BOYS LACROSSE: Lake Orion wins third straight league title, falls in regional finals | North Oakland Sports

BOYS LACROSSE: Lake Orion wins third straight league title, falls in regional finals

| June 13, 2018 | Comments (0)



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LAKE ORION — The jury is back on Lake Orion’s boys lacrosse season and the final verdict is a mixed bag of results for the state-ranked Dragons.

Lake Orion captured its third straight OAA league title — the last two in the OAA Red Division after winning the OAA-White the year prior — and finished with a respectable 14-5 overall record. The Dragons ended their season on a sour note, falling in the Division 1 regional finals, 8-7, to Bloomfield Hills — the same team Lake Orion defeated less than a month before the start of the state tournament.

It marked the second year in a row that Lake Orion held a No. 1 seed in its regional only to fall as an upset victim in the Sweet 16. Last year, the Dragons were ousted by rival Clarkston, 12-9, after defeating the Wolves in the regular season.

“Winning the regional was one of our main goals all season,” said first-year coach Ron Hebert, who has coached club, high school and college lacrosse in Michigan for nearly 40 years. “That is what is so disappointing about our finish. We beat Bloomfield Hills 10-3 a couple weeks before we played them again in the regional finals. I don’t know why, but we had a hard time starting games off when it was a non-league game. We always played with great intensity in league games, and even though the Bloomfield game was against a league opponent and came in the state tournament, we didn’t start the game with the intensity I expected.

“Other than that, we had a good season,” said Hebert. “For a program that has come on strong the past few years, we were trying to take the next step and win a regional this year, which would have been the first for the school. We came up short.”

Lake Orion outscored its 19 opponents by a 220-105 margin this season and held its final eight opponents to single digits in scoring down the stretch — a 95-47 scoring edge in those final eight games. In OAA Red Division play, the Dragons finished 7-0 with a 91-22 scoring differential.

“We were really solid in the league. One of the goals was to win our third straight league title and we did that,” said Hebert. “Although I wasn’t at Lake Orion last year, they lost a great class to graduation but this year the seniors stepped up and kept the league streak going.”

Senior defensemen Matt Biland and senior attack Chris French, who led the team in scoring with 63 goals, both garnered All-State accolades this season. Senior long-stick-middle Nick Butterworth, senior defenseman/face-off Hunter Lagerquist and senior attack Payton Gasche joined Biland and French on the All-OAA Red Division team as well. the league championship secured the Dragons five spots on the all-conference team.

Lake Orion captured its third straight league title this season and finished with a 14-5 overall ledger.

Lagerquist held a 75-percent win percentage on face-offs this season and collected 34 goals this season.

“Those five seniors really stepped up,” said Hebert. “As a coach, you always expect your seniors to take the lead and overall they did. Other than the regional finals, it was a very good season. Our other losses were to very good programs and we only had one what I would consider a (lopsided) loss and that was early in the season.”

Junior Sam Parillo (25 goals), sophomore Cody Zeller and junior goalie Jack McLeod were some of the Dragons’ more consistent performers this season and the trio will be counted on next year along with a host of other juniors and sophomores.

“We have our work cut out for us. We lose a lot of our scoring and leadership to graduation,” said Hebert. “We’ll see who works hard in the offseason to get better and who decides to step up next year.”

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