Bighorns under-15 nab state tournament bid

Madie Whitaker, right, and Emily Giovanetti run toward the goal during the Bighorns' 9-8 loss to Reno. Whitaker scored all eight goals for Oasis.

Madie Whitaker, right, and Emily Giovanetti run toward the goal during the Bighorns' 9-8 loss to Reno. Whitaker scored all eight goals for Oasis.

The Oasis Bighorns under-15 lacrosse team is a legitimate contender for the state title.

Oasis beat Spanish Springs, 8-3, and trounced the Truckee Tribe, 12-3, on Thursday and Saturday, respectively, to earn the No. 1 seed for the state tournament May 16-17 at Spanish Springs High School.

“The guys were thrilled,” Oasis coach John Keitz said. “As a team, we had set the goal of making the championship right from the start.”

Against Spanish Springs, the Bighorns played a tight first quarter with the Cougars, coming out with a one goal lead at the break. Starting the second quarter leading 4-3, the Bighorns defense shut the door, and the Cougars were held without a goal for the remainder of the game.

Goaltender Brendan Leary made several key saves in the second quarter to hold the Bighorns lead, but by the second half, the Bighorns defense led by David Springfield and Mason Lofthouse kept the Cougars from even getting shots on goal.

At the other end, the Bighorns poured in the goals. Attackmen Trey Rooks, Nick Delgado and midfielder Donovan Fermaint each scored twice. Midfielders Anthony Lombardo and Patrick Morrow each added a goal as Oasis clinched a berth in the state tournament.

The U13 Bighorns, meanwhile, and fell victim to the Cougars’ high-octane offense. Spanish Springs jumped out to an early 4-0 lead in the first quarter. Samuel Robertson answered with a goal in the second, but the Cougars added five more.

In the third, Will Swisher scored another for the Bighorns, but the rally just wasn’t there as Oasis lost 15-2.

On Saturday, the U15 Bighorns continued their dominance. Oasis jumped out to 3-1 first-quarter lead and built a 7-2 lead at halftime. Oasis finished the domination of the Tribe in the second half for a 12-3 win.

Oasis’ leading scorer, Rooks had another hat trick as did midfielder Tristan Rodarte. Attackman Nate Keener scored two goals, while attackman Dakota Welch and Fermaint, Luis Orozco and Trent Thorn each added a goal.

In net, goaltender Kaden Stone and Springfield, Lofthouse, Brendan Leary, Dillon Presnell and JayDan Vasquez kept the Tribe’s offense from ever getting set up.

The win clinched the No. 1 seed in the state tournament for the 5-0 Bighorns.

The U13 Bighorns, meanwhile lost 10-3 to Truckee.

“As for the program, we have been growing about as quickly as we can handle already,” Keitz added. “Nevertheless, a state championship, or even a good showing at the championship would provide even more publicity to raise the stature of our program.”

In the second quarter, attackman Matthew Catlin added a beautiful goal off a slick passing play. Midfielder Zane Davis added another unassisted goal off a clean faceoff win and had one in the fourth quarter.

Despite a series of spectacular saves by goaltender Damien Billips and solid defense from Conor Keitz and Josh Bloomfield, the Tribe was too much.

The U13 Bighorns are back in action at home tomorrow against the Spanish Springs Cougars, while both teams travel to Tahoe City to take on the Lakers on Saturday. After that, it’s off to the state lacrosse championship at Spanish Springs High School on May 16-17. The Bighorns and second seed from Las Vegas square off at 9 a.m. on May 16.

U13 Bighorns player Nico Hofheins was selected to the High Sierra Lacrosse League All-Star team for tournament play this summer.

Over on the girls field, with the news of the girls returning to modified U15 rules of stick checking just moments before the game, led the Bighorn players being cautious of being called for a foul on defense. This allowed the Reno Wildfires an advantage as they grabbed a 2-0 lead early in the first half.

Madi Whitaker, though, had a monster game as she tallied eight goals, but Oasis fell 9-8.

Maiya Swan opened the scoring chances with a shot on goal along with Ellie Williams but couldn’t beat the goaltender. Whitaker, meanwhile, charged hard and scored two goals for to tie the game at 2 at halfitme.

Whitaker added three goals in the second half for a 5-2 Bighorns lead. Jaidyn Delgado, Laura Stark and Yamile Stark played aggressive defense but the Wildfires rallied to tie the game at 5.

But Whitaker’s career day kept rolling as she tallied three more goals in the final quarter.

The Bighorns girls visit Reno on Saturday.

Notes: Taryn Barrenchea, Jacilyn Cathey, Jaidyn Delgado, Meeka Erwin, Alanna Muir, Sadie O’Flaherty, Swan and Kailena Vasquez were selected to the High Sierra Lacrosse U15 Wildfire Elite travel team and will compete in the Lake Tahoe Summit Classic Tournament in June.


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