The Watterson High School boys lacrosse team avenged its lone loss of the season in dramatic fashion and qualified for its first state tournament appearance by edging Worthington Kilbourne 7-6 in four overtimes in the Division II, Region 7 final May 27 at Otterbein University.

Drew McQuade scored with 2 minutes, 35 seconds left in the fourth overtime and led a frenzied celebration.

“I had a chance (to score) earlier (in the second overtime) and just dropped the ball, so I was happy to get another chance and take care of it,” McQuade said.

Watterson improved to 18-1 and will play Cincinnati Mariemont (17-3) in a state semifinal May 31 at a neutral site to be determined.

“We were in a four-overtime game last year against St. Charles and got knocked out (7-6 in the second round of the Central Region tournament), so this is a little bit of karma for us,” Eagles coach Tom Foley said. “Kilbourne was the defending state champion and they beat us 9-8 in overtime (March 18) in the opener.

“(The regional final) was a fantastic lacrosse game because it became a game of wits because it wasn’t a high-scoring game. The kids really stepped up when they had to and we’ve been building them up since the fifth grade and now we’re going to our first final four.”

Watterson led 2-1 after one quarter and the game was tied at 2 at halftime before the Eagles took a 5-3 lead with 10:50 left in the fourth quarter on A.J. Rigsby’s second goal of the game.

The Wolves cut their deficit to 5-4 with 3:39 left on Carson Kott’s goal and tied the game at 5 on a goal by Ryan Hester with 2:26 to go. Hester gave Kilbourne its first lead since 1-0 when he scored again with 1:22 remaining, but Rigsby tied it at 6 with 23.8 seconds left.

“I just came off a pick and tried to tuck it in low,” Rigsby said. “We practice those late-game situations all the time and we were able to execute it.”

The Wolves finished 11-11.

“We hit a few pipes during the overtimes and their keeper (Dominic Elmo) played very well and made some huge stops,” Kilbourne coach Drew May said. “We played well, but Watterson has 19 seniors and some very good athletes and we came up just a bit short. It was a game of inches here and there today, and it didn’t measure up for us.”

Division I

Olentangy Liberty 13, Olentangy 6

Liberty coach Jason Godwin admitted he didn’t want to play rival Olentangy in the Division I, Region 1 final May 27 at Thomas Worthington, and the first half did not change his mind.

The top-seeded Patriots fell behind by two goals halfway through the first quarter and took a 5-4 lead in the final minute of the first half, only to see the second-seeded Braves tie it with three seconds left in the half.

“The 5-5 halftime (score), I think, explains why it is tough to play a familiar team,” Godwin said. “We didn't make all that many halftime adjustments, except for the fact that we just needed to execute.”

Liberty dominated the second half, outscoring Olentangy 8-1 and not allowing a goal in the game’s final 20:57.

Johnny Wiseman had four goals and three assists to lead the Patriots, who improved to 16-5 and will play Cleveland St. Ignatius (13-7) in a state semifinal May 31 at a neutral site to be determined.

Griffin Hughes added two goals, and goalkeeper Skylar Wahlund made 18 saves.

Sam Monastra had two goals for Olentangy, which finished 15-6 and also lost to Liberty 7-5 on April 20.

“I can’t take anything away from their guys,” Olentangy coach Zach Peterson said. “That’s a great lacrosse team and we have two great programs. They have threats behind the cage and above the cage. They work it very well dynamically and mix in their role players.”

—Dave Purpura

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