The Triangle will host all three state N.C. High School Athletic Association East regional finals on Tuesday.
Middle Creek, an 11-5 winner against Leesville Road, will host conference rival Apex for the 4A East boys’ lacrosse final after the Cougars defeated Athens Drive 15-9.
The Cardinal Gibbons boys will host league foe Cedar Ridge for the 1A/2A/3A East final and the girls will host Wilmington’s Hoggard High, a 12-11 victor against East Chapel Hill.
Gibbons girls 17, Apex 16: Cardinal Gibbons sophomore Jordan Lappin scored on an eight-meter free possession with 34 seconds to play to lift the Crusaders past Apex in a fourth-round match at Gibbons’ field.
On the ensuing faceoff, Gibbons’ Sarah Comstock scooped up the loose ball and the Crusaders (18-1) were able to push the ball up-field to run out the clock. Comstock also contributed two first-half goals.
Lappin’s decisive goal was her seventh of the game and fourth of the second half after Gibbons led 7-6 at halftime. Erica Skowron added four goals.
Apex (15-3), last year’s state runner-up, was Meredith Chapman with five goals and Mia Castagnero’s four.
Middle Creek boys 11, Leesville Road 5: Middle Creek’s boys lacrosse team proved faceoffs are a bit overrated when you perform well in all other facets. The Mustangs are heading to the N.C. High School Athletic Association’s final four despite the visiting Pride winning the faceoffs 14-4 thanks to Davis Sampere.
Leesville, led by Griffin McNamara’s two goals, cut the lead to 6-5 to start the fourth quarter before a 5-0 run from the Mustangs.
Apex boys 15, Athens Drive 9: Apex (18-2) defeated Athens Drive (13-7) for the third time as Brendan Farrell notched four goals for the Cougars. Athens Drive’s Conor Gronbach scored three.
“(We have to) focus on what we do, what we’re good at, who the next guy is, and what we’ve got to do to beat that guy,” said Apex head coach John Hayden of his team as they move one game closer to a chance at going to their third straight state championship game.
Hoggard girls 12, East Chapel Hill 11: East Chapel Hill tied the game with 5:01 left in the contest but host Hoggard scored the final tally with 2:01 remaining to end the Cinderella run by the Wildcats (9-8). Lena Johnston led East with five goals whle Emily Ives had 11 saves.
Gibbons boys 17, Chapel Hill 4: Cardinal Gibbons (15-4) led 12-1 at halftime and cruised to a 17-4 victory over Chapel Hill (12-7) in an NCHSAA 3A/2A/1A third-round match on the Crusaders’ field.
Nick Forbes led Gibbons with five goals as 10 Crusaders scored. Kevin Barry, Jack Zarnik and Charles Van Dyke added two each. Others scoring a goal apiece were Mark Schachte, James Sriraman, Hunter Van Horn, Connor Scanlin, Brian Zarzour and Jack Shelton.
Scoring for Chapel Hill were Sean Voelkel, Nick Augusta, Mike Wasson and Chris Matthews.
The defending state champions had a bye in the first round and have won their second and third-round matches by a combined score of 36-5.
Cedar Ridge 15, Northside 10: Despite being the third seed out of the Big 8 Conference, the Red Wolves will play for an East title for the first time in school history on Tuesday after knocking off Jacksonville’s Northside High.
J. Mike Blake, Michael Lyday and Tom Shanahan contributed to this report.