PLANO — The Highland Park lacrosse team’s regular season ended April 18 with an 8-4 loss to St. Mark’s. The Scots’ postseason ended Saturday in exactly the same way.
The Lions roared out to a 5-0 lead in the first half of the Texas High School Lacrosse League Division I State Championship semifinals. St. Mark’s was dominant in the first quarter, keeping the Scots on the defensive.
“In the game of lacrosse, it’s all about ground balls,” Highland Park head coach Derek Thomson said. “Ground balls equals time of possession, and they outworked us on the ground.”
St. Mark’s offensive outburst included goals by junior attackman Tommy Addy in the first and final minutes of the first quarter.
“We had a lot of confidence going into the game,” Addy said. “We just came out swinging, and after that, we just kept rolling.”
Highland Park (14-3) got two goals in the third quarter from sophomore midfielder Kevin Ken. Unfortunately for the Scots, St. Mark’s senior midfielder Danny Koudelka also scored twice in that period.
“The first game, we didn’t really come out firing because we had the No. 1 seed locked in for the playoffs,” Ken said. “And in today’s game, they just played better than we did. There’s nothing we could do. We didn’t play to our potential, but they just outplayed us today.”
Ken moved up to the Scots’ Division I team this season after playing on the Highland Park squad that secured the Division II championship in 2012. Highland Park and St. Mark’s met in the Division I title game in 2012, 2010, and 2009, with the Scots coming out on top each time.
St. Mark’s also lost in the 2007 championship game. The Lions (17-3) will try to secure their first Texas High School Lacrosse League title on Sunday against ESD (15-6). The Eagles beat Jesuit (14-4) on Saturday when Richie Loftus broke a 5-5 tie with 11 seconds left.
“St. Mark’s is playing like we did last year,” Thomson said. “They got hot at the right time of year. I don’t know if they were more talented than us, but I certainly know they played more as a team.”
The championship game is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. at John Clark Stadium.