Middle Creek will be riding a 43-game win streak into Saturday's N.C. High School Athletic Association 4A boys lacrosse state championship after Tuesday's 6-4 East final thriller against Cardinal Gibbons.
The Mustangs (21-0) fell behind Gibbons (17-3) 2-0 after the first quarter, but the state's all-time leading scorer, Owen Caputo (four goals), scored twice in the second quarter to tie it at halftime. Jake Caputo scored the lone third quarter goal to take a 3-2 lead, but Gibbons scored twice in eight seconds to go up 4-3.
The Mustangs scored the go-ahead, a J.J. Tolentino goal on an assist from Jake Caputo, with 3:13 left.
Gibbons' Jason Shammas had one goal and one assist, as did Joe Torres. Will Stock had two goals and Ethan Wilk had one assist.
Middle Creek will face Lake Norman on Saturday at approximately 2:30 p.m. at WakeMed Soccer Park in a rematch of last year's championship.
Cardinal Gibbons girls 19, Ashley 7: Ella Reeves Vaughan tallied six goals and an assist, and Grace New added five goals as the two-time defending state champions Crusaders cruised to the home victory on Tuesday in the NCHSAA East final. Gibbons (17-4) never trailed, seizing control with a five-goal run that turned a 4-2 lead into a 9-2 advantage with 8 minutes, 35 seconds remaining in the first half. Helen Collier and Caroline Mullahy each added two goals apiece and Caroline Kimmel had five assists for Gibbons.
Gibbons will face Charlotte Catholic at noon on Saturday at WakeMed Soccer Park in the state championship game.
East Chapel Hill boys 11, New Hanover 10: East Chapel Hill overcame a third-period two-goal deficit to win the NCHSAA 1A/2A/3A East final Tuesday night over visiting New Hanover. Jack Koonce and Taylor Greeno scored three goals each for the victors. Ryan Levy added two goals and Noah Mills, Griffin Hess and Simon Perkins one each. East Chapel Hill trailed 7-6 at halftime.
East Chapel Hill will take on West champ Weddington on Friday night at 7:30 in the state championship, held at WakeMed Soccer Park. It's ECH's first appearance in the state final since 2011.
NCISAA boys golf
The O’Neal School claimed the N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association 2A boys golf championship, led by seventh-grader Tommy Morrison (4-under), who won a two-hole playoff to come away with the individual title over defending state cham Andrew Wilmoth of St. David's. Falcons teammates Jackson Van Paris (third, 3-under) and Fulton Smith (fourth, 3-over) made it an easy team win.
It's the Southern Pines school's first title in any sport in four years and the first in boys golf since 2007.
St. David's was runner-up after winning the last two titles. Will Lewis was sixth (9-over) and Davis Adams ninth (10-over).
In 1A, Lee Christian's Brandon Jones shot a two-day 153 (9-over) to win the state title by three strokes. Neuse Christian's Ben Wilborn (23-over) was tied for fifth. Crossroads Christian, located in Henderson, was third in 1A in the team standings.
Ravenscroft was third and Durham Academy fourth in 3A. Ravenscroft's Quinn Riley tied for fourth after shooting an even par on both days.
The South Wake Athletic Conference is running the 4A East bracket. Three of the last four teams standing on the East side are from the SWAC. Friday's games will feature No. 9 Fuquay-Varina hosting No. 12 Sanderson and SWAC foes No. 15 Apex at No. 14 Garner. The league is 11-2 overall, with the only two losses coming to other SWAC teams.
Chapel Hill has a 3A showdown with the state's only undefeated team, reigning state champ New Hanover, in the fourth round. New Hanover won the 4A title last season. Union Pines, the No. 26 seed, is keeping its Cinderella run alive after defeating Western Harnett 2-1. Western, which was making its first appearance in the third round, had won all three previous meetings this season against the Vikings.
The best season in N.C. School of Science and Math history came to an end with a 16-0 loss at powerhouse Whiteville in the 2A playoffs. No. 4 South Granville will travel to No. 1 Whiteville on Friday, while No. 2 North Lenoir will face No. 3 Randleman.
In 1A, Falls Lake Academy is the lone team remaining. The Firebirds will head to Williamston's Riverside High. Riverside bounced Rosewood 3-2 in nine innings.
Top-seeded Fuquay-Varina was clipped by No. 8 Jack Britt 3-2 in the third round of the 4A playoffs. No. 2 South Central and No. 3 Heritage will have a showdown coming on the other side of the bracket.
Cedar Ridge pushed No. 1 seed West Brunswick to extra innings in 3A, but the Trojans won 4-3 and will face No. 5 Cleveland, which is in the fourth round after a 3-2 win over No. 13 Eastern Alamance. No. 19 D.H. Conley is playing up to its strong tradition. The Vikings notched their third straight road win despite their low seed.
In 2A, South Granville and North Johnston advanced and in 1A, Louisburg stopped Princeton in the East and Chatham Central is moving on in the West.
No. 4 Fuquay-Varina needed PKs to advance by No. 12 Laney while No. 2 Leesville Road and No. 3 Green Hope also advanced on shutouts of No. 10 Holly Springs and No. 22 Cary, respectively. After finishing fourth in the Triangle 6 Conference, Cary picked up back-to-back road wins to reach the third round.
In the 4A West, No. 3 Pinecrest will face No. 2 Norhtwest Guilford in the third round. Pinecrest downed perennial power No. 6 Hough 3-1.
D.H. Conley advanced in the 3A East, Carrboro eliminated previously undefeated Roanoke Rapids in 2A and the 1A East fourth round will feature three Triangle charter schools: Franklin Academy, Raleigh Charter and Neuse Charter.