No. 13 Glenelg boys capture fourth lax title, top 12th-ranked Century; Dry, M. Doughty score two goals in 26 seconds to blunt the Knights’ second quarter rally
by Nelson Coffin
It’s not often that a game is decided by a play in the second quarter, although the Class 2A boys lacrosse state championship game between No. 12 Century and 13th-ranked Glenelg at Paint Branch High School on Tuesday evening just might be an exception.
That’s because the Knights (17-3) were clawing back from a 5-1 deficit and had just completed a 3-0 run on goals by Brady Crumbacker, Alex Hillis and Jalen Stanton to build some momentum that just might have carried the them past the Gladiators (13-6) for the second time this season.
Instead, Glenelg senior stalwarts Michael Doughty and Kyle Dry scored back-to-back goals just 26 seconds apart to restore the Gladiators’ three-goal cushion while blunting Century’s comeback bid.
“It was almost exactly like the last time when we came back on them,” said Stanton about the Knights’ 8-7 triumph five weeks ago. “We felt very confident.”
The Gladiators, though, had good reason to believe that they could boost their lead quickly because they would more than likely get the next possession.
“No. 10,” Doughty said, nodding toward junior Mason Davis, as if the face-off specialist was the sole reason why Glenelg players were not shaken by the Knights’ pressure.
Davis, who won 14-of-20 draws, had plenty of help from his wings, especially the jackrabbit quick Dry.
“Kyle was helping a ton on the wings,” Davis said. “I can’t do anything without my wing guys.”
Doughty and fellow senior attackman Ryan Hopkins gave the Gladiators a 2-0 lead early in the first quarter before senior midfielder Brett Kropinski answered for the Knights, although they were never able to draw even.
Kropinski’s second goal nudged Century as close as it would get in the second half at 7-5, until Hopkins converted a Doughty feed, senior midfielder Tyler Reiff rifled in a left-handed shot and long-gstick C. J. Davisdon powered a shot past senior Knights goalie Adam Zimmerman, who made a dozen saves including back-to-back beauties in the final period.
However, by that time the Gladiators had all but wrapped up their fourth title and first since 2011, despite having a six-game losing streak during the season.
“We never wavered,” Glenelg coach Josh Hatmaker said about his team’s ability to overcome that bad stretch of games and emerge on top. “Our group of seniors were tremendous. I watched them grow up this year.”
Century coach Jeremy Benson said that his team had high expectations coming into the season.
“We had a total team buy-in,” he said. “And tonight we made Glenelg earn the win, but we just couldn’t get enough ground balls and face-offs. They could have put us away a lot earlier if it hadn’t been for our goalie. We just gave them too many doorsteps in the first quarter.”
CLASS 2A BOYS LACROSSE STATE CHAMPIONSHIP
(AT Paint Branch High School)
NO. 13 GLENELG 11, NO. 12 CENTURY 7
Century 1 3 1 2 — 7
Glenelg 4 3 1 3 — 11
Goals: C-Jalen Stanton 3, Brett Kropinski 2, Alex Hillis, Brady Crumbacker; G-Michael Doughty 4, Kyle Dry 2, Ryan Hopkins 2, C.J. Davidson, Tyler Reiff, Kevin Doughty.
Assists: C-None; G-Michael Doughty, Ryan Hopkins, Eric Gruber.
Saves: C-Adam Zimmerman 12; G-John Kennedy 7.