DENVER | The Grandview boys lacrosse team’s season came to an end Wednesday, but the future looks bright for the program.
The up-and-coming Wolves, seeded No. 13 in the 16-team Class 5A playoff field due to a number of tiebreakers in the Centennial League, pushed fourth-seeded Kent Denver — a traditional powerhouse — to the brink before dropping a 12-8 road decision.
Coach Patrick Chapla’s Grandview team played even or better with the Sun Devils in three of the four periods, but a scoreless second period put the Wolves in a four-goal hole they were never able to completely escape.
Though it pulled within two in the late stages of the third period, Grandview couldn’t complete the comeback, despite a pair of goals each from juniors Cooper Snowbarger, Ben Warren and Josh Melton.
The Wolves finished 12-4 in the first season under Chapla, with three of the four losses coming to teams still alive in the quarterfinals in Kent Denver, undefeated and top-seeded Cherry Creek and 11th-seeded Arapahoe.
Grandview’s first state playoff appearance since 2009 started inauspiciously, as the Sun Devils won the opening faceoff and Zander Ellis put them on the scoreboard first with just eight seconds elapsed. Kent Denver doubled its lead and looked to have momentum, but Warren finally put a shot into the net for the Wolves with 8:39 remaining in the period.
Snowbarger scored two goals for Grandview, including a score with 27.5 seconds left to send the game to the second period tied 3-3, but that would be the Wolves’ last score for a stretch of more than 15 minutes of game time.
The second period again proved the Wolves ultimate undoing, as it came after they yielded 11 goals to Cherry Creek in a 20-10 loss in their regular season finale.
Kent Denver scored just four times, but took a 7-3 lead into halftime and expanded the lead with the first goal of the second half as well.
Ryland Clay sparked a streak of three straight Grandview goals in the third period, however, as Dylan Lander converted a Josh Melton pass into a goal on the run and Melton also scored to make it 8-6 after three periods.
The Sun Devils scored the first two goals of the final quarter to gain just enough breathing room to hold off the desperate Wolves.
Note: Grandview dropped to 4-10 all-time in the playoffs, stretching back to 2001. The Wolves have gone down in the first round of the playoffs seven times, but won their postseason opener in 2005, 2006 and 2007.
Courtney Oakes is Sports Editor of the Aurora Sentinel. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. FB: Aurora Prep Sentinel
(4) KENT DENVER 12, (13) GRANDVIEW 8
Score by periods:
Grandview 3 0 3 2 — 8
Kent Denver 3 4 1 4 — 12
Grandview goals: Josh Melton 2, Cooper Snowbarger 2, Ben Warren 2, Ryland Clay, Dylan Lander. Kent Denver goals: Markus Bosick 4, Ryan Bergner 2, Zander Ellis 2, Chazz Highum, Joe Rassenfoss. Grandview assist: Melton. Kent Denver assists: Ellis 3, Bergner, James Crossman.