Mt. Hebron senior Shane Brookhart led the Vikings to victories over Glenelg Country and Catonsville in the Fight For Five boys lacrosse tournament on March 28. (Tim Schwartz/Howard County Times video)
The weather may have indicated that winter may not quite be over, but the play of several Howard County boys lacrosse teams on March 28 says spring is in full effect.
With snow falling and wind howling, four county teams – Mt. Hebron, Howard, Marriotts Ridge and Reservoir – each went 2-0 at their respective tournaments.
In the Fight For Five Tournament at Cedar Lane Park, Mt. Hebron dominated Glenelg Country in a 12-1 victory, but followed it up with a messy 8-3 win over Catonsville in the championship.
"It wasn't a great game (against Catonsville), but we'll take the win," Mt. Hebron coach Mike McCarthy said. "We were more crisp in the first game, and I think being out here for eight hours in the snow and freezing cold might have had something to do with that. We still got some work to do."
In the opening game, the Vikings jumped all over the Dragons early and late. Senior attackman Shane Brookhart finished with four goals, including three in the first half, as they peppered Glenelg Country goalie BJ Borowski with 27 shots. Mt. Hebron led 8-0 at the half.
"We played really well, especially in the first half," McCarthy said. "I think (Glenelg Country) is a good team and they have some good players, we just got ground balls and threw the ball well. I think we had five goals in the second quarter."
But it was the defense that stood out the most, especially junior goalie Casey DuBois, who stonewalled every opportunity but one for the Dragons. He finished with 10 saves on 11 shots.
"Casey was great. That's five goals (allowed) in three games so far," McCarthy said. "He's one of the best in the state, if not the country. We're glad he plays for us."
DuBois and the defense carried their impressive start to the season into the second game against the Comets, and Kyle Sutton and Kyle Watts each scored two goals in the first half to give them a 5-2 lead at the break.
The defense stepped up big again in the second half, allowing only one goal in the final 28 minutes in the 8-3 win.
"Second game, I thought we didn't have our best game, but we did what was had to do to finish," McCarthy said. "You're not always going to play your best, but we stepped up and scored some goals in the second half to out it away."
Glenelg Country only won one game last season, but had five one-goal losses. After suffering a 9-8 overtime loss to Oakton (Va.) on March 25, the young Dragons team was anxious to gain some confidence.
Although it didn't come against Mt. Hebron, they bounced back for a dominating 18-3 win over Pallotti in the second game for their first win of the season.
"We played two early tough games ... It was huge. It's confidence for them. It's early in the season and we'll play Pallotti again," Glenelg Country coach Risto Worthington said. "This is more the type of team we'll end up playing."
The attack was frustrated by the stout Vikings defense in the opener, but they opened things up against the Panthers.
Mikey Welsh scored six goals, and Reid Chaconas and Sean Escalante added hat tricks.
"The attack played great. They moved the ball well, and we had a couple freshman out there – Mikey Welsh and Cam Martin – who played great," Worthington said.
Borowski had another great game for the Dragons as he stopped seven shots. Worthington said he expects the sophomore transfer student to make a big difference on the field and turn those one-goal losses from a year ago into victories.
"He's a tough kid. We had a kid last year who hadn't played very much before, and we had a lot of close games. We only have two seniors on the team, none that start," Worthington said. "A little confidence goes a long way for young guys."
Mt. Hebron (2-0) 12, Glenelg Country (0-2) 1 (Semifinal)
Howard continued its strong start to the season with more dominating performances. They went 2-0, beating South Carroll and Leonardtown to win the Karl Wolf Memorial Tournament at Rockburn Branch Park.
"First game, we played a very good South Carroll opponent. They're a very senior-laden team, really solid offense, and ended up winning 13-5," Lions coach Jimmy Creighton said. "We really stepped it up in the second half. It was 4-2 at half, their goalie was really making some plays and kind of frustrated us. Shooting got a little better for us in the third quarter and kind of opened things up."
Senior attackman led the way for the Howard offense by scoring five goals, and senior midfielder Brad Zulick and senior attackman Eric Schroeder each tallied a hat trick.
Similar to the victory over River Hill on March 23 when they only led 5-4 at half before dominating in the second half, the Lions started the game slow. Creighton said he would like to see his team start stronger out of the gate.
"It would be nice to get a faster start against some of these teams that are more talented and have the ability to take advantage of our mistakes," he said. "It's a little frustrating seeing that, but I'm happy with how the guys responded in the second half."
In the final against Leonardtown, which beat Patterson Mill, Howard dominated throughout. Creighton was able to put in most of his substitutes for the final quarter.
"We got out to a fast start just putting the ball in the back of the net. We got a big early lead and just coasted from there," he said. "It was nice to get some guys who haven't played much in the game. That was cool."
While Bruner was named the team's Karl Wolf Most Valuable Player, Creighton said junior goalie Collin McClelland played very well in the victory over South Carroll, and senior midfielder Ryan Land won about 70 percent of his face-offs to key both victories.
Howard (4-0) 13, South Carroll 5 (Semifinal)
Goals: H – Bruner 5, Zulick 3, Schroeder 3, Ford 1, Dunnigan 1; SC – Snell 2, Wagner 1, McDermott 1, Cooper 1
Assists: H – Zulick 3, Dunnigan 2, Bruner 1, Schroeder 1, Ford 1, Stephanos 1; SC – Dixon 2
Saves: H – McClelland 8; SC – Loheofer 10
Half: 4-2 H
Howard (5-0) 16, Leonardtown 2 (Championship)
Goals: H – Bruner 5, Ford 4, Schroeder 3, Zulick 2, Kelehan 1, Dunnigan 1
Assists: H – Bruner 3, Schroeder 2, Zulick 2, Dunnigan 2, Vetter 1, Land 1
Saves: H – McClelland 5, Overstreet 3
Marriotts Ridge beat Walkersville and Brunswick to go 2-0 at the Brunswick Tournament in Frederick County.
"The two games went well. We were able to get a lot of kids playing time," said Mustangs coach Tony Incontrera. "We had kids that have not been in the scorebook before score goals and do well, and we had some JV kids come up and play really well because we had a few kids missing this weekend."
In the second game against Brunswick, 10 different players scored goals.
Incontrera said senior Jack Grote, who led the way with five total goals, and senior Patrick Clipp, who tallied a hat trick in the victory over Walkersville, stood out for the Mustangs.
Also, senior Grant Hanlon won the majority of his face-offs.
Incontrera said the two wins were big in gaining momentum going into a tough stretch of county games.
"We're in the midst of a really rough stretch in our season, having opened with that loss to Glenelg and going into Howard on Tuesday and South Carroll on Thursday," Incontrera said. "It's a really tough stretch that we have. And we have Mt. Hebron the following week, and that's always a big game for us."
Reservoir also beat Walkersville (8-3) and Brunswick (14-2) to improve to 4-0. Matt Marsh led the way with 11 goals in two games.
Marriotts Ridge (1-1) 9, Walkersvile 5
Goals: MR – Patrick Clipp 3, Troy Hensh 2, Lewy Anania 2, Grant Hanlon 1, Jack Grote 1; W – Cleveland 1, Hornish 1, Kirkwood 1, Wolfe 1, Thorpe 1