Tennessee Boys' Lacrosse Final Four Preview

The Tennessee Scholastic Lacrosse Association Final Four is set to get underway this weekend as two-time defending champion McCallie School goes for its 11th overall boys' title. However, despite another loaded lineup that features the likes of Noah Hanover and goalie Bass Barfield, the Blue Tornado will likely have a tough task this time around, as Memphis University School and Montgomery Bell Academy both have emerged as top title contenders. Get the latest Final Four details as semifinal action heats up on Friday before Saturday's championship game.

Boys' Semifinals Division I

Montgomery Bell Academy (11-4) vs. Brentwood (11-4), 5 PM at Father Ryan HS

In the first semifinal match-up of the weekend, Montgomery Bell Academy hopes to make its first finals appearance since 2006 with a win over Brentwood.

The Big Red enter Friday's contest quite confident after defeating Brentwood back on April 13 by the score of 12-7. The squad is 8-2 overall against in-state opponents this season, with both losses coming to Memphis University School. The Big Red also defeated McCallie, 11-8, back on April 8 to notch the program's first win against the Blue Tornado since '07.

Montgomery Bell will look to its core playmakers early and often against Brentwood. Midfielder Clay Adams (Syracuse) serves as his team's catalyst and is equipped with elite stick skills plus excellent overall speed. Brentwood may find it difficult to face him man-to-man for four quarters, so expect some double-teams or a switch to zone defense to try and slow the midfielder down.

Additionally, midfielders Ben Charpentier and Connor Pagnani should also create some match-up dilemmas on Friday. Charpentier also serves as the team's key face-off man and will try to ignite fast breaks right off the draw. Also expect attackman Gray Curtis to figure as an integral scoring weapon for the Big Red.

Meanwhile, Brentwood is hoping to score the upset on Friday after falling to Montgomery Bell during the regular season. While the Bruins have gone 0-3 against fellow Final Four teams this season, they've always been in striking distance during each game.

The Bruins will likely need big performances out of midfielders Sam Wudel and Andrew Burnett at the face-off X if they want to come out on top this weekend. If the squad can also get the ball into the hands of top playmakers Sam Wyatt and Ben Manning around the crease on a frequent basis, look for this one to go down to the wire. Goalie Ross English and LSM Colin Hart have been steady all season long for the Bruins and should also play pivotal roles in this semifinal showdown.

Memphis University School (12-2) vs. McCallie School (8-7), 7:30 PM at Father Ryan HS

In the second semifinal match-up of the day, two perennial Tennessee lacrosse powers go head-to-head in one of the season's most anticipated contests.

Defending champ McCallie has endured an up-and-down season so far, posting a record of 8-7 to date. However, keep in mind that 14 of 15 of the team's opponents sport a winning record. For instance, the Blue Tornado has faced-off against regional powers McDonogh (MD), St. Mark's (TX), and Georgia elites Milton and Lambert. The squad is hoping those tough early-season match-ups will pay dividends in the semifinals. But the other key statistic to remember is that McCallie is 7-1 overall this season against Tennessee competition, with the program's only defeat coming at the hands of Montgomery Bell (11-8 final).

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2011-05-12



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