BY WENDI REARDON PRICE
Clarkston News Sports Writer
The regular season is coming to a close and the Wolves are ready to take on Stoney Creek in the first round of the MHSAA Boys Lacrosse Regional 5 playoffs this Friday at home, 6 p.m.
“We are going out hoping to play well, play smart and just keep plugging for the regional semifinals and finals,” said Clarkston Boys Varsity Lacrosse Head Coach Brian Kaminskas.
The Wolves went 3-0 last week, including an overtime win over Rochester Adams.
Harry Skinner scored the winning goal against the Highlanders for the 9-8 win last Thursday.
Skinner also opened the game with the first goal for the night with 9:45 left in the first quarter. Clarkston scored one more goal before the quarter closed, this time by Sam Lightfoot, putting the score 4-2 with Rochester Adams holding the lead.
The Highlanders created a six-goal deficit by the time Jeff Barnett scored two goals for Clarkston halfway through the second quarter.
The Wolves closed the first half only two goals behind their hosts, 8-6.
“We held them scoreless for 31 minutes then won in overtime, which is great for the boys and the program,” said Kaminskas. “It shows when they are down they will keep fighting. We carried it over to Brighton where we held them scoreless all but 45 seconds in the first half.”
Clarkston defeated Brighton on Saturday, 13-10. They closed the first half with a 10-1 lead with three goals from Keelan McKouen, two goals each from Drew Vandenberg and Barnett, and one goal each from Eric Csizmadia, Keagan King and Matt Atchison.
“The second half – we fell asleep and it took us a long time to wake up,” said Kaminskas, adding the team can benefit from it going into playoffs. “It was 100 percent mental. You learn from it. You understand it. You get ready to go all four quarters. It is the time of the year guys aren’t going to take a tough quarter and go away – it’s win or go home.”
Clarkston opened the week with a 17-8 win over De La Salle Collegiate, May 7.
McKouen and Vandenberg built a 2-0 lead in the first four minutes of the game. De La Salle came back to score three goals and hold onto the lead going into the second quarter.
Csizmadia tied the game with a quick shot, hitting the top of the net two minutes into the quarter.
Lightfoot broke the tie on a long shot on the net after Csizmadia passed the ball to him with seven minutes remaining in the first half.
“We had a slow start but once we started rolling, it wasn’t an issue,” Kaminskas said.
Clarkston scored four more goals from Jack Gurn, McKouen, Barnett and Atchison to end the first half 8-3. Csizmadia led the Wolves with four goals and three assists and McKouen scored three goals and had four assists for the night. Lightfoot, Gurn and Barnett score two goals each.
The Wolves opened the week against Cranbrook on Tuesday. They head to Flint Powers on Thursday. JV plays at 5 p.m., varsity follows.