2017 GEICO High School Lacrosse Nationals, Day 1, Game 1

By Christopher Lawlor

WASHINGTON – IMG Academy showed no signs of a month-long layoff on Sunday afternoon.

Led by the scoring antics of Tehoka Nanticoke, the Ascenders of Bradenton, Fla., trounced Christ School (Arden, N.C.), 26-9, a soggy afternoon at the inaugural GEICO High School Lacrosse Nationals at Catholic University’s Cardinal Stadium.

It was the 12th straight victory for the Florida powerhouse after dropping an season opener to Hill Academy (Ontario), a team they could see in the finals here on Tuesday night. It was a season-high for the most goals and conversely it was the high-water mark for goals allowed in a game.

“We like to push it in transition,” IMG head coach Jason Basso said.

Nanticoke, who represented the Iroquois Nationals last summer in the Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL) U-19 Men’s World Championships, threw in six of his eight goals in the first half when the Ascenders built a seven-goal lead at 12-5. Nanticoke totaled nine points on eight goals and an assist and gathered three groundballs.

“This is great us for us,” Nanticoke said, who headed to Albany in the fall. “We practiced a lot harder knowing this was our last high school games. Today my teammates found and I was able to finish.”

Said Drexel-bound defender Jonah Roberts of Christ School: “He [Nanticoke] was like a freight train; one the best players I’ve faced.”

Nanticoke had plenty of help from his teammates.

George Prince dished off eight assists; Percy Booth collected three goals and two assists and both Steven Donnelly and Daniel Burnam tallied hat tricks.

The Ascenders dropped in six goals in the second period for 12-5 lead at the break. Nanticoke did the most damage with six goals and an assist. IMG held a 30-12 lead in groundballs. IMG held decisive advantage in groundballs (49-24) and won 23 of 37 faceoffs.

IMG wasted little time seizing control the game and carried a 6-2 lead into the second quarter. Christ School actually opened the scoring a minute into the game when Will Iorio fired in an unassisted marker. Hunter Vines made it 2-1 a minute later and the Greenies were rolling.

The Ascenders behind Nanticoke’s two goals and Booth’s hat trick gave them a 6-2 edge. When the Greenies (16-5) took that 2-1 lead, IMG called a quick timeout.

“I just reminded them to settle down and play our game,” Basso said. “Things started going our way and we get on a roll. We do that when things are going our way.”

The Greenies, who won the North Carolina Independent Schools Division I state title last weekend, received four goals and an assist from Hunter Vines and two goals and two assists from Will Iorio.

“Our goal is to win a state championship but playing here is a real bonus,” Christ School head coach Jeff Miles said. “We ran into an experienced, athletic team today. They forced turnovers and controlled the faceoffs.”