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Country Day unable to finish upset of Forest Hills Central, falls in OT WITH PHOTO GALLERY

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Game Info

Lacrosse - Boys - 6/7/2017 5 p.m.

Forest Hills Central 11, OT
Birmingham Detroit Country Day 10
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HOWELL – A handful of weeks ago, the Detroit Country Day boys lacrosse team looked like it had no business competing with Forest Hills Central.

The Yellowjackets suffered a 16-6 loss to the Rangers back on April 13, yet the two were paired up again in Wednesday’s Division 2 state semifinal at Parker Middle School.

This time around, the Jackets were up for the challenge, holding a 10-6 lead in the fourth. However, Forest Hills Central would manage to rally late and pick up an 11-10 win in overtime to deny the upset bid.

“Our best moments in this game were when we were playing as six people together. That is some of the best lacrosse I have seen since I have been at Country Day, those moments. We are disappointed with the outcome, but to come as far as we have as a team in the last month, we can sleep at night,” Country Day coach Michael Cappelletti said. “These guys are why I get into coaching. I don’t think I have ever been more proud of our coaches or student-athletes. They gave me all they could and were great teammates (Wednesday).”

Forest Hills Central (17-6) was caught off guard to start the game as Country Day (10-13) opened with a 4-0 lead after eight minutes of play. Jake Belanger scored twice in the opening flurry while Dylan Prime and Tim Stebbins also found the net.

“We just weren’t a good team back then,” Cappelletti said of what changed from the first meeting. “We were playing Tetris back then and just trying to figure out what piece fit where. I would like to tell you that I thought we were going to win, but we didn’t play well in the first meeting. Once we started 4-0 and the guys believed, we as coaches knew these guys were ready to win this game.”

The Rangers would fight back to even the score at 5-5 at halftime, but the Yellowjackets once again started fast to open the second half, scoring five of the first six goals to take a 10-6 lead with 6:11 left in the game.

“We talked a lot about playing 6-on-6 lacrosse. If we tried to play 1-on-1, we were going to get killed,” Cappelletti said. “(Forest Hills Central) has a number of All Americans and a number of Division 1 recruits. They are an athletic factory. We just talked about making it a lacrosse game and letting the ball do the work.”

Knowing their backs were against the wall, the Rangers turned up the pressure and managed to score two goals within 25 seconds to make it 10-8. The game-tying goal came with just 32 seconds left from Bryce Clay.

“(Forest Hills Central) is a team that is so athletic that eventually they are going to tire you out and I think both halves were indicative of that. When we were fresh, we were executing and making it hard on (the Rangers). As we wore down, they had more athletes and took advantage of that,” Cappelletti said.

In the OT, Country Day was able to get a possession and some shots at the goal, but couldn’t find the net. The game-winner came again from Clay from the right side, advancing his team to Saturday’s Division 2 finals.

Central celebrated while the Yellowjackets collapsed in disappointment, but Cappelletti couldn’t have been prouder of his team.

“There hasn’t been a guy on this team who hasn’t been the consummate athlete and teammate. These guys are everything you could ask for,” Cappelletti said. “It’s been a season full of adversity, but these guys never showed it and they never gave anything less than their all. It hurts to lose, but as a coach, I am just tremendously proud of their effort.”

Belanger and Prime each had three goals to lead Country Day while Quinton Sappington and Grant Petrucci also scored.

Last Updated: 6/7/2017 8:13:06 PM EST


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