Lax.com Rising HS Games of the Week: Mar. 13 – Mar. 17
March Madness belongs to college basketball, but heading into the middle of March, there are several high school matchups between defending champions around the country that add intrigue to this part of the season as we dive into the newest edition of the Lax.com Rising High School Games of the Week. The reigning Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference champion got underway this weekend as part of the Brine King of Spring Lacrosse Classic in Raleigh, N.C., and the Eagles stick around Monday to take on the 2016 Texas Division 1 champion for an exciting early-week matchup.
One of the D.C. area’s best gets into the full swing of things this week, delivering us two unique inter-state games. And The Hill Academy, the Super 25 No. 1 ranked team entering the country according to USA Today High School Sports, heads to the Mid-Atlantic for a trip that will give us a collection of potential game-of-the-year caliber matchups.
McDonogh (Md.) vs. Highland Park (Texas), March 13
The defending MIAA ‘A’ Conference champion McDonogh starts its season on the road as part of the Brine King of Spring Lacrosse Classic in Raleigh, N.C. After they take on Durham Academy (N.C.), the Eagles the undefeated Scots from Texas. McDonogh has never lost in the Brine KOS, but Highland Park is off to an impressive start and should not be dismissed. Led by Owen Seebold (Syracuse), the Scots’ offense has been firing on all cylinders. Defensively, they have yet to allow more than six goals in a game this season. McDonogh’s defense is led by Brandon Shure (Johns Hopkins) and BJ Farrare (Loyola); it’s a unit that allowed more than nine goals only twice last season.
The Hill Academy (Ont.) at Haverford School (Pa.), March 15
This is the first meeting between these powerhouses since 2010 and only the second meeting in their history. The Fords won that meeting 21-14, but the Hill has risen to national prominence and returns after finishing the year at No. 1in the Super 25 last year. The Pride, which schedules all its games on the road, will play its first two contests against Penn Charter (Pa.) and Georgetown Prep (Md.) before travelling to Haverford. Meanwhile, the Fords start their season and are looking to keep their place as the team-to-beat in the Inter-Ac Conference. John Nostrandt (Penn State), son of longtime Fords coach, will be one of the offensive leaders for Haverford this season.
The Hill Academy (Ont.) at Calvert Hall (Md.), March 16
This will be a tricky turnaround for Brodie Merrill’s team, as the Pride will be playing the fourth game in as many days, with two more Super 25 matchups on the way after the Cardinals with Loyola Blakefield (Md.) and Boys’ Latin (Md.) looming in the three days following. Look for the Hill to be led by freak athlete face-off specialist Justin Inacio (Ohio State) and offensive standout Riley Curtis (Denver). Calvert Hall traveled to the Brine King of Spring over the weekend and kicked off the year with a convincing 12-6 win over reigning Georgia 6A champion lambert. Jacob Kelly (North Carolina) put up two goals and four assists in the opener for the Cardinals.
St. Ignatius Prep (NorCal) vs. Gonzaga (D.C.), March 17
In a battle of Jesuit schools, Gonzaga hosts NorCal power St. Ignatius Prep in the continuation of an intriguing crossover matchup. The Wildcats have already defeated Monte Vista (NorCal), but then fell to Torrey Pines (SoCal) 14-11 for the first setback of the season. Gonzaga, a team that lost a great deal to graduation, started the year with a win 10-4 over St. Albans (D.C.), but will have Landon (Md.) and Bishop O’Connell (Va.) to get through before taking on St. Ignatius. When the Eagles and the Wildcats met last season, Gonzaga came out with a tough 9-3 win.
Mountain Vista (Colorado) vs. Arapahoe (Colorado), March 17
Mountain Vista looks to take the next step this season and could have the talent to compete for state championship. Led by Colin Munro (UNC) and Jake Frane (Notre Dame), the Golden Eagles get a crack at the team that ended their season in 2016. Mountain Vista has three games under their belt by the time they meet the Warriors. Arapahoe starts their year on the road and this is the Warriors’ first game. Senior Chase Douglas (Air Force) and junior Jackson Harvey (Denver) headline a talented returning group for Arapahoe. The Warriors travel to Cherry Creek (Colo.) after Mountain Vista, and then travel to California where they take on Torrey Pines (SoCal) and Poway (SoCal).
Dallas Jesuit (Texas) vs. Gonzaga (D.C.), March 19
Gonzaga put together a tough schedule and it continues with this high-profile meeting in the Lone Star State with the reigning THSLL Division 1 winner. The Purple Eagles have a five-game stretch against Landon (Md.), Bishop O’Connell (Va.), St. Ignatius (Calif.), Dallas Jesuit then defending IAC champion Bullis (Md.). Gonzaga will look to junior attackman Jack Myers (Harvard) to build on his strong sophomore season. Dallas Jesuit is the defending state champion and features a loaded roster. The Rangers recently rebounded from an 11-9 loss to The Woodlands (Texas) with four straight wins over Division 1 opponents. Chris Surran’s defense is led in net by North Carolina-bound senior Luke Millican.
The Hill Academy (Ont.) at Loyola Blakefield (Md.), March 16
With the Hill Academy playing its ridiculous schedule, it’s worth looking at one more of the battles the Pride has scheduled on its annual visit to the Mid-Atlantic. If the Hill can get through five games in five days, it will need to beat a well-coached, deep Loyola Blakefield team being led by alumnus Ben Rubeor. Defense will be key for the Hill on Day 5. The Dons are loaded at the midfield and can run all day with the likes of Colin Clothier (High Point) and they have a star defender in Kobe Smith (Navy) and an excellent netminder in Jake Stout (Towson).
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