By Michael Rich
Johnny Wiseman scored four goals and Ethan Garland added three goals and an assists to lead the Olentangy Liberty boys lacrosse team past district-rival Olentangy Orange 14-10 Friday night in Powell.
“It feels good to get the win (Friday night) against an Olentangy rival,” Wiseman said. “I have teammates giving me the ball across the field on the skips and it really helped me out with the goals.”
Eric Necamp and Alex Lando each scored goals within the first 2 minutes and 11 seconds to give the Patriots control early. Liberty led 4-1 after one quarter.
Griffin Hughes, Wiseman and Garland each scored second-quarter goals as Liberty built a four-goal lead and led 7-4 at the break.
Hughes had two goals and two assists, Necamp also scored twice and assisted on another and Cam Finley stopped 12 shots in goal to help the Patriots (14-4) win their sixth straight and 12 out of the last 13.
“(Liberty’s) offensive weapons are scary good,” Pioneers coach William Mathes said. “If we have the ball, those guys can’t score. Our game plan was to milk the possession as long as we could. For the most part, we did a good job of that.”
Orange maintained long possessions throughout the game and got solid performances by Nick Brandt (three goals) and Adam Rieger (two goals and two assists).
“We knew they were going to be patient,” Patriots coach Jason Godwin said. “Our game plan was to get up on them early and don’t worry about it.”
Brandt scored twice in the third period as the Pioneers (14-3) maintained a three-goal deficit, trailing 9-6 at the end of three.
“We started to pressure up because it made us play a little better than just waiting,” Godwin said. “They were starting to get good looks, but when we were forcing their looks, we were getting the ball (back).”
With Liberty in control, Godwin was perfectly content allowing Orange to take time off the clock.
“They’re not going to go to the goal — they’re not going to score,” Godwin said. “So, take some time off the clock and make the game shorter.”
Josh Forrester scored with 10:13 left in the game to pull Orange within two goals.
“Our guys — when they go up against those good teams — sometimes they play tight,” Mathes said. “We’re trying to combat that a little bit. But, I’m proud of how they adjusted.”
Liberty countered with goals by Grant Uehlein and Garland on back-to-back possessions to seize control with six and a half minutes left.
“They get a late score and then we go in the penalty box and that’s the way this game goes,” Mathes said. “If we were to minimize those kinds of mistakes, it could have been a different ballgame.”
Garland’s goal came on the man-advantage and came in a stretch where the Patriots scored five of six goals to push the lead to 14-8.
Josh Rochon and Danny Arcaro each had a goal and an assist for Orange. Acaro scored one and assisted on the other in the final two minutes to round out the scoring.
Michael Trombetti had nine saves in goal for the Pioneers, who have already doubled last season’s win total.
With the regular season wrapped up, the Patriots and Pioneers learn their tournament fates when the brackets are drawn Sunday.
Chase Gresock had a pair of doubles to go with two runs scored and two more knocked in to lead Liberty to an 8-4 non-league win over host Mount Vernon Friday afternoon.
The Patriots (24-3) set the tone with two first-inning runs before adding three in the second to take a 5-0 lead they maintained until the fifth.
The Jackets finally got on the board with two runs in the fifth, but Liberty answered with three in the seventh to all but end things.
Mount Vernon’s two runs in the bottom of the seventh smoothed out the scoring summary.
Spencer Yankle, Jordan Seich and Connor Stewart joined Gresock in the two-hit club, finishing with a combined four RBI.
Also: DeSales 6, Big Walnut 3; Danville 11, Delaware Christian 1, 5 inn. (Division IV District Tournament).
Follow Michael Rich on Twitter @mrichdelgazette.