BY WENDI REARDON PRICE
Clarkston News Sports Writer
The Wolves jumped right back to it after the holiday weekend, taking on Midland in the MHSAA Division 1 Boys Lacrosse Region 8 Final on Tuesday.
The team had a peek at their opponents as Midland defeated Grand Blanc in the regional semifinal, 22-7.
“They looked fast,” said Brian Kaminskas, head coach. “Fast and organized. We played them earlier in the year and beat them 14-8. They are considerably better than the first time we played them. We are decently fast and aggressive so we will be okay.”
He added the six day span between the semifinal and final games would help.
“We are still pretty beat up,” he said during the weekend. “Tuesday night will be the first time we have a full crew since early April. It definitely helps out.”
The Wolves won their regional semifinal against Oxford on May 26, 17-5.
“It was good,” Kaminskas said. “It’s playoffs so win to play another day. We expected to go in and take care of business. The boys did well. Though got a little sloppy in the third. Other than that it was good.”
The Wildcats opened the night with the first goal 27 seconds into the game off a shot by senior Nicholas Soukup.
Oxford made another shot on the net and Clarkston senior Michael VanGilder saved it from going into the net. It turned possession back to Clarkston and seconds later senior Braedyn Callahan tied the game with 8:41 remaining in the first quarter.
Oxford attempted to break the tie with another shot on goal and was blocked by VanGilder.
“It was a good, brief momentum surge for Oxford,” said Kaminskas. “I thought the guys response was fine – cool and collected – just go out and take care of business. I don’t think anyone was panicked. Lacrosse is by no means a low scoring game.”
The Wolves broke the tie with a goal from sophomore Zaiden Green, with six minutes to go. Callahan scored less than 90 seconds later, giving the Wolves a 3-1 lead.
The lead grew as junior Ryan Berry, sophomore Tyler Cray and junior Evan McClorey scored for the Wolves.
Green closed the quarter with his goal with less than two seconds left, 7-2.
Oxford opened the second quarter with a goal from senior Jack Wandrie.
The Wolves scored again with 8:27 remaining in the quarter with a shot from McClorey. Less than four minutes later Oxford score with a goal from senior Brendan Vogler, starting back and forth battle over ball possession.
Callahan made a shot on the net and the ball rolled into Oxford’s net with 1:36 remaining in the first half.
Five seconds later, the Wolves scored again. Senior Jack Gurn grabbed possession from the faceoff and passed the ball to Green, who ended the half, 10-4.
Clarkston scored three times in the third quarter with goals from McClorey, Gurn and Green.
Cray scored again with 8:26 left in the game and 19 seconds later junior Ryan Martindale had a swift throw to the top of the net for his goal.
Midland moves on to play the Region 7 winner after a 17-9 win over Clarkston on June 1. . The quarterfinal is June 4 at Oxford High School, 6:30 p.m. . The state finals is Saturday, June 12 at Parker Middle School Stadium in Howell, 2 p.m.