Braves picked up convincing win in opener


By Michael Rich - For the Gazette



The Olentangy boys lacrosse team scored six straight goals in the third quarter to blow the game open on its way to a 14-6 season-opening victory over Hilliard Davidson Saturday afternoon at Fortress Obetz in Columbus.

Riley Bruening scored three of his four goals during the third-quarter run and assisted on another.

“I told our kids it was going to be a physical game,” Olentangy coach Dominique Alexander said. “I told our kids to keep their heads up, finish and expect contact … and I thought we did a good job with that.”

It was a familiar venue for Alexander to pick up his first-career win.

“It’s pretty cool because, when I come back here in the summer, I can actually say that I won a game here,” he said.

Alexander spends his time as a midfielder for the Ohio Machine, which calls Fortress Obetz home, when not coaching and teaching health and physical education at Olentangy. He spent two seasons as former coach Zach Peterson’s assistant after one-year stints at Dublin Scioto and New Albany.

“The schedules go nice with each other,” Alexander said. “As a teacher, I get out at 3 (p.m.). So, I’m on the same schedule as them. I find time on my own to work out. I don’t have kids – that’s also part of it — I hear once you have kids that changes everything.”

Josh Petrone was named Player of the Game for his work in the face-off circle, Alexander said. Petrone also led with six ground-balls.

“Josh Petrone picked up face-offs in the preseason,” Alexander said. “To be honest, we were a little nervous. I told Josh to use his athleticism and make them 50-50 ground balls and he (exceeded) our expectations. That’s why he got Player of the Game … because he really kept us in it and got our offense possessions.”

“Everyone played well – it was a good team win,” Petrone said. “We knew they were going to be physical. We were prepared for that. Coach Alexander did a really good job of getting us ready for the game.”

Kyle Milliron, fresh off basketball season, scored three of his four goals in the second half to help Olentangy take control. He also added a pair of assists.

“We’re pretty excited about (the win),” Milliron said. “We’ve still got plenty to work on though – there’s always room for improvement.”

Olentangy (1-0) jumped out to a 3-0 lead on goals by Bruening, Jack Nebraska and Hassan Radda and never trailed. Radda and Nebraska finished with two goals apiece.

But, A.J. VanVoorhis scored four goals and assisted on another to keep Davidson close.

He tallied a goal just 23 seconds into the second half to pull the Wildcats within two after trailing 5-2 at the break.

Davidson’s Alex VanVoorhis scored just 26 seconds after Blake Profio had given Olentangy a three-goal lead again. But, the 6-4 deficit was as close as the Wildcats (0-1) would get.

Bruening added four ground-balls to his stat line and Mitch Conway chipped in with a couple of assists for Olentangy.

Next up, Olentangy opens its home slate against Dublin Coffman Wednesday night at 7 p.m.

OLENTANGY LIBERTY 9, TOLEDO ST. FRANCIS de SALES 2

Johnny Wiseman had three goals and four assists to help the Patriots turn a 2-1 halftime deficit into a season-opening victory in the Ohio Machine High School Showcase Saturday morning at Fortress Obetz in Columbus.

Sam McCormick had two goals and an assist, Spencer Towne had two goals, Mcguire Flanigan had a goal and two assists and Skylar Wahlund had five saves in goal to lead the Patriots (1-0).

Liberty returns to action Thursday night at 7 p.m. when it travels to Delaware Hayes.

LICKING VALLEY 11, BIG WALNUT 8

The Golden Eagles jumped out to a 5-2 lead at the break, but couldn’t overcome the Panthers’ second-half rally in the season opener Saturday night in Newark.

Nathan McVeigh tallied three goals, Johnny Grumney scored twice and assisted on two others and Nathan Montgomery chipped in two goals and led with nine ground balls. Josh Hageman had 19 saves in goal for BW (0-1).

The Panthers (1-0) scored eight of the final nine goals to close the game.

The Eagles return to action Mar. 27 at Pickerington North – slated to start at 7:30 p.m.

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By Michael Rich

For the Gazette

Follow Michael Rich on Twitter @mrichnotwealthy or contact him at mrichnotwealthy@gmail.com.

Follow Michael Rich on Twitter @mrichnotwealthy or contact him at mrichnotwealthy@gmail.com.