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Brother Rice makes a statement with 15-9 win over Detroit Catholic Central WITH PHOTO GALLERY

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Game Info

Lacrosse - Boys - 4/22/2014 

Novi Detroit Catholic Central 9
Birmingham Brother Rice 15
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NOVI – If anyone thought Birmingham Brother Rice’s in-state loss last week was the start of the Warriors’ demise, they were sorely mistaken.

Playing in their first game since their near 12-year in-state unbeaten streak was snapped by Birmingham Detroit Country Day, the Warriors made a statement against rival Novi Detroit Catholic Central on Tuesday night.

Rice would hold a 13-1 lead at one point and ultimately walk away with a 15-9 victory, making it clear that the Warriors are still the kings in Division 1 boys lacrosse.

“You are always interested as a coach to see how your kids are going to respond to adversity and we responded quite well,” Brother Rice coach Ajay Chawla said. “We didn’t dwell on the loss too much. As much as people wanted to worry about us losing our first in-state game in 11 years, we got the kids together and decided we were going to move forward as a team and win the rest of the games.”

Aiding the Warriors (7-2) in the bounce-back effort was the fact they were facing their rival in the Shamrocks (5-1).

“It’s the biggest rival in the state of Michigan between two schools in any sport. If you’re a kid and you play for Brother Rice or CC and you can’t get up for that game, you might not want to play sports,” Chawla said. “It was the right opponent for us. I think we saw a little more heart and a little more energy from our guys. They came out knowing they can’t take anyone lightly.”

Catholic Central actually got on the board first as Justin Baker scored on a scramble at the net just 42 seconds into the game. The Shamrocks wouldn’t score again for over 30 minutes of play.

Brother Rice dominated the remainder of the half, scoring 10 goals. The real swing in momentum came to end the first period, as Jason Alessi scored with eight seconds left in the period and Morgan Macko scored as time expired. Joe Dudley then added a goal nine seconds into the second period to put the Warriors up 5-1.

“In the first half we were timid, soft, passive and, for some reason, not into our most intense rival game,” Catholic Central coach Dave Wilson said. “I thought (Brother Rice) was playing well and we were not playing well and that is a terrible combination in a game like this.”

Macko would score five goals in the first half for Rice and finish with a game-high six goals.

“The ball just kept finding me,” Macko said. “We moved the ball well as a team and had some good scoring chances, I just was fortunate to have the ball find me at the right times.”

Along with the scoring, the Warriors got a strong effort from goalie Chris Lievois. The senior turned away a number of good shots from the Shamrocks and kept Catholic Central from getting into the game.

“It is a big game and I wanted to come out and make a statement,” Lievois said of his play. “It’s such a big rivalry game and it was a big game for this team. We had an intense week of practice in preparation and I think we had a lot of fire coming into this game.”

Lievois continued to turn away CC shots in the third period as the Warriors extended their lead to 13-1.

“Chris played great in the first half. He saved some balls that no goalie should save. Sometimes you have those days,” Chawla said. “A couple of big saves were really big momentum turners for us our offense got a lot of boost from some of those saves.”

Midway through the third, the Shamrocks finally found their offense. The Shamrocks closed the quarter on a 4-1 rally and then scored the first two goals of the fourth period to cut the Rice lead to 14-8, but Catholic Central didn’t have enough time to threaten the outcome.

“We did some good things in the second half and some of our young players got some confidence,” Wilson said. “We just have to understand that it takes effort throughout the whole game, especially against a great team like Brother Rice.”

Dudley finished with three goals for the Warriors while Alessi had two. Reid Fisher, John Lockwood, Jack Nelson and Dan Lunghamer also each scored once.

Jack Van Acker had three goals to lead Catholic Central while Justin Baker and Sean Birney each scored twice and Connor Holton and Sean Stanners found the net once.

Brother Rice gets back to action on Saturday when it takes on Hill Academy in Canada, while Catholic Central looks to bounce back from its first loss when it heads to Indiana to face Culver Academy Prep on Friday.

Last Updated: 4/22/2014 10:48:43 PM EST

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