NAPLES — There were no surprises at the District 18 Championship match on Friday night.
The Barron Collier boys lacrosse team, undefeated in district play this season, pulled away from Naples in the second period to earn its second straight district title with a 17-4 home victory over Naples High.
“I told my players before the match, ‘Don’t let tonight be the last night,’” Cougars coach Trent Carter said. “Protect our house.”
Barron did just that … though it took a little while to develop. Golden Eagles senior Captain Dan DiGiorno delivered two goals in an 18-second span in the opening period to bring Naples within 4-3. That would be the closest the Golden Eagles got all night.
Barron reeled off three consecutive goals in the first period’s final two minutes to go up 7-4. Two of the scores came off the stick of junior Alec Lange. With Hunter Krout (Denver) in goal for BC, the Golden Eagles wouldn’t score until nearly 10 minutes remained.
“It was exciting for a while,” Naples coach Kevin Myrmo said. “If it was a four-minute game, we’d be feeling alright. Barron is a very good team. It’s like playing an all-star team. They can make a very good team look bad.”
In improving their record to 14-3, Barron advances to Tuesday’s play-in match at Gulf Coast, which beat Palmetto Ridge on Friday in the District 15 championships. The Cougars hammered Gulf Coast 17-2 in the regular season.
“We had a good feeling going into tonight,” said BC senior midfielder Skye Sickles (Stevenson), who had three scores on Friday. In the regular season, Barron defeated Naples twice by similar lopsided scores. “It took a while tonight for us to pick things up,” Sickles said. “But once we got going as a team, things went smoothly.”
Lange led all scorers with six goals. Matt Ihm chipped in two for the winners. Sam Lubin and Wes Walker had Naples’ other scores. The Golden Eagles’ season ended with the loss.
“The speed of Barron Collier is a notch higher than we’re used to seeing,” said Myrmo, whose team finished 8-7. “We did really well this year. We really only had two kids with significant lacrosse experience. The other kids rose up. We never quit. I’m very proud of this team.”