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Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills, Bloomfield Township

June 12, 2013

Rice, Cranbrook and Bloomfield United battle for lacrosse crowns

By Christian Davis
C & G Sports Writer

» click to enlarge «
Bloomfield United’s Maddie Padilla looks to get past an Ann Arbor Pioneer defender June 5 in a Division 1 semifinal game. United won, but fell in the state-title match 16-7 against Rockford High June 8 at Rockford.
Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook-Kingswood’s Jason Miller finds some open space against East Grand Rapids June 5 in a D-2 semifinal. The Cranes won that game, then went on to beat Grand Rapids Forest Christian 10-9 for the championship.
 

Local boys and girls lacrosse teams handled themselves quite well in the state tournament, with three teams playing for state championships June 8.

Here’s a look at how each squad fared in their respective title bouts.

Boys Division 1 at East Grand Rapids
Birmingham Brother Rice found itself in unfamiliar territory against Forest Hills Northern/Eastern — trailing by three goals just eight minutes into the game.

“There’s always worries,” Brother Rice coach Rob Ambrose said. “We were down 3-0. I mean, it’s the state championship game; anything can happen. It doesn’t make a difference of what your past record was or anything.”

Though what has happened for a decade straight happened again. Rice bounced back with a seven-goal second quarter, helping lead it to a 14-10 victory.

Jason Alessi led with six goals and six assists.

It’s the Warriors’ 11th straight state championship, and in that same amount of time, Rice has yet to lose to a team from the state of Michigan.

“We never take anything for granted. Any given day, you can drop one game; that’s why I’m proud of that record. Lacrosse can be a funny game,” Ambrose said.

The difference in the title game, according to the coach, was the squad’s back-to-basics approach.

“We called a timeout to get our composure (when we were down), and we told them that we have to play our game — be patient and continue to wok hard on the groundballs, get the ball on the stick and then get it down the field. We did what we had to do to come back,” Ambrose said.

The coach added that this squad had 16 seniors, which brought a lot of leadership.

“We were kind of inexperienced coming into the year, in terms of playing time. The kids worked hard and continued to get better during the season — that’s a must, especially come playoff time,” Ambrose said. “There’s kind of that underline pressure to continue this streak in Michigan; that’s the seniors’ responsibility. That’s what they’re bearing and accepted. They worked hard all year long.”

Rice finishes the season 18-5 overall.

Boys Division 2 at East Grand Rapids
Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook-Kingswood won its first state championship since 2006. The Cranes beat Grand Rapids Forest Hills Christian 10-9.

Cranbrook led 7-4 on the half, aided by three goals from Johnny Wagner. Forest Hills Christian came back in the fourth to tie it fewer than 10 minutes into the final frame, but Matthew Giampetroni’s goal just two minutes later proved to be the game-winner. He led the Cranes with four goals.

The Cranes finish the year 17-6 overall.

Girls Division 1 at Rockford High
Bloomfield United fell in its title bid, losing to Rockford 16-7.

Rockford opened the game 4-0 before United’s Margaret Metzger got the squad on the board.

“We got off to a rough start, got down early and started to press,” coach Andy Reed said. “The game probably got a little out of reach, but the girls never quit. In the second half, I though we played with them.”

The Rams led 11-3 at the half.

Metzger led United with five goals. Christina Arens and Maria D’Angelo also scored.

United ends the season 19-6 overall.

“We’re a talented group and pretty deep,” Reed said. “We had some real tight games and never backed down. We always kept fighting.”

You can reach C & G Sports Writer Christian Davis at cdavis@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1062. Twitter Follow Christian on Twitter.