Strong start lifts Pioneers over Eagles


Nick Brandt helped the Olentangy Orange boys lacrosse team get off to a fast start, scoring a hat trick and assisting on two others in the first quarter.

He finished with eight goals and two assists to lead the Pioneers to a 19-4 win over Big Walnut Thursday night in Lewis Center.

Brandt came one goal shy of tying the school record – which he set Apr. 6 in Orange’s 17-2 win over Westerville Central.

“The good thing about Nick and the other seniors is that they’ve bought into the philosophy that I’ve had the last couple of years with Coach (William) Mathes … they’re thinking about their 35 teammates instead of just themselves being individuals,” Pioneers coach Pat Boyce said.

Cooper Durst had four goals and an assist and Luke Schmeling, Tag Gomer and Josh Rochon each added a pair of goals and an assist.

Seth Daniels’ goal with 10:47 left in the second quarter got the Golden Eagles on the board. Nathan Montgomery found Tyler Vojtush and Campbell Allen scored later in the quarter to cut the deficit to five.

But, Orange responded with three goals in the final 31 seconds of the half to take away any drama. The Pioneers led 11-3 at the break.

“I called a timeout there and they ran a play that we’ve run several times in practice and they executed it perfectly,” Boyce said. “We’ve got an outstanding face-off man – Lake Harris, who was second team all-regional last year as a sophomore. He’s one of the best face-off guys in the state in my opinion.”

Mason Handa had a goal, Hunter Knipp had an assist and Mitchell Clifford finished with three assists for the Pioneers (10-3).

Daniels led with two goals, Campbell Allen had a goal and an assist and Tyler Vojtush added a goal for BW.

“With a good team like (Orange), you can’t afford to break down on fundamentals,” Eagles coach Roger Allen said. “But, it also shows we’re a developing program … we’re getting our numbers up. We’re winning the games we’re supposed to and losing the games we’re supposed to.”

Josh Hageman had 18 saves in goal for the Eagles (5-5).

“(He) did a phenomenal job … to keep his head up and to be able to continue playing like that,” Allen said.

Orange is right back at it tonight, hosting Anthony Wayne at 7 p.m. BW hosts Licking Valley Saturday at noon.

Liberty 17, Westerville Central 7

Johnny Wiseman scored a game-best five goals and added three assists to lead the Patriots to a comfortable win over the Warhawks Thursday night.

Griffin Hughes, Spencer Towne and JT Schoettmer backed Wiseman with two goals apiece while Thomas Fitzgerald anchored the defense with four saves in the Liberty goal.

Also: Hayes 11, Dublin Scioto 6; Olentangy 15, Westerville North 7

Big Walnut’s Nathan Montgomery defends Orange’s Chris Gardiner, right, during the first half of Thursday’s showdown in Lewis Center. Walnut’s Nathan Montgomery defends Orange’s Chris Gardiner, right, during the first half of Thursday’s showdown in Lewis Center.

By Michael Rich

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Follow Michael Rich on Twitter @mrichdelgazette.

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