Centennial holds off Hammond, 8-7

Dougherty's four goals save day for young Eagles

Boys lacrosse

April 06, 2001|By Kevin Van Valkenburg | Kevin Van Valkenburg,SUN STAFF

The outcome wasn't a surprise, but the score probably was.

Centennial's young but talented lacrosse team managed to hold off a hungry Hammond squad, 8-7, at home yesterday, but the Eagles certainly got their first real test of the county season.

In fact, if not for the scoring touch of sophomore attackman Sean Dougherty, who scored four goals, Hammond might have earned its first victory over Centennial since Dave Griffin became the Bears' coach three years ago.

"I really feel like this is my best team ever," Griffin said.

That may be true, but Centennial still found a way to win, despite the stellar play of Hammond's Gabe Katz, who scored four times and had an assist. While the Eagles are likely to suffer a few growing pains this season with 12 sophomores expected to contribute, they do know how to play to their strength - defense.

"Other than making some mistakes early, I was pretty pleased with the defensive effort," said Eagles coach Mike Siegert. "We had some nice doubles and got a little physical when we needed to."

Douherty and Katz each showed a little flair during a sloppy first half, as both players scored twice. Centennial's Mike Down scored right before halftime to give the Eagles a slim 5-4 lead.

"We let ourselves know how well we could play today," Katz said. "A lot of people doubted us in the county. I think after working our hardest ever this year, we can play with just about anyone."

The Eagles grabbed control for good, however, late in the third quarter as Dougherty scored his third goal of the game, then minutes later Adam Betz added his second to make it 7-5. Katz would score again at the end of the third, but Douherty answered with a goal at the start of the fourth period that proved to be the difference.

Wyatt Cooper led a defense that clamped down on Hammond in the closing minutes, not allowing the tying shot on goal.

"Hammond might be one of the better teams in the county, so it's good to know that even though we're young, we can still beat some of the best," Dougherty said.

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