Dulaney attackman Damon Scordo spent the first half against North County trying to get untracked. He spent the second half scoring goals.
Scordo did not score a goal until the final two minutes of the first half but finished with six, as Dulaney (12-0) defeated North County, 13-4, yesterday at the University of Maryland Baltimore County to win its second straight boys state Class 3A-4A state championship and 36th consecutive game.
It was was the Lions' third straight championship. Two years ago, before the game was officially a state championship and was considered a regional-state title match, the Lions also won. North County is in its first year of existence, but Andover, which merged with Brooklyn Park to form the school, reached the 1A-2A finals last year.
Scordo, who also had an assist, struggled in the first half. Two of his shots banged off the pipes, and two others wound up in the stick of North County goalie Tim McGeeney. Scordo broke through when he beat the goalie on a long bounce shot with 1 minute, 42 seconds remaining in the first half for a 7-3 Dulaney lead.
At the 1:02 mark of the second half, he took a pass, decoyed a defender and scored. With 4:11 left in the quarter, Scordo received the ball, spun, leaped and fired it in for a 9-3 lead. He added three fourth-quarter goals, often relying on strong inside rolls.
"I had it on today," said Scordo, who is headed for Essex Community College. "It was like a snowball. Once it started rolling, it kept building."
That also was true of the Dulaney offense, which used its strong stick work and explosive fast break to gain several scoring chances. That was especially true in the first quarter, as the Lions outshot the Knights, 13-2.
Dulaney jumped to a 5-1 lead early in the second quarter, but North County (15-2) slowed the pace to a crawl and climbed back into the game. Andy Mocarsky, who had two goals in game, and Andy Ross scored, cutting the deficit to 5-3.
"They slowed it down," said Dulaney coach Gary Schreiber, whose son, Bret, was on the North Harford team that fell in the Class 1A-2A state final. "The momentum started to change. I was worried."
Scordo, on a fast break, then hit Clark Ledbetter (two goals) for a goal with 1:59 left. Seventeen seconds later, Scordo scored his first, and the Lions were in control.
Defenseman Dan Evans also had a big day for Dulaney. Evans often sparked the Lions' transition game and break with long, weaving runs through the North County defense. He had two assists and also helped set up Scordo's second goal.
"He is just an incredible player," said Schreiber, who also complimented defensemen Chris Fedor and Brian Shorts, and goalie Craig Laferty. The defense and Laferty, who made 34 saves during the season, stopped the North County attack cold.
Schreiber and Scordo said the offense was lacking in the first half. Schreiber said he told Scordo to try to get himself into position to shoot as soon as he received the ball.
That change in strategy, along with the Lions' fast break, was too much for North County.
Dulaney's break "is the best we've seen this year, without question," said North County coach Paul Shea. "We were in it in the first half. When we pulled to within 5-3, we should have been more aggressive."