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Joyce Endee

Knights win first Carroll County battle

KINGSWOOD’S ALEX BOUCHER and Kennett’s Chris King battle hard for a loose ball during action April 29 in North Conway. Joshua Spaulding. (click for larger version)
May 02, 2011
NORTH CONWAY — For almost three quarters, the Carroll County lacrosse battle was a pretty even fight.

But the Kingswood Knights turned up the heat late in the third quarter and continued the onslaught in the fourth to pull away from Kennett by a 13-4 score on Friday, April 29 in North Conway.

"Our heads weren't in the game at halftime," said Kennett coach Jared Doherty. "But I'm proud of them that they hung in there."

"It was good to get some goals from kids you didn't really expect," Kingswood coach Jason Perkins said, pointing to Adam Fritchy and Rich Watson, who each put in two goals. "Today they came up with some great offense for us.

"The first half we looked a little rough," Perkins continued, noting the team had 25 shots and only four goals. "In the second half we clicked and that showed a lot on offense."

Kingswood got a power play right out of the gate and forced Kennett goalie Zach Kempf to make a couple of saves. Cam Whitcomb had a shot stopped and another soar high for the Knights.

Kingswood got another power play with 10:09 to play in the quarter and this time capitalized, as Alex Boucher fired home a shot 10 seconds into the advantage for a 1-0 lead.

Kennett came back to tie the game with 8:07 to go, as Kevin Murphy picked up a loose ball off a bad Kingswood pass and drilled it into the open net to tie the game at one.

Murphy, Jesse Wheeler and Kyle Digregorio had offensive pressure for the Eagles, while MacKenzie Tetreault and Connor Diamond threatened for the Knights.

Kingswood got another power play with 4:38 to play, but Kempf made a couple of big saves on Whitcomb and Tetreault to help kill off the power play.

Kingswood continued to get power play chances, with Diamond getting another bid in the final two minutes, but the Knights couldn't capitalize.

Alex Cullen and Alex Fauver had bids for the Eagles that sailed wide of Mike Bernier in the net, but Anthony LaRusso didn't miss with three seconds on the clock, as he ripped a shot in the net for a 2-1 Kennett lead after one quarter.

Kennett got a power play to open the second quarter but couldn't capitalize, though Gabe Lee and Wheeler made good bids. Sean Diamond made a nice defensive play for the Knights to help out Bernier.

Mitch Tappan tested Kempf and was denied and Boucher had a bid stopped by defender Matt Kelly. However, with 8:53 to go, Connor Diamond tied the game at two.

Kingswood went up by two players with 8:24 to go in the half and took advantage, as Tappan fired home a shot from Tetreault for a 3-2 lead.

Tetreault then upped the lead to 4-2 with a low shot past Kempf with 6:11 to go.

Whitcomb drilled one off the post and sent another wide, while Tetreault sent a couple wide and Tappan did the same.

With 52 seconds, Murphy netted his second of the game, pulling Kennett to within 4-3 as the halftime horn sounded.

The two teams had chances early in the second half, with Whitcomb, Boucher and Ryan Hamilton making bids for Kingswood and Lee and Andrew Casella getting bids for Kennett.

Kingswood got its second power play of the half with 9:14 to go but couldn't get anything going, as Watson and Tetreault both missed

With 4:01 to go, Tetreault hit Connor Diamond with a quick pass for a 5-3 lead and 30 seconds later, the duo hooked up again for a 6-3 lead.

Kennett got a power play in the final two minutes, but couldn't muster much pressure, though DiGregorio sent one just wide.

Kempf made a huge save on Connor Diamond at the buzzer ending the third quarter, keeping it at 6-3 after three.

Just 52 seconds into the fourth, Tappan upped the lead to 7-3 and 19 seconds later, Tappan fed Fritchy for an 8-3 lead.

Bernier made a nice save on a Chris King bid and Lee sent one high. Nick Dore had a bid for Kingswood that was stopped by Kempf.

However, with 8:39 to go, Tetreault fed Watson for a 9-3 lead and just more than a minute later, Fritchy fired a shot that bounced off of Kempf and went in for a 10-3 lead.

DiGregorio and Fauver had good bids for the Eagles, but Bernier held his own in the net for Kingswood.

Kennett got back on the board with 5:50 to go, as Cullen ripped home a shot on a power play to cut the lead to 10-4.

Kingswood answered with 2:27 to go, as Tetreault fired one in for an 11-4 lead. Tetreault then hit Tappan with a pass and the freshman buried it for a 12-4 lead with 1:37 to go. With one minute to play, Watson scored his second to make it 13-4.

Doherty praised Casella for stepping up upon getting called up from the JV squad prior to the game to fill in and also credited Tom Donovan for doing a solid job on the face-offs.

"We just need to shoot better," Doherty said. "Then we're going to make a threat."

"The defense played great and Mike played great in goal," Perkins said, noting Bernier's 23 saves. "We were clearing the ball much better than last week, which was key to it all."

He also praised Kennett for a strong first half, which kept the Knights under control.

"They did a great job in the first half and made us a little nervous about stepping up our game," Perkins said. "There's some talent there."

Earlier in the week, Kennett dropped a 14-3 decision at Lebanon and Kingswood fell by a 14-2 tally at Derryfield.

The two teams will take on each other again on Tuesday, May 10, at 4 p.m. in Wolfeboro.

Kingswood will be in action on Friday, May 6, at Stevens at 4 p.m. and Thursday, May 12, at Laconia at 4 p.m.

Kennett will be back in action today, May 5, at 4 p.m. at home against Merrimack Valley and Friday, May 6, at home against Pembroke at 4 p.m. On Wednesday, May 11, the boys will host John Stark at 4 p.m.

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