Championship Update: Maryland, Inter-Ac Challenge, DC, Georgia, New York and California

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It’s been a wild couple days. In the high school world, playoffs have begun and in some states, teams are either about to finish up or have already been completed. Today, it’s time to take a look at some championship results (Long Island, Georgia, Los Angeles) and championship previews in Baltimore’s MIAA, the IAC in the capital region, San Diego and the Inter-Ac Challenge.

Things are heating up in New Jersey, New York and Connecticut (among others), so check back in the coming days for more after the weekend’s results provide more clarity. As always, follow along via Twitter with @tyxanders and @RecruitRundown.

Inter-Ac Challenge heats up with Friday’s semifinals

Wednesday’s quarterfinals provided no surprises, as the top four seeds in the annual Inter-Ac Challenge all advanced to play in Friday’s semifinals at Villanova. Those games will be live streamed by Next Level Video at 5:00 and 7:30PM, offering a look at three nationally ranked programs as well as a squad placed in the most recent Prep Top 10.

In the first matchup, top-seeded Culver (Ind.) will battle with No. 4 seed Lawrenceville (N.J.) in a bout between heralded boarding school programs. Up next in the nightcap will be a highly anticipated matchup with No. 2 Haverford (Pa.) squaring off with league rival No. 3 Malvern Prep (Pa.) for the third time this year. My man Matt Chandik put together a terrific in-depth preview – check that out and if you’re in the Philly area, head out to the event this weekend at Villanova. The championship game will take place on Sunday evening at 5:00.

Highly anticipated MIAA final taking place between top five teams

Plain and simple: there isn’t a high school conference as difficult to win as the MIAA. In all likelihood, not many people would argue that either.

Throughout the past two seasons in particular, parity has reared its ugly head during in-league play. This spring, however, the MIAA’s top two seeds will get to play in Friday night’s championship. McDonogh and Boys’ Latin engaged in a double overtime contest on May 3rd with the Eagles winning 10-9 after the Lakers led for much of the game.

On Friday night under the lights of Johns Hopkins’ Homewood Field, Baltimore lacrosse fans will get the rematch that we all wanted so badly.

The Lakers got to this point by clinching a first-round bye with an emphatic 16-6 win over archrival St. Paul’s on the final day of the regular season. From there, Brian Farrell’s squad cruised to a 13-6 win over Severn in Monday night’s semifinals at Homewood. The team is playing impeccably well together on both ends of the field, also getting terrific face-off and goalie play.

Searching for the program’s first MIAA lacrosse title since 2005, the Eagles haven’t lost since late March against Bullis, carrying a 17-1 record into Friday’s game. It was a bit easier for McDonogh, as they punished Loyola Blakefield in the semifinals to the tune of a 20-6 record. The last time they won it all (though under Jake Reed, the founder of Nike Blue Chip) just over a decade ago, the Eagles had an awfully similar outcome in the semifinals, knocking off St. Paul’s 20-5.

My guy Glenn Graham of the Baltimore Sun had a lengthy and incredibly informative previewing every aspect of the MIAA championship – check that out here. In addition, Lax Sports Network will be live streaming the championship game on Friday at 8:00. If you haven’t already, subscribe to LSN.

St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes and Bullis set to square off in IAC final

Lacrosse fans surrounding the nation’s capital will be treated to a rematch of what was arguably the best game of the IAC regular season. Back on April 29th, the Bulldogs came from behind to win 7-5 (more here from the Washington Post), knocking off a talented SSSA team that led for a considerable portion of the game.

The date for the IAC championship is still up in the air, though it will likely occur on Monday afternoon. Located in Alexandria, the Saints are simultaneously participating in the VISAA playoffs, playing Norfolk Academy (16-7) at Randolph-Macon in Friday night’s semifinals. Assuming they win that matchup, the IAC championship game scheduled for Saturday will move to Sunday at 6:30PM at Bullis.

It marks the first time since 2007 that either Landon or Georgetown Prep failed to make the IAC championship. St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes won the tournament title in 2013 for the first time, while Bullis last advanced to the title game in 2012 before falling to Landon.

Ranked No. 2 in the country, the Bulldogs have received plenty of fanfare during the last few months. The offense has been spectacular and will get most of the headlines, but the goalie play, face-off situation and defense have all been rock solid. Jeff Bellistri has led a balanced and senior-heavy team to prominence, but that won’t matter as much if they can’t finish the fight on Sunday.

They’ll be met by a Saints team led by Andy Taibl, who has been the head coach since 2006 but will step down after the season. Heading into the weekend, his squad sits at 19-3 on the year with a national ranking of #21 and private school ranking of #9. Middlebury recruit Chase Goree has paved the way with 48 goals, while classmates Wade Shervin (Drexel) and Ben Martin (Dartmouth) have each netted over 35 tallies on the year with Martin also adding 27 helpers.

St. Anthony’s (N.Y.) captures a CHSAA title in dominant fashion

The Friars put an exclamation point on the program’s first NYCHSAA title since 2012, pumping Catholic League archrival Chaminade 18-5 on Wednesday. Finishing the season with a 14-2 record, St. A’s swept the Flyers in all three bouts this spring, also recording notable wins over teams like New Canaan (Conn.), Niskayuna and Syosset.

Senior face-off man Kyle Gallagher (Hofstra), named the game MVP, was the catalyst all night by winning 18-of-25 at the X. The possession advantage helped TJ Heagerty (Michigan) score five times with Villanova signee Jared Nugent putting up a whopping four goals and four assists.

Patrick McCormack of MSG Varsity posted an informative game story, while highlights are also viewable here.

Update on Southern California 

On Saturday, Loyola-Los Angeles became the first LA team to take the Southern Section title, dethroning Corona Del Mar with a 10-6 win. Jim Loftus of MaxLaxLA has more on the Cubs’ win at this link.

A few hours south, Torrey Pines and Poway will face off in Saturday’s San Diego Open Division final a year after Poway knocked off the Falcons. Coached by Jono Zissi, six-time champion TP will seek its first title since 2013 while Zach Burke’s Titans will be looking for revenge of their own, having lost to Torrey Pines 8-4 in late March.

MaxLaxSD will have a live stream for Saturday night’s championship. Tune in at 7:30 Western time (10:30 on the East Coast) for what should be an awesome game.

 

Allatoona and Lambert win Georgia state championships

In 6A, Lambert capped off an undefeated season by taking the championship over Lassiter, 6-3. Brian Paglia of the Forsyth County News had an excellent article detailing the tradition of the program and what the seniors meant to it. Five Longhorns will head off to play Division I lacrosse in the fall, heading to Mercer, VMI, High Point and Robert Morris.

The Allatoona Buccaneers (19-2) avenged their overtime loss to Westminster by knocking off the Wildcats in the Georgia 5A Championship, 10-9. It marks the program’s first state title and follows a state title win by the football team back in the fall, as six lacrosse players were on that roster. The Marietta Daily Journal has the recap here.

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