The Cardinal Gibbons and Apex boys’ lacrosse teams played a game that lived up to expectations on Tuesday, with Gibbons coming from behind to pull out a narrow 8-7 win.
The Crusaders clinched the Conference 2 championship outright thanks to a season sweep of Apex (14-2, 10-2), which will finish second.
The last automatic bid for Conference 2 will go to third-place Holly Springs.
The teams’ second game of the season featured a four-goal performance by Cougar Derek Sweet and a three-goal effort by Crusader Gannon Morrison.
Sweet and Sieber were a key part of the Cougars’ last run to the state championship game. They were freshmen, and Sweet said they would love to come full circle as seniors.
“This conference is the SEC of lacrosse,” Sweet said. “We just have to get back to work and keep believing in ourselves and our goal of getting to another state championship game.”
Morrison echoed similar sentiments for the Crusaders, who were runners-up last year.
“We never get down on each other, we know we have to play all four quarters and fight hard,” Morrison said.
The win moved Gibbons up to No. 2 in the state behind undefeated Northwest Guilford, the 2011 state champ. Gibbons (15-1, 13-0) won on Thursday against Panther Creek to cement its first-place status in the conference.
Just prior, Tyler Nesbitt prevented Gibbons from adding to its lead and putting the game away with two key stops.