The lads at Boys' Latin have been telling anyone who will listen this spring that there is more than one great lacrosse team in the Maryland Scholastic Association, and they'll get one last chance to prove it.
Coach Bob Shriver's Lakers, who have performed in the shadow of top-ranked St. Paul's this season, will try to avenge their lone loss in Friday's A Conference championship game at 5 p.m. at UMBC against the Crusaders.
No. 2 Boys' Latin (18-1) crushed No. 3 Severn, 12-4, in yesterday's semifinals, a performance that had Admirals coach Rob White questioning the Lakers' underdog status.
"Boys' Latin is just as good as St. Paul's," White said. "That's a good matchup."
St. Paul's took the regular-season meeting, 7-6, the most goals allowed by Boys' Latin this season.
The Lakers have grown some since then, as evidenced by yesterday's rout of a Severn team they earlier beat in overtime.
"Today was definitely our best game of the season," said senior attackman Kevin Bryan, who had one goal and two assists. "We've been coming together all year. St. Paul's deserves to be No. 1, and it's up to us to grab it away from them."
Goalie Steve Bassford, the Lakers' Kelly Award nominee, had 10 saves and got typically strong support from the long-sticks, as three of Severn's goals came in transition. For once, the Lakers attack was unbalanced, as Gene Lower had five goals and Mark LaVerghetta three goals and two assists. Jason Wade had two goals for Severn, which ended 12-6.
"Severn ran into a buzz saw today," Shriver said of an effort that gave the Lakers leads of 4-0 and 8-2. "Everything was clicking. We had good defense, the goaltending was superb and we converted our chances."
Bryan, Bassford, Lower and La- Verghetta are part of a senior class that will be making its first title appearance.
"I'm just glad our kids have the opportunity to play in the championship game," Shriver said. "Last year, we lost in the playoffs to St. Mary's, and it was really frustrating."
Boys' Latin hasn't appeared in the finals since 1988, when it beat previously unbeaten Loyola, a footnote to remember in a campaign when defending champion St. Paul's is attempting to become the first A Conference team to go unbeaten in 20 years.