2022 HS Boys Playoffs: Semifinal Recap, Championship Preview
Issue 97 - Region 4 in 6A, Region 6 in 5A, North Region in 4A
Good morning lacrosse fans! Thanks to those who attended the games (great crowds!) and watched on the streams. Let’s pack the house again on Friday!
Boys High School
All championship games will be streamed on KSLsports.com and will take place at Zions Bank Stadium in Herriman. All three games will be region rematches as Region 4 plays in 6A, Region 6 plays in 5A and the North region squares off in 4A.
No. 1 Corner Canyon v. No. 3 American Fork - 7pm
The No. 1 seeded Chargers dismantled any hopes of an upset by No. 4 Weber as Corner Canyon scored early and often en route to a 24-2 (IG Reel) win over the Warriors. Seven different Chargers found the back of the net in the first quarter including three by Jon King who finished with 7 goals and an assist on the night. Blaze DeGracie had 5 goals for the Chargers and goalies Ayden Santi and Mitchell Phippen each had a save in goal. At the faceoff X, Anthony Mackay dominated, winning 15 faceoffs in the first two quarters. All of the Weber goals came in the fourth quarter as Squish Easley scored twice and Corbin Alvord had a great wrap-around goal for the Warriors. Weber goalie Kole Haymond had 15 saves.
“It feels fantastic to get to the championship,” said Corner Canyon Head Coach Aaron Ika who was wearing his trademark black CC Lacrosse hoodie. “Hats off to the boys for putting in the work to get to this point and I’m not just talking about the varsity guys. It’s our JV and JV 2 guys as well. I keep telling the team we just have to be ‘us’. We just want to dictate the tempo and end the year in a pile once again.”
No. 3 American Fork bested No. 2 Davis, 11-6 (IG Reel), to advance to its first championship game in school history. The Darts jumped out to an early 2-0 lead but the Cavemen answered with 8 straight goals to take an 8-2 lead midway through the third quarter. The run started with Luke Squire and was followed by goals from Daxton Rykert, a hat trick by Tate Fisher, two from Cam Oswald and one from Noah Fisher. The Darts pulled one back with 17 seconds left in the third on a great finish by Eli Greenway. Both teams scored three goals in the fourth. Zachary Bezzant went 16 of 21 from the faceoff X for American Fork.
The difference in this game came from the outstanding goalie play of American Fork senior goalie Jacob Cline who finished with 21 saves including 9 in the first quarter. I ran into Shari and Jesse Card, whose son Ed plays close defense for the Cavemen, after the game and was asking them about Cline. Shari said, “He has a superpower.” I looked quizzically at Shari who then said, “Jacob is deaf in both ears.” I was amazed. Shari then introduced me to Jacob’s parents who told me Jacob wears hearing aids in both ears and is mild to moderate on the hearing loss scale. They also mentioned that lacrosse has been a home for Jacob where other activities haven’t been. It was a great moment after a hard-fought game that I’ll never forget.
“We wanted to be in this spot and we’re here,” said American Fork Head Coach Tyson Poole. “I’m proud of our 16 seniors that we’re going to lose and we’re just going to go out and party on the field on Friday. Cline was a huge standout for us today in goal.”
It’s no secret that Corner Canyon remains the favorite. The Chargers won both regular-season matchups, 17-3 and 18-6. In order for American Fork to have a chance, they’ll need to break the strong Chargers defense and score 10+ goals.
No. 1 Olympus v. No. 2 Park City - 5pm
No. 1 Olympus cruised to a 12-5 (IG Reel) victory over No. 4 Alta to advance to its first championship game in program history. Alta scored the first goal of the game when Berkely Horoba found the back of the net off a great feed from his brother Braxton. Olympus scored the next two on goals by Charlie Droitsch and Ethan Hartsfield. The Titan offense found its rhythm in the second quarter, scoring 5 goals while the Titan defense only allowed one. In fact, the Titan defense would only allow one more goal in the third and fourth quarters as the Oly offense continued to shine. Hutton Murphy led the Titans with 3 goals and 3 assists while Droitsch finished with 4 goals. Camden Rossi also had 4 goals and 2 assists.
“It feels great,” said Olympus Head Coach Nick Merrell when asked about making it to the championship game. “With the rich history Olympus lacrosse has had and all the great players that have come through this program we are honored to represent all of them and our community being in the first championship. Very excited to get to this point but we aren’t done yet!
No. 2 Park City trounced No. 3 Bountiful, 20-3 (IG Reel 1 | IG Reel 2). Park City was too much to handle for the Redhawks and the Miners dominated in all facets of the game. Jack McHenry was lights out from the faceoff X for the Miners and the usual cast of scorers was on center stage. Jude Trahan finished with 7 goals and 1 assist while Chase Beyer and Brendan Johnson both had 3 goals. Hayden Hansen, Jamison Bain and Cole Terry each had goals for Bountiful.
“We came ready to play and hopefully we’re peaking at the right time of the season,” said Park City Head Coach Mike Persky. “A coach can’t coach a game like today. The boys just played and they were awesome. Bountiful is tough and they play tough but our team came ready to play today. Olympus is incredibly well-coached and has great players up and down the field so we’re excited.”
These two squads met on May 4 in a great game that saw Olympus win, 14-12. This should be another great chapter in this budding rivalry.
No. 1 Sky View v. No. 2 Green Canyon - 3pm
No. 1 Sky View bested No. 4 Juan Diego, 11-7, in a classic 4A semifinal. The Bobcats jumped out to a 4-0 lead after the first quarter but Juan Diego stormed back with two goals in the second, but Sky View answered right back with three goals to make the halftime score, 7-2. An even second half saw Sky View control the game and advance. It was a balanced offensive effort from Sky View who had Sean Tempest score 3 goals while Parker Robbins had 3 goals and 1 assist.
No. 2 Green Canyon defeated No. 3 Ridgeline, 13-10 (IG Reel), in a great battle between region foes. The first quarter was evenly matched as Ridgeline jumped out to a 3-2 lead. The Riverhawks then scored four straight to start the second quarter and extend the lead but Green Canyon came right back with three goals to finish the quarter, leaving the Riverhawks with the 7-5 lead at the break. A strong third quarter by Green Canyon led to a 9-8 lead for the Wolves heading into the final frame. Green Canyon scored four straight to put the game out of reach but Ridgeline never quit, scoring two in the waning minutes of the game. Ian Maughan led the Wolves with 5 goals and 1 assist. JD McKenna, Aiden Merrill and Tucker Sampson each had 2 goals for Green Canyon.
“I'm so proud of our guys tonight,” said Green Canyon Head Coach Troy Oldham. “It wasn't that we started slow but rather Ridgeline's players hit it so hard, they really grabbed momentum early. We've been working all year to build resilience, but have not had a good come-from-behind victory until tonight, which really needed. I'm super proud of our game MVP Ian Maughan who had a break-away night. Peyton Johnson, our goalie got injured in warmups and really struggled with some deep pain in the first quarter, but we have so much faith in that guy and it proved out starting in the second quarter, and he just kept stopping everything. Our guys wanted to play at Zion's this year and I'm so proud of them for accomplishing this milestone. Can't wait to be part of the Championship on Friday.”
Once again we’ll have another region battle for the state championship game. Sky View won both regular season contests by 3 goals.
Game Night Live Rewind
You can rewatch the semifinals thanks to our friends at Game Night Live Rewind.
That’s it for today, stay safe out there and see you on the sidelines!
— Tim Haslam