Louisiana Boys' Final Four Set for Saturday

The Louisiana High School Lacrosse League Boys' state semifinals and finals will be played this weekend in Lafayette. Semifinal games are set for Saturday before Sunday's pinnacle match-up at STM Stadium.

In the first semifinal game of the day, Saint Thomas More (11-2) will go up against Jesuit-New Orleans (9-1) for a spot in the championship game. Earlier this season, Jesuit defeated the Cougars, 9-7, back on January 22. In fact, the team's only loss this season came again Alabama power Spain Park, a 10-9 result in double overtime. With defender Todd Johnson leading the way, the team enters semifinal play riding a five-game winning streak, holding opponents to just five goals in four of those contests.

The Bluejays will turn to standout attackman Bryan Kitto to lead the offense and goaltender Stephen Baay to quarterback the defense. Both players earned All-State nominations this season from the East District. Also, look for face-off specialist Mike Marquis to play a key role in Saturday's outcome. The midfielder is an All-District team selection this year and a game-changer at the face-off X.

As for Saint Thomas More, the team enters semifinal play red hot. The defending state champs have won their last six games, posting double-digit goals in each while limiting opponents to 5.3 goals. This season, the squad played only in-state opponents and got tripped up by state powers Jesuit and then Loyola-Shreveport (10-2) on March 12. Keep in mind that the Cougars did post giant wins over potential finals opponents Byrd and Brother Martin during the season taking those games by an average of 13 goals.

The Cougars feature arguably the state's best all-around player in Saban Sellers. The attackman was named the Louisiana Boys' Player of the Year in 2010 by West Side Lax and has been a constant source of production once again in '11 earning All-State honors in the process. Midfielder Ashton Langlinais serves as the team's key face-off guy and is a crucial component of the Cougars' lethal transition game. Also, expect defenders Matthew Hindelang and Brady Lerille to give the Bluejays some match-up problems.

Meanwhile, in the second semifinal game of the day, Brother Martin will face-off against Byrd. After falling to Loyola Shreveport on February 13, 7-3, and March 15, 14-7, Byrd posted an improbable 14-9 win over its rival on April 16 to earn a berth in the state semifinals. The victory marked the second-straight season that Byrd had lost to Loyola Shreveport twice in the regular season only to beat them in the state quarterfinals.

In the most recent victory, attackman Collin McDonald scored five goals to net the difference. The Flyers built a 4-1 lead early before Byrd rallied to score five goals in a row. Senior Bruce Brewer also chipped in with five goals for the Yellowjackets (6-6 overall). While Byrd has been inconsistent this season, especially at finishing on the offensive end, the team has certainly made it count during the season's biggest stage. The Yellowjackets should also feel confident heading into Saturday's match-up with Brother Martin. Byrd defeated them 14-8 back on March 12.

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2011-04-28



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