APEX — A quick start by Middle Creek’s boys lacrosse team was not an indicator of how the rest of its Tuesday night game with visiting Holly Springs would go.
But after a back-and-forth battle, the host Mustangs won 11-7 in a Conference 3 showdown.
Middle Creek was playing its second game in as many nights after earning a victory over Green Hope the day before.
“As a coach you never want to play back-to-back games,” Middle Creek head coach Paul Robison said. “The kids dug deep and pulled through and pulled another one out.”
The Mustangs’ Will Floyd, who formally played for the Hawks (6-7, 6-7) his sophomore and junior years, returned to Middle Creek (12-1, 11-1) for his senior year, and provided the game-winner. Floyd had played for Middle Creek as a freshman.
“Floyd created the spark that we needed tonight,” Robison said. “It’s nice to have him back, nice to have him on our side again. That was the goal that provided the difference.”
Holly Springs senior Mason Boone, who had three goals for the contest, had the first goal but the Mustangs scored five unanswered from two sets of families – Justin and Jared Medwar and Charlie and Jack Doetzer – to build a four-goal lead.
“Patience should pay off; I think they forgot being patient on defense is just as important as it is on offense. With a young crowd, we have a ton of young kids. They’re energized, they’re pumped, the’re eager to make a difference, but sometimes being patient pays off. It’s a great lesson for them,” Holly Springs head coach Doug Greenberg said. “We just didn’t catch up to what the lesson was teaching us.”
The Golden Hawks’ offense came alive in the second quarter as they outscored the Mustangs four goals to two.
Middle Creek led Holly Springs 7-5 at halftime. Boone made it a one-goal contest as he scored two minutes into the third quarter.
“That is a senior doing what a senior is supposed to do which is stay calm, stay in control, help us get the next possession,” Greenberg said about Boone. “It’s a game of possessions; he understands that, he’s been part of this program for four years.”
“I was just trying to get us back in the game,” Boone said. “I wanted to keep our morale going.”
The Holly Springs defense played exceptionally in the third quarter, blocking several Middle Creek shots and disrupting passes.
The two teams exchanged goals, then with 16 seconds remaining in the third, Floyd scored from 10 yards out on a bounce shot, giving the Mustangs a two-goal advantage again.
Middle Creek added two more goals in the fourth quarter to close out the win.