Troy — Entering Saturday's Division 1 boys lacrosse state final, Birmingham Brother Rice had never lost in the championship game, especially to rival Detroit Catholic Central.
Sophomore Morgan Macko and senior Jason Alessi made sure none of that changed.
Macko recorded six goals and and two assists and Alessi added four goals and three assists as Brother Rice hoisted the state trophy for the 10th straight year in a 23-7 rout of Catholic Central at Troy Athens.
The 23 goals scored and the margin of victory both set a new record for a final since lacrosse became a Michigan High School Athletic Association sanctioned sport in 2005.
It was also the fourth time Brother Rice has defeated C.C. in the title game, which pushes its all-time record versus C.C. to 22-0.
“This is a dream come true almost. You can't even write a movie script like this,” Alessi said. “I'm fortunate enough to go out on top and as a team, that's all you want to do is become champions. We did.”
Brother Rice held a 4-1 lead at the end of the first quarter, but blew the game wide open in the second.
After swapping goals to start the quarter, Brother Rice scored four unanswered goals in a two-minute span to increase its lead to 9-2.
Then after a C.C. goal by Sean Stanners made it 9-3 with 4:50 remaining, Brother Rice rattled off seven consecutive goals to take a 16-3 lead into halftime.
Alessi and Macko keyed the run, combining to score six of the 12 goals while assisting on two others.
“We had a three-goal lead and it's not enough to keep away a team like that,” Macko said. “We rallied around our coach's talk at the end of the quarter and put in work.”
Brother Rice wasn't done working, though. With a running clock in effect the entire second half, it outscored C.C. 7-4 by adding five goals in the third and two more in the fourth. At one point, Brother Rice led 21-3.
“Our guys came out pumped. We had great looks and deflated C.C. early,” first-year Brother Rice coach Ajay Chawla said. “When you take the air out of a team like that, the rest of the game you kind of own it.”
Aside from Macko and Alessi, Brother Rice (18-4) received scoring contributions from seven different players. Joe Dudley and John Lockwood each had three goals, Dan Lunghamer and Liam Reaume each scored twice, and Reid Fisher, Jack Nelson and Cole Hyde all scored once.
“We had great distribution today,” Macko said. “Everyone stepped up when they needed to and we had a lot of output from everyone.”
For C.C. (15-5), Jack Van Acker had three goals, Marc Longe had two, and Connor Murray scored once.
“I think we had our state championship game on Wednesday against Forest Hills Northern. We kind of left it all on the field for that,” C.C. coach Dave Wilson said.
“If I looked at the tape, I'd say out of a 48 minute game we probably had about six to eight minutes of possession time. We're the number one scoring team in the state of Michigan at 15.6 goals a game and we had seven. Give (Brother) Rice credit. They dominated the tempo of the game by keeping possession.”
James Hawkins is a freelance writer.