St. John the Baptist sure didn’t play like a fatigued team without its best player Thursday.
Without Tim Nowak (injured) and playing for the fifth time in seven days, SJB defeated host St. Mary’s, 8-2, in a CHSAA boys lacrosse game. Filling the void left by Nowak, who coach Larry Collins describes as the quarterback of the offense, Christian Turri racked up three goals and an assist.
“Turri is such a good athlete and it’s hard to guard him one-on-one. If he gets covered by a short stick, he can run past him and take advantage of that matchup,” Collins said. “They weren’t giving him any special attention; there was no double team.”
Turri’s hat trick supported a 7-1 advantage after the first half. Collins said he was most satisfied with his team’s unselfish play offensively. In addition to Turri, four other players scored — Charles Lloyd (two goals), Kyle Portera (one), Nick Aquino (one) and Nick Annitto (one), with Connor Bruno assisting on two goals.
Patrick Joy, St. John the Baptist’s top defender, held St. Mary’s top scorer, Tim Ahern, in check (one goal). The team also caused many turnovers, leading to transition offense, Collins said.
“Pat’s our leader and we knew going in that Ahern was their main guy and we had to keep him down,” added Collins.
After losing four straight games, including an 8-7 loss to four-time defending CHSAA champion St. Anthony's, the Cougars havee won two straight and assurance is mounting.
“The kids got a lot more confident after that game against St. Anthony’s,” Collins said. “I don’t think we have been that close to them in a long time.”
Nowak hopes to be ready to play for Monday’s home game against Chaminade.
“It was very important for us to win this game against St. Mary’s, but also to keep getting better,” Collins said. “We played five games in the last seven days so the boys need some rest for Monday against Chaminade.”