PORTLAND — Joe Kerwin conceded that before the season began, expectations were minimal for Bend High.
Safe to say, Kerwin said, the Lava Bears have far exceeded preseason projections. That is why Tuesday’s result was not overly disheartening for Kerwin, Bend’s boys lacrosse coach.
In the second round of the Oregon High School Lacrosse Association state playoffs, the Lava Bears were outscored 10-1 in the second half in suffering a 13-3 loss to Sunset.
“It’s definitely a step up in the level of play — a lot more athletic team,” Kerwin said. “I was hoping it would be a little closer of a game. But we were expecting a much more physical game.”
James Rockett, Chance Beutler and Cade Hinderlider each scored for Bend (15-4 overall), which was seeded No. 10 in the 24-team bracket. Bryant Jolma and Eli Pite had an assist apiece for the Bears, and Lake Larsen was credited with 15 saves in goal — nine in the second half alone.
“He had a great game,” Kerwin said of his goaltender. “He definitely came to play. He was focused. ... He was attacking the ball. He kept us in the game for a while.”
Sunset jumped out to a 2-0 lead before Bend evened it up midway through the second quarter. After grabbing a 3-2 halftime lead, the No. 7 Apollos posted two straight scores to open the third and logged eight unanswered goals to close out the victory.
“Their (midfielders) really started to step up,” Kerwin said of Sunset. “They had a great second half. They did a good job of riding us. ... I think they were pretty dominant all day. They were coming up with possessions and starting to wear down on us a little bit.”
Jacob Leonard had three goals and an assist for Sunset (10-10), Will Jellison logged two goals and an assist, and Bill Miller scored twice for the Apollos, who will face West Linn in the quarterfinals on Friday.
“There was no sign of a young team out there,” Kerwin said about the seasonlong performance of his squad, which graduated 13 seniors from last season. “We were never really waiting around for something to happen. We were making things happen.”