Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Wando lacrosse powered past Academic Magnet, 18-6, in the Lower State championship game Tuesday at Wando Stadium in Mount Pleasant.
Senior attack Tucker Dodson led the Warriors with seven goals. C.J. Andersen added four and Wright Bailey two.
Samuel Butler put Academic Magnet (13-2) on top with a goal just over four minutes into the game. John Kuisel countered for Wando three minutes later with a goal from 25 feet out. The Warriors would never trail again.
Wando (17-2) held Academic Magnet scoreless for nearly 20 minutes as it reeled off eight straight goals before halftime. Dodson struck twice in less than two minutes in the first quarter. Bailey followed from 40 feet out. Kyle Henderson added Wando's fifth goal 30 seconds later. Dodson then fired in two more back to back, scoring his second between his legs in stride off an assist from Sam Weis. Andrew Phelan closed the half for Wando with a deep rip with 30 seconds to play.
“We wanted to show up, be relentless, attack and not let up,” Wando head coach Lance Renes said. “Magnet is the type of team, if you give them an inch, they'll take a mile. So when they strike, you have to strike back.”
Chris Shulz broke the drought for Academic Magnet 20 seconds into the second half. Dodson answered with a goal in just 30 seconds and Wando added two more in the next three minutes. Wando scored eight goals in the third quarter, three from Andersen, to take a 16-4 lead into the fourth quarter.
“The secret is to stay focused and compartmentalize,” Renes said. “We don't worry about the score. Focus on one moment at a time. Every ground ball, every shot, every clear. You name it. One moment at a time.”
The Lower State title is Wando's third straight. Saturday, the Warriors have an opportunity to complete a state championship three-peat when they face Fort Mill in the title game at White Knoll High School in Lexington. Fort Mill (12-3) defeated Wando, 14-9, March 1 in Mount Pleasant.
“It's a chance for revenge,” Renes said. “To make it to state is not an entitlement. We've worked hard to earn it and we've grown a lot since that loss (to Fort Mill). They kind of dominated us in that game, but it was a learning experience. Now it's time to get ready.”
Frankie Mansfield, the sports reporter for the Moultrie News, can be seen all around the state following teams to meets, games, and matches. For score updates, breaking sports news, and more follow @fjmansfield on Twitter and like Moultrie News Sports on Facebook.