Olympus 12, Alta 5
There weren’t a lot of surprises with which teams made the semifinals for the 5A boys lacrosse bracket. And there weren’t any upsets in the semifinals Wednesday either as No. 1 Olympus topped No. 4 Alta, 12-5, and No. 2 Park City rolled by No. 3 Bountiful, 20-3, on the toasty day at Westminster College.
The first game was evenly matched over the first 16 minutes with Olympus and Alta knotted at 3-3 early in the second quarter. But as good as the Hawks were at possessing the ball over that early stretch, Olympus was even better with its second quarter finish.
The Titans flipped the momentum and reeled off four goals over the final six minutes for a 7-3 lead at halftime. Charlie Droitsch accounted for three of those goals while Hutton Murphy added another.
“We had the jitters in the first quarter, but we figured it out,” Murphy said. “The whole team started working together and the offense started clicking. That’s about all we needed to win.”
Droitsch said there weren’t any adjustments made after the slow start, and that the team just needed to get going.
“The end of the second quarter was really fun,” Droitsch said. “The boys were buzzing and moving the ball around really well. The ride was great—we were locking things down and getting G’s.”
Once things started rolling for Olympus, they didn’t stop as the Titans cruised the rest of the way.
“We settled in,” Olympus coach Nick Merrell said. “Credit to Alta—they came out and had a lot of energy, and we knew we would get their best punch in the first quarter.”
Olympus added five more goals over the final two quarters while Alta tossed in two more for the 12-5 final. It was the lowest scoring output for the undefeated Titans on the season, but only by one goal.
“We really just had a slow start and needed to clear the ball and get out of transition a little bit,” Merrell said. “Part of that was credit to our ride, we were riding and getting some turnovers through the midfield, and then we were able to get out and run and get some easy looks.”
Droitsch led all scorers with four in the game, while Murphy and Ethan Hartsfield had three for Olympus. Deacon Mearian had two goals for Alta.
Park City 20, Bountiful 3
The second semifinal game had the complete opposite start of the first one with Park City sizzling from the start. The Miners took a commanding 10-1 lead after the first quarter with much of the offense starting with Jack McHenry.
“Having Jack McHenry at the face-off X is something I’ve never experienced before,” Park City’s John Trahan said.
“We would get those fast breaks and we would move that ball quicker than they could rotate, and it just kept going.”
Trahan led the Miners during the 10-goal stretch with five goals. Four of the five goals came in order and in just under 2 minutes and 40 seconds, which showed the roll Park City was on as it controlled the field.
“A coach can never predict how their kids are going to come out of the blocks, and our kids were just ready,” Park City coach Michael Persky said. “You really can’t coach that kind of effort those kids put forward.
“They came all for themselves, and they were outstanding and unselfish. I couldn’t be more proud of the way they played today, especially in the first quarter, and on both ends of the ball.”
The Redhawks couldn’t muster much on their side, but did stop the immediacy of the pounding by spreading out Park City’s other ten goals over the next three quarters.
Trahan led all scorers in the game with seven and added an assist. Brendan Johnson added three goals and three assists.
“We just have to keep improving every game,” said Johnson. “Now we have to come out prepared and come out firing for Friday.”
Friday is when Park City will get a rematch with Olympus. In their bout earlier this month, the Titans beat the Miners, 14-12.
“Olympus is a very good team up and down the field. They’ve got great players all over the place,” Persky said. “If our kids just play the way they did today, it’s going to be a real fun game.”
The championship game between the two teams is Friday at 5 p.m. at Zions Bank Stadium.