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Rochester Hills

May 21, 2013

Stoney Creek outlasts Sterling-Mott Unified in boys lacrosse playoff opener

6-5 fourth quarter the difference for the Cougars

By Jason Carmel Davis
C & G Sports Writer

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The Rochester Hills Stoney Creek boys lacrosse team advanced in the 2013 MHSAA D-1 state tournament with a 17-16 win over Sterling-Warren Mott United May 20 at Stoney creek. Pictured is Warren-Sterling United's Dominick Leone during a game earlier this season.

ROCHESTER HILLS — If one game is any indication, the 2013 Michigan High School Athletic Association state lacrosse playoffs could be a tournament for the ages.

In a Division 1, Region 4 pre-regional, Rochester Hills Stoney Creek scored six goals in the fourth quarter to down Sterling-Warren Mott Unified 17-16 in a matchup played May 20 at Stoney Creek.

The contest was a back-and-forth battle throughout, with neither squad holding more than a two-goal lead through the first three quarters. Stoney Creek (8-8) took a two-goal lead with 10:42 left to play on a score by senior Joshua Lee.

In a game that saw nine ties and 10 lead changes, the Unified team (9-6) fought back to tie the match at 13 with goals sophomore Tyler Combs and junior Austin Ross, whose score came with 7:51 to play. Stoney Creek went on to net four goals in the next 1:37 to take a 17-13 lead, culminated with a score from senior Tanner Lefrance.

Sterling-Mott didn't go down without a fight, though, scoring three unanswered to come within one goal of Stoney Creek with 1:09 left. Stoney Creek was able to stop a couple of Sterling-Mott shots in the final minute to hold on and get the win.

Stoney Creek moves on to face Holt in a matchup slated for 6 p.m. May 23 at Holt.

"We were able to collect our cool at the end, control ourselves, get the ball and work it around in crucial situations," Stoney Creek coach Mike Dungan said. "You don't see too many games where there's that many goals scored. You've got to give (Unified) a lot of credit. They've got some very talented players and they fought to the bitter end."

Unified coach Steve Hunter, who guided the team to a Macomb Area Conference White Division title in its first year as a varsity program, said he was proud of his team's effort.

"They didn't give up. To be honest with you, the way we were practicing the end of last week — we didn't have very good practices at all. But they didn't give up, and played as a team all night and didn't get down on themselves," Hunter said. "And they pushed one of the better teams in Oakland County to the point where they weren't sure what to do."

Stoney Creek won with a balanced attack, as 13 players scored goals. Senior Nino Minaudo led the team with three scores.

Junior Dylan Neisler reached paydirt seven times for Sterling-Mott. Ross netted four goals, while Combs and junior Ryan Shereda scored three and two goals, respectively.

You can reach C & G Sports Writer Jason Carmel Davis at jdavis@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1107. Twitter Follow Jason on Twitter.