Atholton boys lacrosse beats Reservoir boys lacrosse to improve to 4-0 overall in Howard County boys lacrosse.

Both Reservoir and Atholton and showed flashes of potential on Tuesday night. The undefeated Raiders strung together two dominating 12-minute periods, outscoring the Gators 4-0 in both the second and fourth quarter, while winless Reservoir displayed its inexperience but impressed coach Bryan Cole despite a 12-7 Atholton victory.

It all added up to one coach happy with his team's growth and another disappointed with his squad's sloppy mistakes.

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"Executing the little things — when we do it, we look pretty good. When we don't, we don't," said Raiders coach Erik Burnett. "There are times when defensively we really show our inexperience and we make some stupid mistakes and there are times offensively we break down in our rules and our fundamentals a little bit. But when we do it right, it looks pretty good. We did just enough today."

Max Bryant, Keenan Long, Jake Peretti and Mat Barila all scored two goals for Atholton, which trailed by one at the end of the first quarter. Nolan Krasnick took control in the faceoff circle, however, to spark his team's run in the second. He won four of five draws and four different Raiders found the back of the net to score four unanswered goals to make it 6-3 at the break. They also outshot the Gators 8-4 in the stanza.

"They came to play and they got the jump on us early because we were sleeping a little bit," Burnett said. "But when we do it right, and we did in the second quarter, it looks pretty good."

On the other side, the Gators, who returned just two starters from last year's squad, looked like a team anxious to pick up their first victory of the spring.

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Alex Ahn started the third quarter by scoring his second of the game, and Garrett Lyons buried two shots in the period to cut the deficit to 8-6. Talon Campbell followed Lyons' second tally with his second of the contest 30 seconds later to cut Atholton's lead to one heading into the final 12 minutes.

"Going into the fourth quarter we were only down by one. That's good," Cole said. "We tightened some things up defensively, slowed things down a little bit on offense and had some possessions and scored some goals. We battled, we just battled tonight, but we ran out of gas in the fourth. They played well at the end."

Like the second quarter, the Raiders buckled down to preserve their lead and halt any of the Gators' momentum. Long scored less than a minute into the final quarter on a feed from Monthie, and three minutes later Peretti and Barila scored less than a minute apart to extend the lead to four and all but put the game away.

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The victory keeps Atholton unbeaten on the season but it will have its toughest test yet on Thursday against Marriotts Ridge. Burnett knows his team will need to play much better to have a chance to win.

"We knew there was going to be a point in the season where we turn the corner and pick up the speed, especially with the number of young guys we have getting time," he said. "That time is coming now, where we're going to have to pick things up and clean up the little stuff. I'm hoping we're ready for it on Thursday but we'll see."

Meanwhile, Cole was excited his team's play and that they showed flashes of what they're capable of in the first and third quarters. He's optimistic that his team will get a victory soon, but more importantly that they will continue to get better.

"I think we strung it together and I think we surprised them, too, because they probably saw some of our scores. But every practice we're getting better, so it's kind of exciting," he said. "Every week we identify something we're not doing well and they get it because they're young in the game and coachable."

Howard County varsity roundup, March 28

Howard County sports varsity round for Tuesday, March 28.

Atholton (3-0 county, 4-0 overall) — 12, Reservoir (0-3, 0-3) — 7

Goals: A — Max Bryant 2, Keenan Long 2, Jake Peretti 2, Matt Barila 2, Tristan Rhodovi, Evan Monthie, Jacob Lampf, Rick Mooney; Re — Alex Ahn 2, Garrett Lyons 2, Talon Campbell 2, Patrick Raymond

Assists: A — Monthie 2, Nolan Krasnick; Re — Jake Carson 2, Campbell 2, Nathan Allen

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Saves: A — Edgar Batenga 9; Re — Phil Sommerkamp 6

Halftime: 6-3, Atholton

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