Glenelg storms past Century for 2A West Region I boys lacrosse title; Whatley scores seven goals (VIDEO HERE!)

Seniors Evan Whatley (left) and Connor Iannarino provided the offense with seven and three goals, respectively, while senior Cam Sedlack spearheaded a stout defensive effort for Glenelg boys lacrosse Friday evening. The defending Class 2A state champs won the West Region I crown with a 16-6 victory over previously undefeated Century at Centennial in Howard County.

by Derek Toney

Evan Whatley picked a great time to have a career game Friday.

The senior scored seven goals, leading Glenelg High to a 16-6 victory over Century in the Class 2A West Region I boys lacrosse final at Centennial Friday evening.

Connor Iannarino added a hat trick, and C0lin Bach finished with two goals and two assists for Glenelg (8-1 overall). Jackson Zimmer led Century (7-1) with two goals.

The defending 2A state champs from Howard County never trailed, claiming its third region title in five years. The Gladiators will travel for a state quarterfinal contest early next week.

The Western HoCo school is a step closer to a repeat thanks to Whatley, who accounted for five of Glenelg’s first six tallies Friday.

Though the seven goals was nice, Gladiators coach Josh Hatmaker was impressed with a ground ball Whatley played in the opening quarter.

“He’s something else…he’s just an animal,” said Hatmaker. “He can shoot, he can dodge, he can feed. I looked out the other day and there he was, two hours before the game, with a bag of balls just shooting. He’s a special kid.”

Whatley was impressed with his team’s defensive effort that paved the way for him to outscore the Carroll County champion.

“That’s a great Century team and they held them to six goals. It feels great to know if I turn the ball over that we’re going to get it back to score and we know we’re going to get the ball back with our face-off guy (Iannarino),” said Whatley. “We have a lot of trust in our team.”

Iannarino’s three scores came off clean wins and quick strikes off  the X. Kevin Doughty had a goal and three assists and Wyatt Haney chipped a goal and an assist.

Glenelg scored 39 goals in its two region playoff matches, second-most in the state postseason (Sherwood has 40 in two games).

The rematch of the 2019 state final, moved from Century to Centennial because of heavy rain Thursday and most of the day Friday, became a mismatch quickly Friday evening. Glenelg scored seven of the first eight goals and, led, 8-3 at halftime.

“We’ve been scouting them (Century) for a while and thought we had a good game plan,” said Hatmaker, who was VSN’s Coach of the Year in 2019. “We mixed up zone and man and thought they’d have some problem with that.”

“We really took control of the first and second halves and we kept pounding it on them,” said Gladiators senior longstick Cam Sedlack.

Glenelg defeated Century, 11-7, in the 2019 state final at Paint Branch. The Knights, who came in Friday’s match undefeated including a victory over reigning 3A state champ Westminster (ended Owls’ 40-game win streak in Carroll County play), were overwhelmed from the start.

“Howard County plays a very high level of  lacrosse that I don’t we were really ready for,” said Century coach Jeremy Benson. “It’s hard to practice for and get use to. They have a full team…they’re a program we’re trying to compete with.”

Hatmaker said Glenelg’s loss to league rival Marriotts Ridge helped recalibrate their focus.

The Gladiators last won back-to-back titles more than a decade ago (2007 and 2008).

“We scored 16 goals today and still have a lot to work on on offense. The defense gave up six goals and I know they still have a lot to work on,” said Whatley. “That just shows how good our team can really be and we think we can make a deep run and win another state championship.”