Steady rain forced the postponement of nearly all the outdoor activities in Montgomery County last week, but Bethesda-Chevy Chase boys' lacrosse coach Alan Pohoryles did not mind a bit.
The rainouts, combined with this week's spring break, have given two of Pohoryles's top players -- senior attackman James Lang and senior midfielder Chris Tittle -- a chance to recover from injuries.
"The rainouts couldn't have come at a better time," Pohoryles said.
Both Lang, the Barons' leading scorer, and Title, their top faceoff man, should be back when B-CC resumes play after the break. But while the extended time off helped the Barons heal, it did put an impressive four-game win streak on hold.
B-CC had two difficult games to open the season, playing a pair of the county's traditional public school powers. The Barons lost their opener, 14-10, to defending Class 3A/2A West Region champion Seneca Valley, then fell to Whitman, 14-5, in their second game.
The Barons routed Kennedy and Einstein, beat Quince Orchard in overtime and then edged Blake.
"We're on a nice little roll," said Pohoryles.
The Barons have a tough slate after the break with games against Poolesville, Walter Johnson and Churchill on tap. The game against unbeaten Poolesville likely will determine the Montgomery County 3A/2A/1A Division champion, but the games against Walter Johnson and defending Class 4A/3A West Region champion Churchill provide a barometer for the Barons' growth under Pohoryles.
In his first season with B-CC last year, Pohoryles took over a team that had gone 3-10 in 2001 and led it to a 10-4 record, the Montgomery County 3A/2A/1A Division title and the Class 3A/2A West Region semifinals. Now the Barons look to take another step.
"B-CC has proved itself in the division, but in order to take ourselves to the next level, we have to beat the Walter Johnsons and the Churchills and the Whitmans and the Seneca Valleys," Pohoryles said. "So those to me are really important games coming up."
The Barons have gotten strong play from senior attack Chris Best, senior defender Joe Norton, junior defender Jeff Hannah and junior goalkeeper Kirby Rootes-Murdy, who played lacrosse for the first time last year.
Colonels Make Haste
Under first-year head coach Dan Haste, Magruder has roared through the first half of the regular season.
The Colonels have lost just once, 14-13 in overtime to unbeaten power Sherwood, and have outscored opponents 66-12 in their five victories.
Magruder's offense, which averages 13.2 goals per game, has been led by the explosive attack of senior Andrew Collins (18 goals, 17 assists), junior Robbie Woods (24 goals, 11 assists) and freshman Scott Little (12 goals, one assist) and senior midfielder Devin Howton (seven goals, 18 assists).
Primarily a goal scorer in the previous two seasons, Howton has become one of the top playmakers in the county.
"He's been doing an excellent job of driving to goal and forcing someone to come to him, and then finding someone open for the score," Haste said. "Andrew Collins has been doing the same thing. They're working so hard offensively that they're creating a lot of off-the-ball movement."
Magruder has allowed just 4.3 goals per game thanks to a defense that includes senior goalkeeper Ryan Kaufman, senior defensemen Greg Lyons (32 ground balls) and Eric Koragaine (16 ground balls), and junior midfielders Marc Crumpler (34 ground balls) and Steven DeHaut (19 ground balls).
Looking Like Landon
Landon entered the season with a young team and many question marks. But after a one-goal loss to Severn in its season opener, the top-ranked Bears had won eight straight heading into Tuesday's game against St. Stephen's/St. Agnes (the game ended too late to be included in this edition).
"I think we're very pleased with where we are," said Coach Rob Bordley. "We look forward to playing [No. 2 Georgetown] Prep next Thursday. That's going to be a big test, and it will tell us where we are."
Senior attackman Jake Byrne has provided two game-winning goals and 40 points.
Bordley's son, senior attackman Austin, has also provided a boost for the young Bears, many times with plays that do not show up in box scores.
"Jake makes many more big plays, but Austin doesn't make bad plays," Rob Bordley said. "He'll pick up six ground balls that you don't notice unless you're a coach. He plays like a coach's son."
Cohen Transforms Wildcats
Hit hard by graduation, Walter Johnson boys' lacrosse coach Jim Collin figured a young squad that includes 10 sophomores and five freshmen would take its lumps this year.
Enter Chad Cohen.
The senior transfer from St. John's has given the Wildcats (5-2) needed experience and savvy on offense and keyed a successful first half of the season.
"He's done a great job," Collin said. "My team would be completely different if we didn't have him.
We'd be a really young team and probably struggling without him, at least offensively. He's really making my offense work."