CARY Marvin Ridge’s disappointed boys’ lacrosse players bowed their heads following an 11-8 loss to Raleigh Cardinal Gibbons.
But they quickly changed expressions when the awards ceremony for the NCHSAA 3A/2A/1A combined division state championship included an unusual announcement: The MVP was the losing team’s goalie – Marvin Ridge senior Reilly McDermott.
The Mavericks lifted their heads.
“Yeah, you deserved it, Reilly,” they shouted as he trotted to midfield to receive the trophy, his head still bowed.
McDermott, a two-time high school All-American pick bound for Furman, recorded a staggering 19 saves against Gibbons’ prolific offense that showered him with 43 shots.
“He was the best player on the field,” said Gibbons coach Alex Buckley without hesitation. “He deserved it.”
McDermott was consistent with five saves in the first quarter, four in the second, six in the third and four in the fourth.
“This was a tough one,” said McDermott, whose career high was 24 saves as a sophomore in a triple-overtime loss to Charlotte Catholic. “This was a big stage. I wanted to come up big in this situation.”
Marvin Ridge led 2-1 early and was tied 4-4 at halftime, but Gibbons scored four unanswered goals in the third period for an 8-5 lead. Senior Gannon Morrison led the Crusaders with three goals.
Jared Blum paced Marvin Ridge with three goals. Jack Rich and Shane Hanlon added two apiece and Camden Porta one.
“We just didn’t have the ball enough,” Marvin Ridge coach John Dodd said. “They controlled the face offs. You can’t give a good offensive team as many opportunities as we gave them.”
This marked the first season the NCHSAA split lacrosse into two divisions with a 4A championship and a combined 3A/2A/1A title. Charlotte Catholic won the 4A title Friday night with a win over Apex. With Gibbons and Marvin Ridge having both beaten Charlotte Catholic during the regular season, Gibbons also could claim a mythical overall state title.
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