Strong third quarter lifts Cheyenne Mountain to lacrosse win

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Photo - Cheyenne Mountain senior Luke Buck (7) controls the ball ahead of Windsor senior Jacob Hardy (13) and junior Andrew Bloss (23) in the first quarter. The Cheyenne Mountain Indians hosted the Windsor Wizards in boys' lacrosse on Friday, March 17, 2017 at Cheyenne Mountain High School. Photo by Isaiah J. Downing
Cheyenne Mountain senior Luke Buck (7) controls the ball ahead of Windsor senior Jacob Hardy (13) and junior Andrew Bloss (23) in the first quarter. The Cheyenne Mountain Indians hosted the Windsor Wizards in boys' lacrosse on Friday, March 17, 2017 at Cheyenne Mountain High School. Photo by Isaiah J. Downing

Cheyenne Mountain junior August Johnson had just about had enough.

Blanketed for much of the first half by a stingy Windsor defense, it was Johnson's second goal, with 6:55 left in the third quarter, that gave the Pikes Peak No. 1 Indians the momentum it needed in a 10-7 win over Windsor.

The preseason All-American Johnson drove down the left side of the field, shouldered his defender to the ground, and ripped a shot home.

"I don't look at the defender," Johnson said. "I just saw the open green space and took the shot."

Up until Johnson's goal, a game Windsor team had stuck close to Cheyenne Mountain (3-0). The tally, coming when the Indians only held a 6-5 lead, changed what had been a back-and-forth affair.

The Indians scored the next three goals to pull ahead 10-5, an advantage Cheyenne Mountain wouldn't relinquish.

The teams have history - it was Cheyenne Mountain that knocked Windsor (0-3) out in the quarterfinals of last year's 4A state tournament with a 12-7 win.

"There's history there on both sides," Cheyenne Mountain coach Mike Paige said. "We decided we wanted to go head to head with them (this season). We think (Windsor's) a top five or six team in the state, and hopefully this can help us set the tone for the rest of the year."

Edging on chippy at times, the contest was physical throughout.

"Those kids were warriors, and that's something to respect," Johnson said.

Windsor struck first with 9:22 left in the first quarter. A patient Cheyenne Mountain saw a lot of the ball in the frame, and eventually it paid off as junior Jack Paul scored with 6:29 left to bring the contest even.

Windsor pulled ahead with 3:57 left, but senior Jack Clancy tied the game at two less than a minute later. A point-blank save from Windsor goalie Blake Crownover, who did his part in keeping Cheyenne Mountain at bay, kept the game 3-2 after one quarter.

Cheyenne Mountain took its first lead of the game through senior Jack Bell, who drove down close and fizzed a goal past Crownover with 8:54 left in the second quarter. A goal from James LaCerte gave Cheyenne Mountain the 5-4 lead it would bring into halftime.

Paul finished with a hat-trick, Bell and Johnson both had two goals, and LaCerte and Jack Egan rounded out the scoring for the Indians.

Paige thinks the physicality of the battle Friday night will help down the line.