Cheyenne Mountain falls in lacrosse semifinals again

0
Photo - Cheyenne Mountain coach Mike Paige talks to sophomore August Johnson in the first half of the Indians' 15-6 loss to Dawson in semi-final playoff action Wednesday, May 18,2016 in Lafayette, Colorado. Photo by Mark Reis, The Gazette
Cheyenne Mountain coach Mike Paige talks to sophomore August Johnson in the first half of the Indians' 15-6 loss to Dawson in semi-final playoff action Wednesday, May 18,2016 in Lafayette, Colorado. Photo by Mark Reis, The Gazette

HIGHLANDS RANCH - Cheyenne Mountain's August Johnson fired a shot with so much force it ripped through the twine and flew out of the back of the net.

Holey nets aside, though, the Indians never could bust through Wednesday against Valor Christian in a 4A boys' lacrosse semifinal.

Grayson Goodyear and Lance Tillman each had six goals for the second-seeded Eagles, who answered every momentous push from the third-seeded Indians in their 17-9 win.

Cheyenne Mountain (13-5) had the lead early, but Valor Christian (14-4) pulled away in the second quarter.

The Eagles scored seven straight in a span of 3 minutes and 37 seconds to go up 11-3 with 1:24 left in the half.

"It's all a game of momentum," Johnson said. "We scored those early goals and we were feeling good. It kind of scared us when they came back."

The Indians were eliminated in the semifinals for a third consecutive season.

"We're 13-5, I mean we had a hell of a season," Cheyenne Mountain coach Mike Paige said. "Like I told our boys, I don't want them to hang their head. This has been an amazing season."

Johnson finished with three goals and two assists and Wiley Burkett also scored three times for the Indians. It was the second loss of the year to Valor Christian, which had a 22-8 victory at Cheyenne Mountain on April 6.

The Indians controlled pace early as Burkett scored the game's opening goal on the backend of a methodical possession with 10:21 left in the first. Johnson then added another for the Indians to make it 2-1 seven minutes later.

The Eagles got three goals from Goodyear in the first, including two in the last two minutes to take a 3-2 lead. They then scored seven unanswered in the second before Jack Bell's goal with 38 seconds left in the half.

Paige said his team was undone by "unforced errors".

"We knew this team was so good that we couldn't have unforced errors," he said. "Valor put it to us again today. They're tough."

The Indians came out in the third with life as Johnson punctured the net to cut the deficit to 12-7.

After the net was sewn back up, though, the Eagles answered with three goals in the last 1:01 of the quarter.

The final horn spelled the end of a career for 10 seniors on Cheyenne Mountain.

Bell, a senior captain, said their mark on the program will be remembered as a whole.

"What we have pride in is the fact that we're all homegrown," Bell said. "A lot of us have played together for 10 years since third grade. ... It's a good time being able to be a part of a team with guys you've grown up with and you fought side by side with for years."

Valor Christian will face No. 1 Dawson School on Friday.