During a lull between the end of the regular season schedule and the Catholic Conference tournament, the St. John’s Prep boys’ lacrosse team wanted to find a way to get out of its comfort zone.
The second-ranked Eagles got all they could hope for from host Billerica Thursday evening in a thrilling nonleague showdown.
Riding an eight-game win streak, Billerica took a 6-1 lead early in the third quarter, but Prep slowly came back behind three goals from senior captain Michael Kelly, and a go-ahead score from Conan Keefe to escape with an 8-6 victory.
“We got exactly what we thought we’d get, which is [Billerica] playing super hard,” said Prep coach John Pynchon.
“I’m thrilled we got the win and executed down the stretch. Now we’ll get back at it, and use this experience to get ready for the Catholic Conference tournament.”
In the first half, Prep (11-1) struggled to find any openings against Billerica’s zone defense. The shots that got past the Billerica defense were mostly gobbled up by sophomore goalie Scott Einarson (12 saves).
Billerica (8-4) jumped out to a 4-1 lead off fantastic individual goals from Myles Jean and Dominic Terrazzano, and two more scores from Conor Doherty off assists from Chris Hunt and John Caserta.
Hunt scored in the opening minutes of the third quarter, and Jean tallied his second goal after a Prep turnover, but the Eagles made few mistakes after falling into a 6-1 hole.
“Guys were frustrated,” said Pynchon. “We weren’t very sharp on the simple stuff, so I think it was more frustration than panic. In the second half came out and kind of trusted the process. We were much more patient offensively.”
Prep moved the ball around the zone until Kelly was able to unload a couple of fierce low-to-high shots for goals. Pat Atkins added a goal and Charlie Wilmot scored with :40 left in the third quarter to make it a 6-5 game.
After Kelly scored his third to tie it up, Prep needed another attack to step up, and with starter Luke Surette out, Keefe made the most of his opportunity, beating Einarson at close range with 1:49 left in the game, just minutes after the Billerica goalie had denied him on a similar shot.
“[Keefe] got stuffed on the breakaway by [Einarson] and then he comes back and buries the winner,” said Pynchon. “We love that resilience.”
Triton 14, Ipswich 9 — Jared Graf made 11 saves and James Tatro tallied six goals and two assists for the Vikings (10-1) in the Cape Ann win. Jared Leonard (6 goals, 2 assists) and Thomas Cahill (2 goals, 1 assist) added big offensive contributions.
Bridgewater-Raynham 13, Plymouth South 2 — Tim Keefe racked up seven goals for the Trojans (9-3, 5-0) in a nonleague win in Plymouth.
Central Catholic 3, Methuen 2 — Sean McCarthy (21 kills) and Jack Roderick (45 assists) helped lead the Raiders (1-10) to the Merrimack Valley win.
Methuen 11, Tewksbury 3 — Will McKinnon stayed hot with five goals and an assist and Ethan Schena made 11 saves for the Rangers (6-7) in a Merrimack Valley Conference win at home. Christian Perez added three goals for Methuen.
Oliver Ames 13, Stoughton 5 — Seniors Remi Creighton and Junior Wyatt Fritchman posted identical four-goal, four-assist efforts for the Tigers (2-10) in a Hockomock League road victory over the Black Knights.
BC High 10, Malden Catholic 1 — The 16th-ranked Eagles (7-6) broke open a two-run game with seven runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to take the Catholic Conference quarterfinal. Junior center fielder Niko Brini had four hits and two RBIs for BC High, which will play at No. 4 St. John’s Prep in Saturday’s semifinals.
Canton 4, Foxborough 1 — Junior lefthander Andrew Middleton threw six strong innings, scattering two hits and one run with 11 strikeouts to lead the host Bulldogs (8-5) in the Hockomock League win. At the plate, Middleton went 2-for-3 with an RBI.
Catholic Memorial 6, St. John’s (Shrewsbury) 3 — Nick DiRito set the tone on the mound, allowing one earned run in 6⅔ innings and Drew DeLucia was 3 for 4 with a double and three RBIs as the Knights (6-7) earned the Catholic Conference Tournament quarterfinal win.
Central Catholic 9, Methuen 0 — The 19th-ranked Raiders (9-5) snapped a two-game losing skid behind a complete game shutout from Ryan Cloutier (9 strikeouts) in the Merrimack Valley regular-season finale.
Cohasset 6, Carver 5 — Luc Nivaud hit a walkoff double for the Skippers (7-3) in the first round of the South Shore League Tournament. Cohasset advances to play Abington in the semifinals Friday.
Dighton-Rehoboth 11, Case 4 — Mason Kulpa belted a two-run homer and Colin McCarthy added a solo shot for the Falcons (7-2) in the South Coast Conference win.
Franklin 3, Attleboro 1 — Alfred Mucciarone allowed one run in five innings to pick up the win and Ryan Gerety had two hits and two runs for the third-ranked Panthers (12-1). With the win, Franklin captured the Hockomock Kelly-Rex Division title.
Lexington 6, Stoneham 0 — Senior Cole Velis tossed a shutout and added two hits at the plate as the Minutemen (8-4) captured the Middlesex League Tournament quarterfinal win. Lexington advances to face Arlington in the semifinals Saturday (10 a.m.).
Mansfield 5, Milford 3 — Anthony Sacchetti (6.1 IP, 8 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 7 Ks) and Cullin Anastasia (2 hits, RBI) paced the host Hornets (7-6) in the Hockomock League win.
Medfield 16, Norwood 3 — Jack Goodman ripped a home run and a double driving in two runs, and Nate Baacke hit two doubles driving in four, as the No. 7 Warriors (15-1) picked up another Tri-Valley victory.
Mystic Valley 12, KIPP Academy 0 — Pitcher Brandon Paris (10 strikeouts) threw a one-hitter, locking down an undefeated season for the Eagles (10-0) to secure the Commonwealth Athletics Conference regular-season title.
North Andover 3, Chelmsford 1 — Nick Ankiewicz launched his first varsity home run and Northeastern commits Brett Dunham and Ryan Griffin combined for 12 strikeouts on the mound for the sixth-ranked Knights (11-2) in the Merrimack Valley Conference win.
Oliver Ames 9, Stoughton 6 — The Tigers (9-5) ended the regular season with their seventh straight win thanks to big performances from Joe Cicchetti (2-for-5, 2 runs) and Nate Fulford (2-for-3, 2 RBIs).
Westport 15, Cape Cod Tech 8 — Max Morotti (2-for-2, 4 runs), Cam Simonin (3-for-4, 3 runs, 3 RBIs), and Chris Wilson (4-for-5, 3 RBIs) led the offensive onslaught for the Wildcats (7-2) in the Mayflower League victory.
Woburn 4, Melrose 0 — Aidan Vining tossed a two-hitter with 10 strikeouts as the Tanners (6-3) advanced to face Reading in the Middlesex League Tournament semifinals.
Billerica 17, Dracut 7 — Paige Murphy (6 goals, 1 assist), Sara Macleod (4 goals, 1 assist), and Julia Trainor (3 goals, 1 assists) led the Indians (7-7) to a Merrimack Valley Conference win in the regular-season finale.
Brookline 16, Framingham 3 — Kaylin Kirrane stopped 17 shots in net and Aine Downey netted six goals for the Warriors (3-6) in the Bay State Conference win.
Hanover 11, Scituate 7 — Senior captain Clare Connolly and senior Anna Tedeschi each netted three goals for the host Hawks (8-4) in the Patriot Cup semifinal win. Sydney Weber and Marj Tobin added two apiece for Hanover, which will play Duxbury in Monday’s final.
Medfield 18, Ashland 6 — Kelly Blake netted five goals and two assists, and her sister, Kathryn, (3 goals, 3 assists) and Annie McCarthy (2 goals, 3 assists, 7 caused turnovers) helped propel the Warriors (11-3) to the Triple-Valley League win.
Needham 15, Newton North 9 — Kenzie Macgillivray potted four goals for the 12th-ranked Rockets (8-4) in the conclusion a game suspended Tuesday because of weather. Grace Kelley, Maddy Foster, Kenzie Kelly and Grace Yonchak each scored twice in the Bay State Conference win.
Norwell 18, Mashpee 4 — Allie Connerty rifled in eight goals and collected three assists and Jane Smith added four goals for the Clippers (8-4) in the South Shore Cup semifinal win. Norwell advances to face Cohasset in Friday’s final.
Bridgewater-Raynham 12, Durfee 0 — Pitcher Lilly Welch struck out nine in five innings, leading the Trojans (8-4) to a Southeast Conference Tournament semifinal victory. Julia Shearstone (double, single, 4 RBIs), Jenna Merlino (double, 3 RBIs, 1 run), and Ky Hicks (double, 2 runs, 2 RBI) led the offense for Bridgewater-Raynham.
Chelmsford 13, North Andover 10 — Rachel LaLumiere (3-for-5, 2 runs), Mikaya Alto (3-for-5), Adrianna Capozzi (3-for-5, 4 runs), and Madison Shin (homer, single) powered the Lions (6-8) to the Merrimack Valley Conference win. Shin also made a defensive play to rob North Andover of a home run.
Foxborough 6, Canton 5 — Eighth grader Emma Callahan delivered the walkoff single in the 10th and hurled all 10 frames in the circle for the Warriors (7-5) in the Hockomock victory. Peyton Feldman (3 hits) scored from second for the winning run.
Latin Academy 4, Masconomet 3 — Alanis Toledano led the Dragons (15-3) to a pair two non-conference wins, going 7-for-7 with seven RBIs at the plate, including the go-ahead home run in Game 2. The sophomore also struck out 10. LA won the opener, 14-3.
Lowell 3, Billerica 0 — Junior Giana LaCedra continued her mastery in the circle, firing a 1-hitter for her ninth straight shutout while striking out 14 for the second-ranked Red Raiders (12-1) in the Merrimack Valley Conference victory. LaCedra lowered her earned run average to 0.22 while raising her season strikeout total to a staggering 215 (she has walked nine). Mia Ly knocked in all three runs and was stellar at first base. Christina Panagioptopoulos had two hits. Lowell plays at Billerica Friday night.
Mansfield 10, Milford 6 — The host Hornets broke a 5-5 tie with four runs in the second inning on the strength of a double from Ashley Conley, a single from Nicole Kobasa, and another single from Abby DeCoste (2 for 3, 3 RBIs) for the Hockomock League win. Alanna Conley was 3 for 3 for 3 RBIs.
Marblehead 6, Saugus 5 — Madi Monahan blasted a two-run homer with two outs in the top of the seventh to power the Magicians (6-6) in Northeastern Conference action.
Methuen 16, Central Catholic 4 — Stephanie Tardugno (2 for 2, 4 runs, 4 RBIs, 4 walks) and Jenny Grelle (3 for 5, 2 runs, 2 RBIs) powered the visiting Rangers (8-5) in the Merrimack Valley Conference win.
Natick 5, Needham 4 — Junior catcher Jess Brill went 3-for-4 with a double, 2 stolen bases, and 2 runs scored and classmate Juliana Kiley went 3-for-4 with a RBI and a run scored to spark the Redhawks (14-1) to the Bay State Conference semifinal win. With two outs in the seventh, senior Maddie McCarthy (1 for 3) threw out the tying run at the plate on a relay through shortstop Karina Killelea to Brill at the plate. Senior Katherine Canty struck out 10.
Newton North 5, Walpole 1 — Sophomore shortstop Maya Tuozzolo cracked a triple and knocked in a pair of runs for the 12th-ranked Tigers (12-3) in the Bay State Conference semifinal in Walpole. Junior Ella Maher scattered five hits and did not allow an earned run.
South Shore Voc-Tech 16, Sharon 10 — Freshman Mia Bradshaw went 4-for-4 with 3 RBIs and Mackenzie Jepsen and Rose Earner each were 2 for 4 with 3 RBIs to lead the Vikings (6-4) to the nonleague victory. Seniors Elizabeth Enman, Sarina Moran and Ayla Ludlow all had two hits for the Vikings.
Tewksbury 17, Lawrence 0 — Sam Ryan threw a no-hitter, striking out 12 and went 2 for 4 with 4 RBIs at the plate for the visiting Redmen (7-4). Becca Harris and Paige Talbot each had multiple hits in the Merrimack Valley Conference contest.
Tyngsborough 4, Blackstone-Millville 2 — Carly Dimento went 2 for 3 with two singles and scored a run and Ella Beaulieu struck out 10 in the circle to propel the Tigers (7-2) to victory. Jayden Kelly (1 for 3, one RBI), Isabella Shaffer (3 for 3, one run), Samantha Puma (3-for-3, one run) and Madisyn Decarteret (2 RBIs) paced the Tyngsborough offense.
Woburn 11, Wakefield 5 — Junior Tiffany Bryant went 3 for 4 with a homer, double, and a single to pace the 13th-ranked Tanners (11-0) in the Middlesex League tournament quarterfinal victory.
Apponequet 5, Seekonk 0 — Colin Belmore won, 6-1, 6-0, at first singles, and the pairing of Eldan Kendall/Tate Campeau cruised, 6-1, 6-1, at first doubles leading the Lakers (6-1) to the South Coast victory.
Franklin 5, Attleboro 0 — Liam Marr (6-0, 6-0), Vayshnav Malhotra (6-0, 6-1), and Drew Mahoney (6-0, 6-0) picked up wins at singles, and the duos of Anish Gundimeda/Sameen Shaik (6-1, 6-0) and Thomas Broyles/Jay Gorgas (6-0, 6-1) secured wins in doubles in a convincing Hockomock victory for the undefeated Panthers (13-0).
Marblehead 5, Gloucester 0 — Freshman Mika Garber won, 6-0, 6-0, at first singles and junior Jack Donovan picked up his first win of the season at second singles, 6-3, 6-2, for the Magicians (7-2) in the Northeastern Conference win. Senior co-captain Christopher Thompson and junior Aidan Ryan secured the win at second doubles, 6-1, 6-4, with the last game going to deuce multiple times.
Plymouth South 3, Hingham 2 — Griffin Laverty netted a 7-6 (5), 6-4 victory, Noah Dudley a 6-7 (4-7), 6-1, 6-4 win, and Colby Consolati rallied for a 1-6, 6-4, 6-3 triumph to secure the Patriot Cup semifinal victory for the Panthers (10-3).
Central Catholic 5, Lowell 0 — The tandems of Maggie Smith/Grace Caldwell (8-1) and Bella Mooney/Maria Mataac (8-0) came away with convincing wins at first and second doubles for the Raiders (7-3) in the Merrimack Valley victory.
Methuen 5, Lowell 0 — The Rangers and Red Raiders played 8-game pro-sets in this Merrimack Valley contest. Abby Poulin won 8-0 at first singles to help lead the Rangers (2-1) to the win.
North Andover 4, Tewksbury 1 — Nicole Fischer won a tiebreaker, 10-8, in the first set at first singles and closed out her with, 6-1, to help the Scarlet Knights (4-4) pick up the Merrimack Valley victory.
Stoughton 3, Oliver Ames 2 — Ally Lada (4-6, 6-0, 6-4) and Lena Allie (4-6, 6-4, 6-3) scored comeback victories at first and second singles to help the Black Knights (4-9) secure the Hockomock win.
Winchester 5, Watertown 0 — Winchester (11-0) dropped just four total sets in rolling to the Middlesex League quarterfinal win. Claire Lupien and Caroline Fredey swept their matches at first and second singles.
Lowell 3, Billerica 0 — Bu Reh (31 assists, 4 kills), Izaviah Hong (11 kills), and Tyler Nguyen (10 kills, 7 digs) led the Red Raiders (9-1) in the Merrimack Valley contest. Ankeet Patel had nine kills for Billerica.
Lowell Catholic 3, Greater Lowell 0 — Luke McFadyen (30 assists), Josh Barahona (14 kills), Patty Nangle (4 blocks, 5 kills), and John Nangle (11 kills) carried the Crusaders (6-0) to the Commonwealth win.
Westford 3, Lincoln-Sudbury 2 — Junior Matthew Zegowitz recorded 17 kills and five blocks and senior Fabian Arnold added 11 kills and three aces for the Grey Ghosts (8-2) in the Dual County League win.
Belmont 28, Lincoln-Sudbury 21 — Brigham McMullin, Chris Lynch, Caleb Christiansen, Jake Cornelius, and Simrin Bakhshi powered the Marauders (3-0) to victory in their regular-season finale. Belmont will be the first or second seed in the MIAA Tournament.
Colin Bannen, Matt Doherty, Adam Doucette, Emma Healy, and Craig Larson contributed to this report. To report scores, call 617-929-2860/3235 or email email@example.com.