High School Sports

More Wando woe

Clayton Reed is never shy about straying from Hilton Head High's goal to make a play on the ball, but this was different.

The final seconds of the Seahawks' lacrosse season were ticking off, and Reed was caught up in a futile chase, scrambling behind his team's goal and desperately trying to knock the ball loose.

Even if he could somehow gain possession, there wasn't enough time to do anything with it.

For the second consecutive year, the Seahawks' season ended with a playoff loss to Wando, as the Warriors avenged a regular-season defeat with a 7-6 victory Monday in the second round of the S.C. High School League playoffs.

"Throughout the entire season, we corrected our mistakes from that game," Wando coach Lance Renes said. "We learned to be more patient, smarter with the ball, better defense, better one-on-one defense. Bottom line, we wanted to play smarter lacrosse."

They were brilliant in the second half Monday, holding high-powered Hilton Head High to two goals after halftime. After falling behind 4-2, the Warriors (11-1) pulled within 4-3 before halftime, then scored two quick goals in the first 1:05 of the third quarter. They added another with 6:22 left, and the Seahawks could never close the gap.

Wando's defense was too tough, and when the Seahawks' attackmen couldn't find room to operate near the crease, the resorted to long-range shots and tried to force things one-on-one.

When they did unleash an on-target shot, Wando goalie Logan Windham was up to the challenge, making eight saves.

The Seahawks (11-4-1) got within 7-6 on John Ferrebee's third goal of the game with 3:54 left, but they took a one-minute penalty with 2:36 left and couldn't sustain much more of an attack, and the Warriors retained possession for the final 41 seconds to ice it.

"It's difficult to lose at home in the playoffs when you've earned it," Seahawks coach Joe Monmonier said. "We had our fans here and crazy support. We had everything in our favor. Early on, I don't know if we were overhyped or what. I just felt like we were a little tight.

"If you're going to go out, you want to go out against a good team, and Wando is a really good team," Monmonier added. "We just never really got into the flow of the game."

It's the second year in a row Hilton Head High beat Wando in the regular season, only to have the Warriors return the favor in the playoffs. The Warriors knocked off the top-seeded Seahawks 14-10 in last year's Lower State final.

But this one stings even more for the Seahawks because it means the end of the high school careers of 12 seniors, many of whom are starters and four of whom have already signed to play college lacrosse.

"It was a tough loss, but all I can say is I've really enjoyed being out here with all these guys," senior midfielder Hayden Lovette said. "Even though it might have not ended in a state championship, we've all learned so much and come so far."

Wando 7, Hilton Head High 6

Hilton Head High -- John Ferrebee 3, Nick Bautista 1, Nick Roberts 1, Charlie Jackson 1.

Wando -- Tradd Pearson 2, Connor Johnson 1, Max Frankel 1, Stephen Smilak 1, Hunter Watson 1, Andy Cole 1.

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