Brother Rice and Country Day boys lacrosse win titles

By: Christian Davis | Online Only | Published June 7, 2014

 Beverly Hills Detroit Country Day boys lacrosse celebrates after winning the Division 2 state championship.

Beverly Hills Detroit Country Day boys lacrosse celebrates after winning the Division 2 state championship.

Photo by Patricia O'Blenes

TROY — Birmingham Brother Rice and Beverly Hills Detroit Country Day sit atop the boys lacrosse landscape once again.

In Division 1, Rice beat Novi Detroit Catholic Central 23-7 June 7 at Troy Athens, which is the largest margin of victory in a state final game.

“When you get CC in a state championship game, that’s a huge rivalry on any day, let alone a Saturday in June. (We) were pumped, came out, had some great early looks and kind of deflated CC early,” Rice coach Ajay Chawla said.

Rice led 4-1 after the first quarter, but broke it open in the second, taking a 16-3 advantage into the second half.

“We came out so hot, it was unreal,” Rice senior Jason Alessi said. He finished the game with four goals. Morgan Macko led Rice with six scores.

The Warriors continued to dominate in the third, keeping Central off the board and putting up five more goals of their own.

“We didn’t really have the ball, and when they were 50-50 balls, we were getting beat,” Central coach Dave Wilson said. “Give Rice credit, they dominated the tempo of the game.”

Rice has won every D-1 state title since the Michigan High School Athletic Association began sanctioning it in 2005.

“These guys had a great season and ended it on the right note,” Chawla said. “It was a big time statement game.”

Earlier in the afternoon in D-2, Country Day stopped the defending state champions Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook-Kingswood 12-8.

Country Day coach Michael Cappelletti said his team was forced to play slower than it wanted, but being patient was key.

“It was like novocain. Just give it some time and we’ll find a good matchup. It’ll work. We’re not a slow down team by any means; they took that away from us,” Cappelletti said. “It ended up being a halfcourt game for the most part, and I’m glad we came out on top. I didn’t know if we could win a game like that.”

Country Day never trailed in the game and led 3-2 after the first. In the second, the Yellowjackets used a four-goal run to take over.

Cranbrook closed the game to 10-8 with 11:48 remaining, but goals by junior Nick Martin and senior Matt Stebbins kept the Cranes at bat.

“Hats off to those kids. (Country Day) played a fantastic game,” Cranbrook coach Mat Wilson said. “That group of kids on the DCD team, they’ve been through three different coaches, and to be able to band together this year and show the rest of the state that there are some very good teams other than Brother Rice. … If I was going to lose to anybody, it’s those guys.”