lassiter returns all but two starters from last year but is still figuring out how to replace midfielder Garrett Shank, their top all-around player from 2012. That will be a key if the Trojans are bring back their fourth state title in six years.

8. St. Thomas Aquinas (Fla.) 4-0

The Raiders avenged one of their four losses from last season when they beat Pine Crest 21-10 on Friday. Pine Crest won the matchup 18-14 last year and owned a 3-0 record going into the latest meeting in the Orange Bowl Lacrosse Classic at the Miami Dolphins' Sun Life Stadium. R.J. Curtin and Kyle Mamane combined to score 13 goals for St. Thomas Aquinas.

9. The Woodlands (Texas) 9-0

The Highlanders beat defending state champion Highland Park 3-2 on Feb. 22, a nice mark on new coach Keith Tintle's record, as he replaces Dave Seale. Seale posted a .750 win percentage in 13 seasons. The Highlanders haven't given up more than five goals in a game this season.

10. Louisville Trinity (Ky.) 0-0

The Shamrocks won five games against out-of-state competition en route to a 14-3 finish last year. Their only in-state loss was 8-7 in overtime to rival Louisville St. Xavier, who they had beaten earlier in the season. Trinity opens its season Wednesday with six returning starters and a team that will be especially strong on offense and in the cage with goalkeeper Cody Tranbarger and attacker Davis Church among those back.

News and notes

Milton holds on

Milton's starters finally had a chance to play a whole game when the Eagles took on Lassiter last week, but their lack of playing time in the second half might have caught up to them. Milton pulled its starters at halftime the first three games – all won by a 20-goal margin.

However, after taking a 12-6 lead in the third quarter against Lassiter, the Eagles let up, winning by a mere two goals. Attackman Jake Jenkins led the Eagles with three goals, while Justin Newell, Jerrad Wellem and Nick Basile each had two goals. Nine different players combined to score the team's 14 goals. Milton also built an early lead over the Trojans in the state championship game last year, going up 7-3, and had to win in overtime.

Scots down Highlanders

St. Andrew's and Lake Highland Prep are accustomed to playing in the state tournament, but fans got a possible preview of a postseason matchup Friday.

The Scots went through Lake Highland Prep to win each of their last three titles (2012, 2010 and 2009), and the Highlanders beat St. Andrew's to win the 2011 title.

Addison Lutes scored three goals for St. Andrew's, and goalie Corey Etcheverry recorded 15 saves.

St. Andrew's opens its out-of-state schedule against St. Anne's Belfield (Va.) on Friday before taking on McDonogh (Md.). Both games are in the Brine "King of Spring" Face-Off Classic at Durham County (N.C.) Stadium.

Despite taking a 4-1 lead, preseason-ranked Ponte Vedra (Fla.) once again came up short against Lake Highland Prep, 9-6, on Feb. 20 in a rematch of the Sharks' state semifinal loss last year. They've outscored opponents 63-9 in their wins. Dalton LeMaster (Ohio Wesleyan) had four goals and four assists in a bounce-back win over Jacksonville-Episcopal.

The streak is over

Previously-ranked Lambert (Ga.) began a 43-game win streak after losing to Northview on Feb. 25, 2011, and ironically, it was Northview that ended the Longhorns' run on Feb. 22.

"We are happy to be the only team with a winning record against Lambert," Northview coach Ray Brown said.

Northview attackman Joshua Porter picked up a double hat trick in the game.

Check back to LaxMagazine.com every other Wednesday 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.

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