High School Lacrosse
Indians open Coweta Cup with win over Vikings
by Chris Goltermann
East Coweta’s boys lacrosse team didn’t look ready to give up its hold of the Coweta Cup on Wednesday at Northgate.
The Indians — who went undefeated against their two county rivals last season — jumped out for four unanswered goals and capitalized on Viking penalties early on en route to an 18-9 victory at Henry Seldon Field.
Cup play continues on Friday with East Coweta traveling to Newnan for a doubleheader. Newnan hosts Northgate on April 29 to close the round-robin tournament.
East Coweta, which has clinched a state playoff berth in Area 1-AAAAAA for the second consecutive year, performed much like a veteran roster, taking advantage of mistakes and using crisp passes to slowly build a 9-3 lead at halftime.
The six-goals were as close as the Vikings came the rest of the way, with East Coweta pushing ahead by 10 on four occasions over the final two quarters.
Down to its third goalie, Northgate was able to stay in the game thanks in part to the play of Jeff Sargent, who made 20 saves and was peppered with shots early.
Led by five goals by senior Connor McMeen, including an incredible behind the back shot while taking a check from a Northgate defender just prior to halftime, the Indians (8-5) capitalized on three man-up advantages in the opening two quarters.
McMeen closed the first period with a power-play goal for a 3-0 lead and the quarter ended with a roughing call Viking Jason Pealor that immediately led to a tally from East Coweta senior attack Bryce Durden.
Pealor, though, immediately made up for the penalty, scoring just 15 seconds later for the first of his team-high three goals.
But with East Coweta senior goalie Brian DeBole coming up big — outside of a ball he accidentally deposited into his own net following a save — as well as an Indians defense led by seniors Jay McKnight and Logan Wilson, it made it tough for the Vikings offense to keep up.
East Coweta, meanwhile, feasted off feeds to teammates cutting toward the net. They featured a bang-bang play from Carter Byrum behind the net to senior Lee Steed for the third of his five goals. It pushed an 8-2 Indians lead with 4:48 left in the second quater.
Earlier, Bryum had been the recipient of a pass on a similar cut toward the net while finishing with two goals and at least two assists.
Ty Hager, Matthew Hall, Frasier Hutchinson also scored for the Indians.
The Vikings picked up two goals from Mitchell Hutton and one each from Chandler Warren, Garrett Klone, Clayton Francisco and Christian Lowery in the loss, Northgate’s fifth consecutive.
Northgate (5-10) travels to Carrollton (1-13) on Friday.
Indians 18, Vikings 9
East Coweta 3 6 6 3 — 18
Northgate 0 3 2 4 — 9
Goals: East Coweta — Connor McMeen 5, Lee Steed 4, Carter Bryum, Bryce Durden, Frasier Hutchinson, Ty Hager, Matthew Hall. Northgate — Jason Pealor 3, Mitchell Hutton 2, Chandler Warren, Garrett Klone, Clayton Francisco, Christian Lowery.
Goalies: East Coweta — Brian DeBole; Northgate — Jeff Sargent
NEWNAN SWEEPS MCEACHERN; The Newnan lacrosse team swept McEachern Wednesday night with the girls taking a 15-2 decision and the boys winning 8-5.
Savannah Ohliger scored three goals in the first half and Sable Hawkins one in each half to pace the Cougars.
Newnan also got goals from Dakota Overton, Anne Jarrett, Megan Diebboll, and Sydney Overton in the first half to give the Cougars the 10-1 lead at the break.
Anne Jarrett, Jessica Monroe, Scarlett Webb and Rachel McMahon also scored in the second half for the Cougars.
Ohliger finished with seven ground balls for the Lady Cougars. Hope Overton made four saves.
In boys action, the Cougars stayed in the state playoff hunt in Area 1-AAAAAA by breaking a 5-5 tie in the fourth quarter with three goals in the span of less than four minutes.
After falling behind 2-0 at the end of the first quarter, Newnan led 4-3 at the half, getting two second period goals from Caleb McHugh and one each from Austin Ohliger and Chris Mapel.
Ohliger added a goal in the third quarter to help tie the contest at 5-all.
The Cougars put the game away with two goals from Mike McMahon and one another one from Mapel.
McMahon added led with 11 ground balls.
Jordan Surrett had 10 saves and eight ground balls.