Sports

Keep Dancing: Summit High Boys Lacrosse Wallops West Morris 13-1, Advances to Third Round of States

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Finn McTernan prepares to win a ground ball -- the Hilltoppers dominated that stat category 34-12 -- in Summit's NJSIAA Tournament victory over West Morris. Credits: Greg Elliott / TAPinto Summit
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SUMMIT, NJ - Just over a half-day removed from Prom night, the top-seeded Summit High School Boys Varsity Lacrosse Team kept their NJSIAA North 2, Group 3 tournament party going in style with a 13-1 victory over eighth-seeded West Morris at Investors Bank Field.

For the Wolfpack, there was also a Prom Night theme, albeit their experience was likely more analogous to the 1980 horror flick of the same name, as the Hilltoppers -- after a feisty start by both teams -- dominated their opponents and scored the game's final 12 goals.

The Maroon and White attack accounted for 10 tallies, with Chris Fowler netting four scores, and senior captain Corey McManus and Harry Kilkowski each notching Hat Tricks. Will Vitton, in goal for Summit, was credited with eight saves.

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The opening 12 minutes of the contest offered no glimpse of the landslide lacrosse carnage Summit was about to inflict as the teams played a spirited first quarter.

Jackson Tyler set up McManus at the 11:32 mark, only to see West Morris' Jack Dipietro level things less than a minute later.

The frame seemed destined to end knotted until Vitton heaved a ball downfield with just under eight seconds remaining in the quarter. The ball ended up just outside the West Morris goal crease, rattled around, and was eventually picked up by Kilkowski. The junior fed Fowler who found the back of the net.

Although the net bulged just at literally the same time as the horn sounded to signal the end of the quarter, the 'Hail Will' goal occurred, officially, with .4 seconds left and Summit led 2-1.

The Hilltoppers didn't win a single face-off in the opening quarter but were gobbling up ground balls with regularity, and that trend would continue in a second quarter that saw Summit begin to put some distance between themselves and the Wolfpack.

Fowler and McManus scored unassisted before Kilkowski assisted on an Eamon McTernan's goal at the 4:31 mark, and the Hilltoppers were up 5-1. Summit ended the half winning just one of seven face-offs, but ruling the ground ball contest 16-5.

The home team put the game away in the third quarter by scoring six unanswered goals, three by Kilkowksi and one each from Fowler, McManus and McTernan. Summit was turning West Morris over repeatedly through a combination of forced and unforced errors, then burying their chances when they had the ball.

The fourth quarter was a slower roll to victory lane, with Fowler and Nick Thomson hitting twine, as much of the air had long since left West Morris balloon.

The yin and yang face-off and ground ball stat totals stayed proportionately on par throughout, with the Wolfpack owning the former (14-3) and Summit commanding the latter (34-12). The Hilltoppers had a big edge in shots (25-13) and scored on a robust 52% of their attempts.

In a third-round matchup Summit, now 14-4 on the season, will face number-four seed Scotch Plains-Fanwood -- an 8-5 winner over fifth-seeded Mendham -- on May 24 at Investors Bank Field. Face-off is set for 4:30 p.m.

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