DON KETCHUM is a native of Phoenix. He was a sportswriter for The Arizona Republic/The Phoenix Gazette for nearly four decades. He covered high school sports on several occasions as well as the Arizona Diamondbacks, Arizona Cardinals and Arizona State sports. From 2008-14, he was a staff writer for, the web site of the Arizona Interscholastic Association.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Gators fall to Pinnacle in lacrosse semis

Holding a lead in lacrosse is like setting a cup of water out in the sun.
Before you know it, it can evaporate into the warm desert air.
Such was the case for Xavier Prep on Wednesday (May 6) in its Arizona Girls Lacrosse Association semifinal match against Phoenix Pinnacle at Arizona State University West.
Xavier built a 3-1 lead just 2 minutes and 46 seconds into the match, but by the time another minute and 38 seconds ticked off the clock, the Gators trailed 4-3.
The Gators valiantly tried to recover, but Pinnacle’s speed and accurate passing were too much to overcome and the Pioneers ran away to a 22-11 victory.
Xavier, the No. 3 seed, finished the season with a fine 15-5 record, having split its two regular-season matches with Pinnacle, the No. 2 seed. Pinnacle moves on to Friday night’s (May 9) title match against top-seeded Scottsdale Chaparral, which advanced with a 17-6 semifinal win over Chandler Hamilton.
Senior Areta Buness, limited by illness in Monday’s first round, had regained the necessary energy to put home four goals to lead the Gators against Pinnacle. Kayla Swanson had three goals, Katie Hobaica two and Caylie Wagner and Caitlin Blomo one each.
Buness, one of the better players in the AGLA off the draw, was neutralized somewhat by a taller Pinnacle player with a longer reach.
Once the Pioneers gained possession, they charged toward the goal. Xavier rarely was able to match the speed and get back on defense. Pinnacle also got good position near the goal and itself up for goals with good passing.
Xavier trailed 13-7 at the half and surrendered four goals to start the second half before Hobaica scored off an assist by Buness with 19:52 remaining to make it 17-8.

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