East Recap: First Round of NC Playoffs Proves Wild

The opening round of the North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA) boys' lacrosse state tournament witnessed a number of surprising results this weekend, sending shockwaves across the state.

For starters, previously unbeaten Lake Norman (15-1) fell to wild card squad Weddington, 13-12, on Friday night. The Wildcats entered the match-up as LaxPower's top-ranked squad in North Carolina.

It appeared early on that Lake Norman was in complete command of the game as the squad claimed a 6-4 lead in the second quarter. However, Weddington embarked on a four-goal run before halftime to claim the lead at intermission and ultimately the momentum for the rest of the game. Nick Nedvesky tallied the game-winner in the final seconds for Weddington. The victory was especially impressive for the Warriors (10-4) considering the team lost to Lake Norman, 17-5, back on March 14.

Danny Brown led the way for Weddington with five goals while Charles Copeland added three goals and dished out one assist.

In other notable results this weekend from the NCHSAA playoffs, Athens Drive defeated Riverside, 14-9, Grimsley beat Northern Guilford, 8-6, Providence HS took out Charlotte Catholic, 10-9, and Hoggard edged Holly Springs, 13-12, in overtime.

Holly Springs (10-6) scored three goals in the final three minutes of regulation to ice the game at 12-12 before Hoggard tallied the game-winner early in the extra session. The exciting match-up also drew comparisons to last season's tournament contest between the teams, when Holly Springs upended Hoggard, 8-7, in an overtime thriller. This time, however, the Vikings were able to live to see another day.

Final Four Teams Set in Florida

Second Round Play-In games wrapped up on Friday for the Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) boys' lacrosse tournament, paving the way for this weekend's much-anticipated championship.

Looking at the top half of the bracket, Ponte Vedra defeated Leon, 13-9, while defending champion Saint Andrew's handled Saint Thomas Aquinas, 11-5. Behind its modus operandi of physical, shutdown defense and a methodical, yet explosive offense, Ponte Vedra claimed a six-goal lead heading into the fourth quarter. Brendan Francis and Mike Power notched two goals apiece in the victory. After an opening season loss to Lake Highland Prep, the Sharks have now won 19 games in a row.

As for St. Andrew's, the defending champs held a two-goal edge at halftime against St. Thomas Aquinas before breaking things wide open in the third quarter behind its lethal offensive attack.

In the bottom half of the bracket, Lake Brantley cruised past Apopka, 23-10, and Lake Highland Prep crushed Vero Beach, 15-4. Standout attackman Will Rotatori finished with six goals and one assist for Lake Highland en route to the big victory.

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