As members of the nation's premier high school boys lacrosse league, and as The Sun's highest-ranked teams, No. 1 Boys' Latin and No. 2 McDonogh promised plenty of drama and excitement for the crowd of 5,871 that watched their matchup last night at Johns Hopkins' Homewood Field.
But after a first quarter that was tied at two goals apiece, the high-scoring Lakers built a five-goal halftime lead that all removed most doubt about the game's outcome en route to an 11-6 victory and its fifth Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference championship under 27th-year coach Bob Shriver.
"It felt good. I didn't expect to see them in the championship," said Boys' Latin junior Travis Reed, a transfer from McDonogh who had three goals and an assist. "Our team played with amazing skill - probably our best game of the season - to come out with the win."
David Bronfein scored three goals and Brett Weiss had two goals and an assist for the Lakers, who rose to a school-record 21-0 by avenging last year's 9-8 loss in the title game. Boys' Latin's final record surpassed the 17-0 mark of the title-winning 1997 squad that is widely considered one of the best high school teams of all time.
"It's hard to rate yourself with the '97 team," Bronfein said. "I'd love it if we would be rated as high; it would be a tremendous honor."
Maryland-bound Brian Farrell, an imposing and speedy 6-foot-6, 230-pounder, anchored a defense that included Alex Lyons, Alex Otto and Jimmy Feketie in quieting the Eagles (15-5), who lost an earlier game, 13-12, to the Lakers after having led by five goals.
McDonogh's Andrew Feinberg had five goals and eight assists in the past two games, but had only an assist last night. Tim Brandau and Bryn Holmes scored twice each for the Eagles, who trailed by as much as 11-4 in the fourth period.
"In the second quarter, their middies got great goals inside and we had some problems on defense," McDonogh defender Billy Geist said. "We didn't communicate well. We should have talked more."
McDonogh led 1-0 on Holmes' unassisted goal. But Weiss scored twice, once on an assist from Farrell, to put his team ahead, 2-1, with 2:56 left in the first quarter. Holmes tied the game at 2-2 entering the second quarter, but the Lakers then scored five straight goals for a 7-2 halftime lead.
It was 4-2 after Bronfein scored two unassisted goals within 67 seconds of each other. Then, in succession, Ryan Tillman buried a pass from Weiss; Tyler Silvey converted a pass from Reed; and Mike Hurwitz scored on the run, unassisted.
Chapelgate 9, Cardinal Gibbons 8 -- Ryan Gavlin scored his fourth goal off an assist from Nathan Windon with 44 seconds left in overtime for a dramatic ending to a game that was tied five times at Johns Hopkins. Chris Carlson had two goals and an assist, and Tom Peach, Finn Ramsland and Corey Whitehead each had a goal and an assist for the Yellowjackets (11-6), who avenged two regular-season losses in winning their third MIAA C Conference title in six consecutive championship berths. The Yellowjackets' Josh Mitzel made two of his eight saves in overtime, after which Gavlin punctuated the victory. "I just dropped back, caught it, closed my eyes and shot it," said Gavlin, a junior whose team had lost in the past two title games. "We've been here six years in a row, but we decided we weren't going to let this one go." Josh Skene (four goals) and Ryan Kearney (three goals, one assist) led the Crusaders (14-1), who were in search of their first title since 1972 and who played the game in memory of former teammate Justin Fisher, who was killed in a police shooting last week.
St. Vincent Pallotti 10, Park 9 -- Sophomore Drew Leonard's unassisted fourth goal of the game 37 seconds into the extra session dethroned the Bruins (11-4) and secured the Panthers (15-3) their first MIAA B Conference title at Johns Hopkins. Senior Brett Leonard had three goals and an assist, Ryan Alexander had two goals and an assist and Matt Devens added a goal and an assist in the Panthers' eighth straight win. It also was their third win of the season over the Bruins, whose five-goal run erased a 9-4 halftime deficit. "The ball deflected off of a defender after Ryan shot it, I picked it up, saw bodies and sticks in the box and the goalie outside of the goal - so I just shot it," Drew Leonard said. "This was a great run, and, hopefully, we can come back and do it again next year."
Matt Ford, John Thomas and Hank Nathan contributed to this article.