Brother Rice lacrosse takes D-1 crown

Warriors win 12th straight

By: Christian Davis | Birmingham - Bloomfield Eagle | Published June 11, 2016


HOWELL — With the Division 1 boys lacrosse state championship on the line, Birmingham Brother Rice and Novi Catholic Central were tied early in the third quarter when Rice coach Ajay Chawla pulled aside his captain, Morgan Macko.

“He said, ‘You need to take over right now. This is your team. Lead the way,’” Macko remembered.

The senior didn’t let his coach down, assisting on three straight scores to help lead Rice to a 10-8 victory June 11 at Parker Middle School.

“I tried to do my best there and we strung together some goals, and it held up,” Macko said.

The Warriors and Shamrocks were tied 5-5 before Macko assisted on two goals to Nick Dudley and one to Ryan Scott, all within three minutes.

“Macko is a playmaker,” Chawla said. “Big players make big plays. When you have a leader back there like Macko, you tend to be a little less worried about how your offense is going to run.”

The Shamrocks battled back to cut the lead to 8-7 with 3:52 left in the third, but that’s as close as they would get.

Macko scored a goal for himself with 2:25 left in the third, and Cole Hyde converted with 7:41 left in the game to push the lead to 10-7.

Central’s final score came on a power play from Brennan Kamish with 4:38 left in the game.

Neither team was able to distance themselves in the first half in large part due to Central goalie Hunter Braun’s efforts, turning away multiple Rice threats. He finished with 13 saves.

Central’s only lead came from the very first score of the contest when Peter Thompson found the net. He led the Shamrocks with four goals.

Dudley led Rice with four of his own scores, and Teddy Lievois received the win in the net, tallying eight stops.

Rice has won every D-1 state title since the Michigan High School Athletic Association started sanctioning the event in 2005. This is the sixth victory against Central in the title game and third straight.

The two-goal difference was the closest between the squads. Rice won the last two by 16 and nine, respectively.

“That just speaks to lacrosse in Michigan. Two years ago it was 23-7, now it’s only a two-goal game,” Macko said. “It speaks to the expansion of lacrosse in Michigan. I think it’s great for everyone.”

Rice ends the year 20-2 overall, including three wins against Central. The Shamrocks finish 17-5.

In other local lacrosse action:

Birmingham United fell to Rockford High 12-9 in the D-1 girls final. In D-2, Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook-Kingswood lost to East Grand Rapids 13-11.