By Lloyd Jones
CONWAY — Currently sitting in 11th place in the Division II standings, the Kennett High boys lacrosse team can clinch a playoff berth with a victory on Tuesday (4 p.m.) when it hosts Oyster River in Gary Millen Stadium.
The top 12 teams in Division II qualify for the post-season.
KHS went 1-1 last week to raise it record to 5-8. The Eagles completed a regular-season sweep of arch-rival Kingswood in Redstone on Wednesday, winning 11-2. Unfortunately, the team couldn't carry that momentum to Bow on Friday. KHS lost 9-2 to the Falcons (4-9), who jumped in 12th place with the win.
Coach Ross Emery was pleased with how his troops played against Kingswood, especially after halftime. The two teams played through a scoreless first quarter. The Eagles got the offense on track in the second period to lead 3-2 at the half.
Kennett outscored the Knights 4-0 in the third and fourth quarters in a stellar second half.
"I was very pleased to see the team ramp up the offensive pressure in the second half," Emery said. "We entered halftime only up 3-2. So it was a tight game until then. Our defense did a great job shutting down Kingswood offense. We put defenseman Robby Moody on their top scorer and closed him off."
Captain Kherry Rober, Brian Baker and Hunter LeBeuf all scored hat-tricks in the win while Dan Nusbaum added a pair of goals.
"It's great to know that we have good depth this year and don't need to rely on any one player to get the job done," Emery said. "We came off a tough game with St. Thomas on Monday having trouble with our clearing transitions but that was all straightened out for the Kingswood game.Tristan Andreani once again had a great game but he told me that he did not feel like he was very tested."
Oyster River (6-6) is ranked ninth in Division II coming into Tuesday's game. The Bobcats beat Kennett 9-7 in Durham on April 28 in a close match. Tuesday is also Senior Day for the Eagles with this year's cast of seniors being recognized prior to game.
"We are hoping for a playoff position," Emery said.