SMITHFIELD — It was a roller-coaster ride for Sky View boys lacrosse fans Friday afternoon.
The Bobcats fell behind early, rallied to lead at halftime, trailed after three quarters and were tied five minutes into the fourth quarter. But the ride ended on down note for the host school against visiting Bountiful in the Division B Boys Lacrosse Championships. The Braves edged the Bobcats, 11-10, to move on to the semifinals.
“We have a pretty young team,” SV team captain Garret Zollinger said. “We graduate just two seniors. We will have a great team next year. I’m excited to get to work.”
Third-seeded Sky View (11-6) had some frustrating moments in the final five minutes. Bountiful’s Cole Terry was a thorn in the Bobcats side throughout the quarterfinal game, but especially in the final quarter. He picked off passes and made big runs down the field to thwart Sky View scoring opportunities..
“Phenomenal game, No. 25 is a great player,” Bobcat head coach Kyle Bland said. “He was all over the field. He wasn’t too loud until the fourth quarter, and then in that fourth quarter he just took it to us unfortunately. Good player and I wish him the best in the playoffs. They are a good team.”
With 5:15 to play and trailing 10-9, the Bobcats had a golden chance to equalize. Three Bountiful (11-7) players were sent to the penalty box — one because the head coach was flagged. Sky View had a three-man advantage.
“Their defense was just good and No. 25 kept being in the right place at the right time,” Bland said. “Some jitters got to us in the end.”
The Bobcats never scored with the advantage. In fact, they never even got off a shot. Terry intercepted Sky View passes and generally caused havoc for the hosts as they tried to run their offense
“No. 25 (Terry) did an amazing job, but so did their whole defense,” Zollinger said. “Their three guys on defense worked together. Congrats to them. No. 25 was the difference maker, picking off our passes.”
Adding salt to the wound, when the third and final Brave came off the penalty, he took a pass and rushed toward the goal. Sam Lefevre completed a hat trick with his third goal with 3:06 to play. It would end up being the game winner.
With less than two minutes to play, Sky View pulled within 11-10 when Parker Robbins scored on a nice shot from distance. It was the team-best fourth goal for Robbins, who also had an assist.
While the Bobcats had several chances to tie the game, Terry came up big one last time. The sixth-seeded Braves were then able to kill the final 30 seconds of the game and secure the victory.
“We just couldn’t capitalize when we had the ball,” Zollinger said. “... I love our team and we did a great job this year.”
Five different Bobcats scored. Zollinger and Sean Tempest each had two goals, while Joshua Higginbotham and Gage Leishman added one each. Higginbotham led the team with two assists.
The Braves were led by Hayden Hanson who finished with four goals to improve his season total to 62. Lefevre finished with three.
It took Bountiful just 26 seconds to get in the scoreboard. Hanson won the opening face off and finished.
Just over a minute later Robbins equalized for the Bobcats.
But the Braves would score three straight goals and took a 4-2 lead after the opening quarter.
“We have a young team and they were a little jittery to start the game,” Bland said. “Once the jitters were out, we played our game.”
Sky View did score just before the end of the first — a Zollinger goal off an assist from Higginbotham. The Bobcats opened the second quarter by scoring five straight goals to take a 7-4 lead. A nifty no-look shot by Tempest off a great pass from Zollinger started the second-quarter barrage. Leishman capped the run with a goal off a nice pass from Tempest.
Sky View took a 7-5 lead into the break.
“Our offense did great in the second quarter,” Zollinger said. “We were putting in goals, sharing the ball and being unselfish. We were playing as a team.”
Bountiful scored the first four goals of the third quarter as the Braves started the second half up a man because of a Sky View penalty at the end of the first half. Entering the fourth quarter, Bountiful held a 9-8 lead.
“I think we got too comfortable and got a little selfish,” Zollinger said. “People just weren’t passing the ball or sharing the ball. We just came out too confident in the second half.”
Goals were hard to come by over the final 12 minutes. Higginbotham knotted the score at the 6:48 mark with the first goal of the fourth.
However, the Braves took the lead for good 30 seconds later.
Sky View had won three in a row and seven of their last eight before the season-ending setback on Friday. With just two seniors, the Bobcats are expecting to be back strong in 2022.
“It was a good season,” Bland said. “We appreciate the help we got from the school and the faculty. ... We got good support from the principal, the athletic director Ryan Grunig and the trainer. This is a phenomenal group of boys. We’re excited moving forward with this program and I think we will just keep getting better.”
The Wolves suffered a tough loss at Olympus Friday night in the Division A Boys Lacrosse Championships.
The Titans outscored the Wolves 6-2 in the fourth quarter to claim a 13-11 victory.
“I’m super proud of our guys,” GC head coach Troy Oldham said. “They played their hearts out the entire game, never quit. We saw them come together as a brotherhood tonight. Obviously, we wish the outcome was different, but credit goes to a great Olympus team. We’re just proud that we were able to play and compete at this state wide level. We feel that the game was very much between two deserving teams of a number four ranking and a number five ranking in the state. We wish Olympus all the best in their run for the state championship.”
Fifth-seeded Green Canyon (16-2) had held a 7-5 lead at halftime and was still ahead at the end of three quarters, 9-7. Fourth-seeded Olympus (15-1) was able to rally in the final period.
The Wolves did win Region 11, going undefeated. They were the top ranked 4A school and were placed in the top division for the state playoffs.
“That’s a pretty great season for a new program in a new high school sport,” Oldham said.
Top scorers for the Wolves were Dusty Gasaway, Mason Anderson, JD McKenna, Jake Lundin and Laker Sampson. Defensively, Luke Lee and Jacob Regen drew praise from the coach. Jaxon Curtis was credited with “some really intense aggressive play.”