The South Carroll boys lacrosse dynasty in Carroll County continued last night, as the 15th-ranked Cavaliers held off visiting Westminster in the fourth quarter for a 10-7 victory.
The win clinched a seventh straight county title for South Carroll.
But it didn't come easily, as Westminster slowed down play in the second half to fight back from an 8-4 deficit.
"It was a nice win," said South Carroll coach Gene Brown. "But it was hard on my heart. We had trouble clearing most of the night, and I have to give Westminster credit for that."
The victory gave South Carroll a final regular-season record of 11-1 and a 6-0 mark in the county.
South Carroll will head to the state Class 4A-3A regionals, which begin May 14.
Junior attackman Adam Whittington led South Carroll with two goals and two assists, senior attackman Don Pyles had two goals and senior midfielder Brad Blizzard had two goals.
Sophomore attackman Tom Luster gave the Cavaliers breathing room in the final quarter after Westminster had reduced the South Carroll lead to 8-7.
Luster scored on a pass from Pyles to give the winners a 9-7 advantage with 4:57 left in the game.
Westminster was paced by John Bolesta, who scored three goals, and Chris Ahrens, who added two. Owls goalie Adam White was superb in the second half and finished with 10 saves overall.
"We're disappointed," said Westminster coach Jim Peters. "But they played well and deserved to win. They're a good team."
Brown said he liked how the Cavaliers came back in the fourth quarter after making mistakes in the third.
"[Senior midfielder] John Kinter had a tremendous game for us," Brown said. "And Clay Arthur did a good job in the goal for only his second start. He made some mistakes, but you have to expect that."
The Owls (9-3, 4-2) continued their comeback in the opening minutes of the fourth quarter, with Ahrens scoring on a pass from Adam Tozer to bring Westminster within 8-7 at 1:24 of the final quarter.
Westminster controlled the tempo in the third quarter and scored two goals to reduce South Carroll's lead to 8-6.
John Bolesta and Ahrens each scored a goal for the Owls in the third quarter.
South Carroll dominated most of the first-half action and led 8-4 at the break.
The Cavaliers scored the first three goals of the game for a 3-0 lead with 4:34 gone in the first quarter.
Whittington scored twice in the opening minutes for the methodical Cavaliers, who took advantage of Westminster's sky-high emotions.
But Westminster settled down midway through the first quarter and scored the final three goals of the period to gain a 3-3 tie.
John Bolesta scored two of the three straight goals.
The second quarter belonged to South Carroll, as the home team regrouped to score four goals for the 8-4 advantage at halftime.
Pyles led the Cavaliers in the second quarter with two goals and one assist.