When Lakeside toppled Greenbrier in lacrosse Wednesday night, it was the best of all worlds for the Panthers.
With their hard-fought 13-10 win at Greenbrier, the Panthers swept the season series from their crosstown rival – on senior night – clinching a spot in the 2012-2013 GHSA Class AAAAA Boys State Lacrosse Championship in the process.
The Panthers (9-4, 4-1 Area 4-AAAAA) could climb as high as a No. 2 seed in the tournament with two wins in the final week of the season.
Junior middie Alex Bowen couldn’t decide which end result was better
“Both are awesome,” he said of the playoff clinch and series sweep. “Put the two together and it’s the best feeling.”
Chris O’Gorman fed Bowen and he scored to give the Panthers an 11-9 advantage with 5:16 to play in the game. The goal came right after Lakeside’s final timeout of the game and was their second in a minute after the Panthers had tied the game at nine.
Trailing 9-8, the Wolfpack’s Nick Sidow scored with an assist from Collin Fitzpatrick after the Panthers turned the ball over deep in their own end.
Setting the tone for the fourth period, the Panthers won the ensuing faceoff and Cody Hovis scored just 18 seconds later as the Panthers re-took the lead.
Bowen scored twice and one of his four assists came on a Will Hutto goal with 1:34 to play that gave the Panthers a 12-10 edge. The goal followed a Greenbrier (5-10, 2-4) score that cut the Panthers’ lead to 11-10 just 14 seconds earlier.
“When you win the faceoffs it leads to a fast break off that and we didn’t do a good job with stopping the fast break, especially at the faceoff,” said Wolfpack head coach Jeff Becker.
Myers Zimmerman added a goal with 15 seconds left for the final 13-10 margin.
Panthers goalie Jared Broder made 17 saves and Panthers head coach Ron Ritter liked what he saw from Broder and his defense.
“The defensemen slid well and shut down their attack,” Ritter said. “Jared had a good game in goal.”
Greg Wilson led off the scoring for the Wolfpack, giving them a 1-0 lead a minute and a half into the game. Wilson would finish the night leading the Wolfpack with four goals and two assists.
The Wolfpack also scored a shorthanded goal, down two men, that tied the game at seven with 5:16 to play in the third period.
“That’s the first time I’ve ever seen that in seven or eight years of coaching,” Becker said.
Cody Hovis paced the Panthers with four goals and Bowen was the assist leader with four.
While disappointed with the loss, Becker liked that the teams were close once again and gave the fans a good show.
“When it’s evenly matched, it’s exciting, so it was a fun game,” Becker said.