After avenging last season's overtime loss to Hilliard Darby, the Westerville Central High School boys lacrosse team set its sights on Westerville South.

After avenging last season's overtime loss to Hilliard Darby, the Westerville Central High School boys lacrosse team set its sights on Westerville South.

The teams meet Friday, April 27, at South in the first of three games to determine the Westerville Cup winner.

"I love playing South," senior attacker B.K. Wagner said. "They are probably some of my best friends over there at South … (but) when it's time to get serious, it's time to get serious."

Central will play host to Westerville North on May 11 and North will play host to South on May 5.

Last season, Darby rallied from a four-goal deficit in the second half to defeat Central 11-10 in overtime. The Warhawks used that game as motivation heading into their rematch April 20 and responded with a 17-6 win at home. The Warhawks led 12-1 after three quarters.

Junior attacker C.J. Naples led Central with six goals and an assist, and Wagner had four goals and three assists.

Senior midfielder Jalen Liggins had three goals and two assists, and freshman attacker Brooks Burton had three goals.

Goalkeepers Isaac Erckert (5) and Nick Bradburn (1) combined for six saves.

The Warhawks were 5-2 overall before playing St. Charles on April 25. They are 2-0 in the OCC-Central Division.

"We're getting there slowly," Wagner said. "At the beginning of the year we had a couple kids who had to step up because we had two great senior attackers (in Ty Schroeder and Lee Tucker) that graduated last year and who I played with since I've been in high school. We had great chemistry last year."

South boys hoping for turnaround

The South boys were 1-9 overall heading into their game against DeSales on April 25, but coach Tom Favorito is hoping the game against Central will begin a turnaround.

"We still have Central and North coming up," Favorito said. "(They're) always big rivalry games. Anything can happen in a rivalry game, so we're looking forward to those two games."

Before April 25, the Wildcats' lone win came against Hilliard Bradley 11-10 on April 11.

Four of the losses were by one goal.

Sophomore Connor McDonald led the Wildcats in scoring with 27 goals and seven assists. Senior Justin Paselk had 14 goals and five assists and senior Lucas Gall had 13 goals and 13 assists.

Sophomore goalie Luke Rapp had 83 saves.

North boys coping with injuries

The North boys were looking to overcome several injuries as the second half of the season began.

Key losses have been senior midfielders Eric Eichhorn (knee injury) and junior midfielder Daniel Touzinsky (concussion).

Coach Austin Ford said the addition of freshman long-stick midfielder Grant Eberst to the starting lineup has boosted the team.

The Warriors were 4-6 overall and 1-2 in the OCC-Central before playing Delaware on April 25.

North is seeking its third consecutive league title and third consecutive Westerville Cup title.

"We're handling our business," Ford said. "I'm very proud of our younger guys for stepping up."

Central girls better 'than last year'

The Central girls team was 2-4 overall before playing Chillicothe on April 24.

The Warhawks lost to Pickerington North 14-3 on April 19.

Before April 24, junior midfielder Kelsie Malloy led the team in scoring with 16 goals and freshman goalie Gabby Conard had 35 saves.

"This group of girls is already significantly better than last year," coach Rachel Tooker. said. "They have a better understanding of the game and have a lot more heart behind everything they do. We have an outstanding group of athletes who work really well together and I'm extremely excited to play out the rest of our season."

South girls beat North for first time

The South girls earned their first win over North with an 11-6 victory on April 18.

Victoria Husain led the Wildcats with five goals.

Coach Allison Neff said an improving defense led by Rachel Farrow, Maggie Van Keuls and Trista Diersing has been key for the Wildcats.

"The defense has really come together this season to slow fast breaks and deny assists," Neff said. "Our transition is picking up the pace and our offensive plays have produced goals at almost every attempt. Our offense has work to do in distributing goals amongst the team, but our real progress shows itself in the statistics with 15 caused turnovers (against North)."

North girls 'battling' each opponent

The North girls were 1-5 overall before playing Big Walnut on April 24.

"As expected, with a team short on depth and experience, it is challenging for us to hang in there against better teams," coach Chip Walston said. "But the girls have stuck together as a team, have kept working hard and are battling each time they step on the playing field."

Through six games, Katy Williams led the Warriors in scoring with 17 goals and Tricia Gerber had nine.

"One area we have emphasized with the team this season is the importance of having balanced scoring from our players," Walston said. "We do not depend solely on a couple of players to score. All of our offensive players have the green light to put the ball in the net, and they have done that well so far, including some freshmen that are in their first season of lacrosse."

Freshman goalie Sarina Tran had 80 saves through six games.

"Sarina is doing an awesome job in her first season in the cage," Walston said. "Because she is so focused on becoming a better player, I see steady improvement from her during our remaining games this season. She is helped out by a defense led by Rachel Jantzen and Cami Snider that is getting better with every game."