VIDEO: Marblehead boys lacrosse coach John Wilkens, staff open up to the players after bitter loss in state semifinal game

The Marblehead High boys lacrosse team (21-1, seventh seed) has seen enough of the South Shore after two long bus rides in a space of just three days to play in a couple of more Division 2 state tournament games. They definitely know pretty much every mile marker on Route 3, 6 and 18, while spending the rest of the time on I-95 South and Route 93 North. For the record, they logged over 360 round trip miles, first coming back victorious from the Cape after taking down host Nauset Regional (17-4, second seed), 13-9 to secure the Division 2 Final Four trophy and banner, before the third-seeded Duxbury Dragons (20-3) broke open a close game in the second half with seven goals to pin the first loss this spring on the Northeastern Conference champs, 12-4 at Weymouth Wednesday night, June 14.

Throughout the past three months, these Magicians have experienced a lot, but nothing could compare to what happened in the state semifinal game at Weymouth. The game started fast and furious, with the Dragons jumping out to a quick 2-0 lead. Carter Laramie then trimmed the deficit in half assisted by Connor Cronin. At that time, tournament officials ordered everybody to seek shelter, because lightning was in the area. The game was stopped with 5:43 left in the first quarter. Heavy rains soon followed, and for the next two hours fans sat in their cars, while the players hung out in Weymouth High School.

Marblehead boys lacrosse coach John Wilkens and his staff talk to the players on video after bitter loss to Duxbury in a Division 2 state semifinal game at Weymouth Wednesday night, June 14. Current photo / Joe McConnell

“We were sent to the wrestling room, and every 30 minutes we’d get up to check out the conditions, only to sit back down again,” said coach John Wilkens afterwards. “We didn’t want to come out flat once the game resumed, and true to form we came out flying.”

It was still very much a game after one quarter with Duxbury ahead by just two, 3-1. The Magicians then controlled play for the first four minutes of the second quarter, before Laramie shot it home again from the slot. The Magicians once again trailed by just one goal, 3-2. But the Dragons netted the next two to take a 5-2 halftime lead. The Dragons then outscored the Marblehead boys, 4-2 in the third stanza to widen the gap by five.  They netted three more in the final period, while holding their North Shore counterparts scoreless to seal the deal.

Cronin scored both second half Marblehead goals after assisting on the first two in the first half. “(Duxbury) was not going to let Connor (Cronin) beat them, because they know he’s just as good distributing the ball as he is scoring goals,” said Wilkens.

“But give Duxbury credit, they are a well-balanced team, who has been around the block quite a few times,” added Wilkens. “They have been a state power for years.”

Wilkens said that this year has been a very “pleasant surprise” for him. “It’s a difficult thing to do to go undefeated with 18 straight wins in the regular season, and two more in the state tournament,” he said. “They were a cast of characters, starting with the seniors who set an excellent example since the first day of practice for the underclassmen who really improved this year. The future definitely looks bright for this program.”

Joe McConnell | + posts

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