The No. 1 Boys' Latin lacrosse team was mostly kept in check during the first half against determined McDonogh on Tuesday.
And then things got even worse in the third quarter, as its high-powered attack was kept scoreless and the No. 4 Eagles led by two goals going into the fourth.
How did the undefeated Lakers respond? Impressively.
Boys' Latin scored four straight goals to start the pivotal fourth quarter and after host McDonogh pulled within one, the Lakers scored three more in a row to pull out an 11-8 win in Owings Mills.
Colin Chell scored three goals — including the one that gave the Lakers the lead for good with 8 minutes, 32 seconds remaing — Shack Stanwick had two goals and three assists and Hunter Moreland continually gave the visitors possession on faceoffs.
"We've got some seniors that have been through the wars and Hunter is literally the 'X' factor," Boys' Latin coach Bob Shriver said. "He gives us an opportunity to string a couple possessions in a row together and that was big."
Boys' Latin improved to 12-0 on the season and 5-0 in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference, while McDonogh fell to 11-3 and 3-2 in league play.
The Eagles got a three-goal game from Trey McGee and fine play from goalie Jacob Stover, who finished with nine saves and had the Lakers frustrated for three quarters.
Tied at 4 at the half, McDonogh was able to break through late in the third quarter when McGee scored with 3:02 to play. Robby Black made it 6-4 on a man-advantage goal with 1:53 to play.
But Boys' Latin's frustration wouldn't continue into the fourth quarter. A man up, Chell took a nifty feed from Stanwick to cut the Eagles' lead to 6-5 with 10:58 left and Anthony Wyler (two goals) tied it up 52 seconds later. Chell and Tal Bruno scored to make it 8-6.
After McGee cut the lead to 8-7, the Lakers put the game away when Austin Brown scored two consecutive goals off feeds from Devin Shewell. Chell added another from Stanwick for an 11-7 lead.
Shriver said some tinkering on offense — getting Shewell more involved and in the right places — proved timely.
McDonogh coach Andy Hilgartner, who was proud of his team's effort, was quick to credit the Lakers' composure when it was needed the most. Asked what the difference was in the fourth quarter, he was quick with an answer: "BL lacrosse."
"When the game is on the line, they make the plays they need to make and they've done it for a very long time," he said. "That's what we talked to our team about. BL excels in the fourth quarter — they don't lose control, they don't lose their poise and they make plays necessary. They controlled possession the whole fourth quarter, so it was frustrating."
No. 1 Boys Latin 11, No. 4 McDonogh 8
Goals: BL – Chell 3, Brown 2, Stanwick 2, Moyer, Wyler 2, T. Bruno;
M – McGee 3, Young 2, Black, Valis 2.
Assists: BL – Stanwick 2, Spencer 3, Shewell 2, Dashiell ;
M – Austin, Clark.
Saves: BL – Pezzula 6;
M – Stover 9
Editor's Note: An earlier version of this article misidentified McDonogh's goalie.