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Boys’ District AAA semis: @Stoga_Lax, @devils_lax advance to title game

Wednesday, 24th May 2017

Categories Boy's/Men's, High School  
 

By Matt Chandik
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 5/24/17

Up four goals heading into the fourth quarter, Conestoga was determined to not allow history to repeat itself Tuesday night.

Conestoga’s Scott MacMillan

When the Pioneers played Garnet Valley last month, they allowed a five-goal lead to fritter away and lost in overtime when Jake Buttermore ripped one home. Tuesday, Conestoga wasn’t about to feel that heartbreak again.

Henry Berg, Cliff Madden, Drew Mullen and Peyton Jones scored fourth-quarter insurance markers and Scott MacMillan made four of his nine saves in the final frame as the No. 3 Pioneers soundly beat the No. 2 Jaguars, 13-6, in a District 1 Class AAA semifinal. Conestoga advances to Thursday’s final against No. 1 Avon Grove, which clipped Central Bucks East, 10-9, at Henderson at 6 p.m. The Patriots and Jaguars will meet in the third-place game at Garnet Valley Thursday at a time to be determined.

“I learned that we have resiliency, coming back from a pretty tough loss in overtime last time that was very disappointing,” MacMillan said. “It was our only Central League loss. We had a team win (Tuesday). Our offense played terrific and our defense played even better.

“We just played really good team defense. We didn’t do anything special. We were just blocking shots, sliding really well and we just had our hot slide and our 2 slide ready to go.”

Garnet Valley (16-5) held a 3-1 edge, and after Conestoga tied it up, got a 4-3 lead on Matt Moore’s second goal of the game. From there, the Pioneers dominated in every facet. Tommy Sopko (two goals, three assists) gave Conestoga (18-3) a lead it wouldn’t relinquish with an incredible individual effort that culminated with a highlight-reel backhand goal. James Reilly won 13 of 19 faceoffs, while Drew Mullen and Cliff Madden each had two goals and an assist. From there, the Pioneers never looked back, outscoring the Jaguars 7-1 in the second half.

Conestoga’s Henry Berg

“I just felt like if we didn’t score, they were going to come back like last time,” said Berg, who sniped four times and added an assist. “I wanted to keep scoring so they didn’t have a chance to come back.”

Moore led the Garnet Valley offense with two goals and three assists, while Jake D’Annunzio scored twice and Evan Trizonis and converted midfielder Hunter Baar once. Baar bumped up to the attack line recently when Garnet Valley lost Denny Nealon for the season to a torn ACL. He’s fit in there, where he’s absorbed knowledge by working with Moore and D’Annunzio.

“It’s been pretty good,” Baar said. “I’ve had a lot of help from Matt and Jake in adjusting to the position. The coaches have done a really good job of preparing me in practice and I’m just trying to learn as much as I can.”

Avon Grove 10, Central Bucks East 9

Jake Smith (two goals, one assist) scored with just over a minute left to give the Red Devils a berth in the district finals. Scooter Whiteside added two goals and an assist and Joey Borky scored twice.

The Red Devils held a 9-7 lead after three quarters, but momentum shifted and Michael Ott scored two fourth-quarter goals to tie the game 9-9 with 3:51 remaining. Ott led the Patriots with two goals and three assists, Ryan Stout added two goals and one assist.

GV’s Hunter Baar

Conestoga 13, Garnet Valley 6

Conestoga 3 3 3 4 — 13
Henry Berg 4g, 1a
Tommy Sopko 2g, 3a
Drew Mullen 2g, 1a
Cliff Madden 2g, 1a
Nick Braendel 1g
Nick Cost 1g
James Reilly 13-for-18 faceoffs
Scott MacMillan 9 saves

Garnet Valley 3 1 1 1 — 6
Matt Moore 2g, 3a
Jake D’Annunzio 2g
Evan Trizonis 1g
Hunter Baar 1g
Jason Rose 8 saves

Avon Grove 10, Central Bucks East 9

AG: 4-2-3-1–10
CBE: 0-4-3-2–9

Avon Grove
Zach Augustine 1g 2a
Brendan Harmon 1g 1a
Joey Borky 2g
Scooter Whiteside 2g 1a
Jake Smith 2g 1a
Nick Chastain 1g 3a
Doug Jones 1g
Nate Hammond 14 of 22 FO
Kevin Malone 6 saves

CBE
Michael Ott 2Goals, 3 Assists, 8 of 22 FO, 4 GB
Ryan Stout 2 Goals 1 Assist
Ryan Brown 2 Goals
Ryan Bullotta 2 Goals
Alec Bracken 1 Goal
Colin Stein 1 Assistm 2 GB
Liam Rosenthal – 8 saves, 1 GB
Bryan McIntosh 3GB, 1 CT
John Galow 2GB, 1 CT
Jake Kueny 2GB, 1 CT
Conor Larkin 2GB, 1 CT
Joe Thiroway 1GB, 2 CT
Drew Bethke 1GB

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