Some believe it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish. Others say it’s how you start that’s important.
But, for the Olentangy Liberty boys lacrosse team it was the 12-0 advantage in the middle two quarters that made the difference in a 14-6 win over Delaware Hayes Wednesday night.
The Patriots trailed 3-2 at the end of the first quarter of their Division I, Region 1 semifinal game.
“We played tough the first quarter,” Pacers coach John Lyon said. “(Liberty) possessed the ball and they executed.”
“They were playing a defense we hadn’t seen before,” Patriots coach Jason Godwin said. “When we (figured it out), it clicked and we scored those eight goals in the second quarter.”
Griffin Hughes scored Liberty’s first four goals, including the tying and go-ahead goals in the second quarter.
Hughes, already the program’s all-time leader in points, became the all-time leading goal scorer with 129 thanks to his four-goal performance.
Top-seeded Liberty erupted for six goals in a span of 2:35 to turn a 1-goal deficit into an 8-3 lead with 8:21 left in the first half.
Chase Snyder scored two goals sandwiched between a pair of Vincent Ramondelli goals to give Liberty control.
“I think that was huge,” Godwin said. “They called that timeout and you know you got somebody when you change that momentum like that.”
Ramondelli finished with three goals, Johnny Wiseman led with three assists and two goals, John Paolo had two goals, Mcguire Flannigan added a goal and Andrew Guagenti had an assist for the Patriots.
Skylar Wahlund had 10 saves and Thomas Fitzgerald stopped one shot in goal for Liberty.
Corey David led the fifth-seeded Pacers with four goals and Cullen Moore and Sam Lagando rounded out the scoring with a goal apiece. Ethan Miller and Cole Livermore each finished with an assist.
“(David) is actually our leading goal scorer throughout the tournament,” Lyon said. “He played well for us against Toledo St. John’s, he played phenomenal for us against Medina. He played well for us tonight, too – he’s a good midfielder. It’s a loss that’s going to hurt us … we’ll have to find someone to replace him next year.”
Tyler Groth had 11 saves in goal for Delaware.
Liberty faces second-seeded Olentangy in the regional finals Saturday at a time and location to be announced.
Olentangy 14, Orange 2
The Braves led by a slim 2-1 margin after the first quarter, but dominated the rest of the way en route to a Division I regional tournament win over the rival Pioneers Wednesday in Lewis Center.
Olentangy outscored Orange 12-1 in the final three quarters, including a string of nine unanswered. The Braves’ five first-half goals were scored by five different players — Sam Monastra, Patrick Grubb, Riley Bruening, Cam Kennedy and Kyle Milliron.
Bruening and Milliron led the way with four goals apiece when all was said and done.
Follow Michael Rich on Twitter @mrichdelgazette.