High School Girls

April 27, 2009

High School Notebook:
Vero Beach (Fla.) Goes to Court, Wins Title

By Jeff Seidel | Special to Lacrosse Magazine Online

Vero Beach's Krista Grabher dodges the defense of Lake Brantley's Chelsea Pinneke during Saturday's Florida girls' lacrosse state championship game. The Indians were disqualified by the  FHSAA due to a scheduling stipulation two games into the playoffs, but a temporary court injunction allowed them to polish off a fourth straight state title.
© Scott McCall

The courts helped the Vero Beach girls' lacrosse team, and the Indians responded by winning their fourth straight Florida state championship.

After a circuit judge approved a temporary court injunction that blocked the Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) from stopping Vero Beach from taking part in the playoffs, the Indians won three games last week, culminating in a 16-7 victory Saturday over Lake Brantley in the state final at West Orange High School.

The FHSAA said two weeks ago in a press release that Vero Beach had violated a rule which said "a school must not play less than 60 percent of its regular season contests in the sport against FHSAA member schools." Vero Beach's schedule had 10 out-of-state opponents and eight games against FHSAA schools.

After the ruling, the team went to court and got the injunction from Circuit Judge Robert Pegg, which let them back into the playoffs. The Indians steamrolled Benjamin 27-1 in a quarterfinal Tuesday and beat Park Vista 14-5 in a semifinal Friday to advance to Saturday's championship game.

Lake Brantley provided a stiffer challenge, leading Vero Beach 3-2 midway through the first half before the Indians went on a run.

Courtney Swan (five goals, three assists), Jennifer Leffew (4g, 1a) and Krista Grabher (4g) spearheaded the victory.

“I think everything that happened actually helped our team,” Leffew told TCPalm.com. “It brought us even closer as a team.”

Swan, joined by the Indian River County school board,  was the plaintiff in the court action.

“We had to try something,” Swan said. “We wanted the chance to at least give ourselves a chance. Even if they try to take away the championship later, we won it on the field. Everyone knows we’re the best team.”

Close Calls in CNY

The West Genesee (N.Y.) and Skaneateles (N.Y.) boys' lacrosse teams both scored a couple of tough 10-9 victories on Thursday.

For top-ranked West Genesee, it wasn't an easy day. The Wildcats improved to 8-1 by holding off a late rally from Corcoran, according to Syracuse.com. That victory let West Genesee stay in first place in the CNYCL National Division.

The situation was a much different one in the other game. CBA held a 9-4 lead over Skaneateles before everything fell apart. Skaneateles scored the final six goals to pull out a 10-9 overtime decision. Syracuse.com reported that Kyle McQuiggan got the game-tying goal to force overtime, and Kyle Baier got the winner 2:20 into the extra period.

Louisiana playoffs underway

The first Louisiana High School Lacrosse League's playoff brackets have been announced, and the eight-team competition started Saturday, and the top four seeds advanced.

No. 1 Loyola-Shreveport defeated Mandeville. No. 2 C.E. Byrd scored a 15-5 win over No. 7 Brother Martin. No. 3 New Orleans Jesuit beat No. 6 Baton Rouge Catholic, 8-1, and No. 4 Caddo Magnet defeated No. 5 Captain Shreve, 7-5.

The semifinals, pitting Loyola against Caddo Magnet and C.W. Byrd against Caddo Magnet, will take place this Saturday at 1 and 4 p.m., respectively. The championship game is Sunday at 1 p.m. An All-Star game is scheduled that morning. All of the weekend's games are set for the Independence Bowl in Shreveport.

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