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2021 Boys State Lacrosse Tournament
Your one-stop-shop for all things related to the boys state lacrosse tourney
Published: 5/14/2021 1:07:35 PM
Logan Green
Director of Sales/Broadcaster

State Lacrosse Tournament Preview: Watch Here
Logan Green previews the upcoming state tournament with the Idaho High School Lacrosse League Commissioner David Donovan.

State Tournament On-Demand Archives - Own The Keepsake Videos!






State Tournament Recap

With 2020 finally in the rear-view mirror, the 2021 State Lacrosse Championships were held Saturday at Simplot Stadium in Caldwell.  After missing out on a 2020 season, lacrosse athletes, like all other spring athletes in Idaho, were hungry for their shot to compete again.  Both Class A and B had an all new set of teams in the championship round on Saturday, with Eagle defeating Boise in Class A and Meridian beating Timberline in Class B in 2019.  This year, Class A featured Bishop Kelly and Rocky Mountain while Class B showcased Idaho Falls and Mountain View.

In setting up the brackets for both classes, there is a flip that occurs with the 1 seed in the B bracket and the 7 seed in the A bracket.  The top seed from B will move up to play in the A bracket, while the team that would have earned the 7th seed in A moves to the B bracket.  This year the flip involved Vallivue, who moved into the A and Mountain View in the B.  Vallivue would eventually fall to Rocky Mountain 18-3 in that first round matchup.

IHSLL Commissioner David Donovan was tasked with coordinating with coaches and locations to get the games played.  It was no easy task as day one of the tournament featured games in three different states – Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana.  Jackson Hole competes in the IHSLL and earned a home game which was played in Jackson, while Idaho Falls and Lake City met halfway in Missoula, MT to play their first-round game.

Class B started off Championship Saturday with a matchup between Mountain View and Idaho Falls.  Mountain View is no stranger to state championship games as the Mavericks have played in the finals five times since 2013, winning it four of those times.  No one has won more championships in that time frame than Mountain View.  Idaho Falls reached the finals in 2018, falling in a heartbreaker to Coeur d’Alene by just one.  In lacrosse, Idaho Falls goes by the Eagles nickname rather than the traditional Tigers.  For many years the team was composed of players from all schools in the Idaho Falls area.  More recently Hillcrest has had enough player involvement to support their own program.  While most players to attend Idaho Falls, there are some from other schools, such as Rigby, so the team keeps the Eagles name.

Idaho Falls came into the game as the 7th and lowest seed in the Class B bracket.  They went on the road and defeated #2 Lake City 9-7 and #3 Skyview 10-8 in route to their second championship appearance.  Mountain View had a bye last week as the #1 seed, then defeated Hillcrest 20-8 on Friday to punch their ticket to the finals.

Mountain View scored two early goals to grab an early 2-0 lead.  It seemed as though the Mavericks would run away with it in the first, but Idaho Falls scored two back-to-goals within seconds of each other as Calvin Rolston tied it up for the Eagles as he was all alone down by the crease.  Bodie Jones would quickly answer for Mountain View, scoring his second of the quarter, putting the Mavericks up for good.  Two more goals from Zach Napier and Ashton Smith would push the lead to 5-2 at the end of the first quarter, and Mountain View never looked back.  The Mavericks would lead 9-4 at the half and went on to win 17-5.

A huge factor in the game was the shot on goal differential.  Mountain View put up 62 shots on goal to just 14 for Idaho Falls.  Even if all 14 shots had gone in for the Eagles, that still would not have been enough.  Daniel VanKampen had the tough job of standing in net for those 62 shots against the Eagles.  While 17 found their way through, VanKampen had a solid showing, saving 45 shot attempts.  On the other end of the field, Vanleuven had critical saves for Mountain View, including one stop where he came out of the crease completely and knocked the ball out of the stick of Idaho Falls, forcing a turnover.

Nathan Badger and Bodie Jones each had 5 goals on the day.  Our Player of the Game went to Badger.  His 7 points (5g, 2a) led the way for the Mavericks who won their sixth state championship.

The Class A Championship featured a third matchup on the season between Bishop Kelly and Rocky Mountain.  These two teams have strong programs, but not as much hardware in the case as Timberline or Mountain View.  Bishop Kelly last won a state championship in 2011 when they defeated Gonzaga Prep, who at the time competed in the IHSLL.  The Knights also won it all in 2002 over Borah.  Rocky Mountain had never won a championship and had only been to the final game once, a gut-wrenching 12-11 loss in OT to Mountain View in 2017.

Bishop Kelly came in as the #1 seed, beating Boise 14-9 on Wednesday behind 4 goals a piece from Houston Ostrom and Wylie Warchol.  Rocky Mountain was the #2 seed, beating Vallivue 18-3 last week, then knocking off Jackson Hole 12-9 on Thursday.  The Grizzlies came in hot on offense, having Nick Gruber, Ben Earnest, and Brett Wheeler all score seven goals through the first two games of the tournament.

Rocky Mountain came out firing to begin the game.  Two quick goals from Zack Marburger and Gus Cantwell put the Grizzlies up 2-0.  Just like in the first game, that would be matched in due time, as Jake Appleton and Paul O’Neill would score to tie the game at two for the Knights.

The end of the second quarter provided two highlight plays for each time.  Rocky Mountain found themselves on a 3-on-1 fast break.  The Grizzlies, with their crisp passing, had a chance at point blank range, only to be stood up with an incredible save by Bishop Kelly goalie Fynn Ziebarth.  Just a few minutes later, an almost identical play was unfolding.  This time Ben Earnest got it down low for Rocky Mountain, faked a shot to the top right of the goal and got Ziebarth to commit there, only to then go down low to the left side and put it in.  The game would be tied 3-3 at the half.

Rain began to fall at the beginning of the second half and it continued off and on for the rest of the game.  Bishop Kelly broke the tie game on a goal from Jonathan Russell to start the half.  Rocky Mountain would respond with two straight from Matt Gustafson to regain the lead.  The Grizzlies would never look back.

Rocky Mountain slowly stretched the lead to 8-5 with a few minutes remaining.  The game was still within reach until a final goal scored by Nick Gruber all but sealed the deal for the Grizzlies.  As the final sounded the Grizzly sticks and gloves flew high as they raced to Jacob Wong in celebration and would be joined by members of the Rocky Mountain student body.

The 9-5 win wrapped up the most successful season in Rocky Mountain lacrosse history as the Grizzlies won their first state title.  Jacob Wong was named the Player of the Game for the second game in a row.  The College of Idaho commit also won the award on Thursday vs Jackson Hole.  Wong saved 46 of the 63 shots he faced in the tournament, giving him an overall save percent of 73 over the three games, including his 15 saves on 20 shots from Bishop Kelly.

We look forward to covering more lacrosse in the future.  Check back to the site for more information in the months to come.  We’ve got you covered!





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