Cheyenne Mountain boys' lacrosse first-round win sets up redemption game against No. 2 Thompson Valley

Photo - Photo by Mark Reis
Photo by Mark Reis

A nine-goal second quarter punched Cheyenne Mountain’s ticket to the 4A boys’ lacrosse second round and set up a ‘redemption game’ for the Indians on Friday against No. 2 Thompson Valley.

Cheyenne Mountain’s 11-8 win over No. 10 Littleton was just another step in a four-year journey according to coach Mike Paige, which for his seniors, is all the motivation they needed heading into the playoffs.

“For the seniors this is their last opportunity and they’re driven to have another day,” Paige said. “Each game is a state championship for them. And to get a redemption game against Thompson Valley, they’re very motivated.”

Although Cheyenne Mountain will face second-ranked Thompson Valley on the road as a No. 7 seed, Paige said if his team played like it did on Wednesday against Littleton, it could beat anybody.

“They played incredible tonight," Paige said of his players. "The second quarter was the best lacrosse we have played all year, it was beautiful. We played relaxed and made them play on their heels, it was spectacular and we just kind of hung on from there.”

Ike Eastburn and Jack Paul had three goals and an assist each for the Indians, while Jack Egan had a goal and five assists. Wiley Burkett found the back of the cage twice, and James LaCerte and Mark Reynolds also scored. Liam Hybl had 10 saves.

But it was Cheyenne Mountain’s faceoff man, Deano Johnson, who Paige said had the biggest contribution.

Paige said Johnson won 19 of 23 faceoffs to help the Indians control the game.

“Every game has a different leader, which shows the quality of this club,” Paige said. “Every night someone has the opportunity to step up and make a mark. Today Deano Johnson controlled the game and got the game ball. But also our defense, our attack, it was all spectacular. A lot of different guys stepped up.”

The Indians will face Thompson Valley for the second time this season. In their first matchup the Eagles claimed a 13-12 come-from-behind victory.

“We were up at one point and then the game went back and forth and they won, but we believe if we play like we did tonight we can play with anyone,” Paige said. “They’re very motivated to redeem that loss.”