Battle Mountain boys lacrosse holds off Ponderosa in first round playoff game
Huskies advance to play Cheyenne Mountain in second round Friday
Battle Mountain boys lacrosse might have a knack for overtime games, but they’d prefer to get to bed at a reasonable time when they can.
After taking down their rivals in a double-overtime game on Friday — their third of the season — the Huskies avoided an extra period thanks to P.J. Kessenich’s goal late in the fourth quarter, propelling No. 14 Battle Mountain to an 8-7 win over No. 19 Ponderosa in a gritty, back-and-forth first round playoff win Tuesday night in Edwards.
Orion Adelman and Garret Ast provided the only two points in a stingy first quarter. In the second, Jaden Weiss barreled toward the crease and launched a waist-high top-to-bottom shot past goalie Doran Trietley. It gave his team a 3-0 lead and his teammates a reason to circle up and try out a new touchdown dance.
The celebration was momentary, however, as freshman Kyler Haynes finally put Mustang points on the board with two minutes remaining in the half. Senior captain Cole Skillington tallied a second score 59 seconds later to make it 3-2 at the half.
Jack Kovacik opened the third by dishing to P.J. Kessenich off a fastbreak. Kessenich’s nifty pass to Nate Bishop made the rest easy. Then, both teams went back to their respective gridlocks. Leo Rothenberg found a hole in the visitor’s defense at 5:07 for a two-goal lead, but Mustang responses by Skillington and Caden D’Lallo made it 5-5 with two minutes left. The spirits of the packed ‘doghouse’ were lifted by Thomas Dekanich’s go-ahead clutch goal at the end of the period.
A long-distance pass down the middle of the field eventually found its way to Hunter Roach, who launched a crank shot to put the Huskies up by two early in the fourth. Garrett Katrana came back with a score of his own two minutes later, and Haynes tied things up with five tense minutes remaining.
Kessenich, however, was not keen on his team playing a fourth overtime game this season. The athletic senior juked his way close to the net before putting an over the shoulder goal into the lower right corner with 3:50 to go. It would be the game winner, as a Mustang turnover put the ball back into Dekanich’s stick, allowing the sophomore to play keep away as time expired.
Battle Mountain will take on No. 3 Cheyenne Mountain in the second round of the 4A state tournament on Friday in Colorado Springs.
Battle Mountain faced off against Ponderosa Tuesday night in the first round of the 4A state lacrosse playoffs. | Ryan Sederquist/Vail Daily