An attempt by the Haslett/Williamston boys lacrosse team to earn consecutive CAAC tournament crowns was thwarted by Okemos, which protected its undefeated league record in the final with a 7-5 win on Tuesday night.
“We wanted to win the league and the league tournament, so this feels good,” Okemos coach Shawn Grady said. “In a game that could have gone either way, our guys played with guts tonight.”
The Chiefs’ Blake Turner connected with Casey Luke twice in the second half to secure the Chiefs’ victory. Turner totaled three goals, while Luke finished with two.
Haslett/Williamston led Okemos for much of the first three quarters, but Turner scored a goal with four minutes left in the third quarter to give Okemos its first lead since early in the first quarter. A minute later, Turner sent a pass to Luke to extend the Chiefs’ lead over Haslett to 6-4 headed into the fourth quarter.
“It was a great ball game, but we missed some keys plays at turning points in the game that cost us,” Haslett/Williamston coach Brent Taylor said. “It was a battle all night.”
Turner hit Luke again early in the fourth quarter to expand the lead to 7-4, but Haslett/Williamston’s Noah Taylor closed the lead to two again with seven minutes to play. Both teams failed to score again.
“Our defense and goalie (Cameron Stelljes) were phenomenal again tonight, as they have been all year,” said Grady.
Stelljes totaled 10 saves in the goal for the Chiefs.
Though Bennett Sherman gave the Chiefs an early 1-0 lead, Haslett/Williamston’s Taylor evened the score to head into the second quarter locked at one goal each.
Haslett/Williamston took offensive control in the second quarter with a 3-1 lead thanks to goals by Graham Riley and Grant Lemanski.
In the final two minutes of the half, Okemos’s Turner scored two goals to enter the half tied again, this time at 3-3.