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Carthage boys lacrosse completes perfect season in Frontier League


CARTHAGE — The Carthage boys lacrosse team has once again engineered another perfect 12.

The Comets generated another dominating performance on both sides of the field in defeating Immaculate Heart Central, 19-6, on Tuesday night at Comet Field in the Frontier League regular-season finale for both teams.

Carthage (15-1), ranked 12th in the state in Class B and had already clinched the league’s “A” Division crown, finishes 12-0 in the league, marking the 15th time it has finished unbeaten in the circuit.

“Last year we lost two league games, that was a horrible feeling,” Carthage senior defender Taylor Morgan said. “It’s a great way to come back in your season year and finish 12-0.”

Senior Casey Boulio totaled seven points, including five goals and two assists, to pace the Comets, who have won 19 Frontier League championships in 25 years.

“This is pretty big — at Carthage, this is what we’re playing for,” Boulio said. “We’re playing to win league titles, sectional titles and we’re pursuing a state title — that’s what we do every year.”

“We’re proud of it,” Carthage coach Kirk Ventiquattro said of the team accomplishment. “It’s one of the things we strive for.”

Carthage has won six consecutive games after losing to Homer, 6-4, on April 27.

Junior Paul Bracy scored three goals and won 14 of 17 faceoffs to spark Carthage’s possession game.

After IHC took the early initiative by building a 3-2 advantage in the opening quarter, the Comets took command with a 10-1 run to close the first half.

“We came out ready to go,” IHC coach Denny Patrick said. “But they’ve got a good faceoff guy — he’s one of the best in the league, if not the section.”

In the pivotal second quarter, Bracy won five of six faceoffs, and Boulio followed by scoring four goals in the period, including three goals in the final six minutes, as Carthage forged a 12-4 advantage by halftime.

“We’ve had a couple games like that where we come out slow,” said Boulio, who leads the Frontier League in goals with 57.

“We’ve been trying to play a complete game all year and we’re still pursuing that — we’re pursuing perfection out here,” Boulio added.

“Jude Whalen is a tough player for them,” Ventiquattro said. “Their game plan was to use him and his athletic ability to win faceoffs and in the first quarter they did that. ... Then us winning faceoffs was all the difference. Once we got the ball, we did a great job of scoring — our offense is really diversified.”

After the Cavaliers were held without a goal within a span of nine minutes of the first half, they went scoreless in the third quarter as Carthage led 16-4 entering the final period.

The Comets would stretch their surge to a 16-1 run to lead 18-4 before IHC responded with two goals in the game’s final six minutes.

“This is a great way to end our regular season, it really gives us some momentum going into sectionals,” Bracy said.

Bailey Wilkenson scored three goals and assisted on three others to help pace a balanced Comets attack. Seth Leonard contributed two goals and two assists, and Josh Yelvington scored three goals.

Carthage’s defense allowed only four goals over the first three quarters to shut down the Cavaliers (8-8, 7-5).

Comets goalie Trevor Gibbons made nine saves.

Matt Moran scored two goals and assisted on two others to lead IHC, Nick Koelmel tallied two goals and an assist and Jordan Trudeau scored twice.

“We’re getting better,” Patrick said. “I think we’ve been playing some of our best lacrosse in the past seven to 10 days, and obviously this score didn’t show that. But we’re happy with the way the team is playing.”

Carthage and IHC will now await the release of Section 3’s playoff pairings, which will be announced today.

“We’re getting closer, but we’re playing well as a team right now,” Ventiquattro said.

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