MOUNTAIN LAKES – All that could stop Mountain Lakes’ title pursuit on Saturday was the weather.
But even Mother Nature could only hang on for so long.
The Lakers conquered the elements and second-seeded Glen Rock, 18-6, in the North Group 1 boys lacrosse championship at Wilkins Field.
While Mountain Lakes has won all nine sectional titles since the tournament’s inception, none were quite like this one.
The coronation was put on hold for nearly two hours in the fourth quarter when thunder and heavy rain hit the region. The Lakers retreated to their locker room and kept tabs on championships around the state before getting the go-ahead to return.
“You can’t win the big one without winning this one,” senior Reid Tietjen said. “So it’s obviously a great feeling.”
The Lakers (18-1) came out firing with nine different scorers and a depth of talent that defies the norm for a small public school.
Of course, the ball was in their hands for most of the game with the Hernando brothers – Jordan and Justin – winning 22 of 27 draws.
Tietjen was the beneficiary with four goals and five assists, including a backbreaker shot with about a second left in the first half. The Haverford commit spun off a double team and scored to put the Lakers up five at the break.
“We constantly have the ball in every game we play,” Tietjen said. “It’s great for a guy like me who’s playing attack.”
What it means
Mountain Lakes advances to play Haddonfield in the Group 1 final on Wednesday at a time and place to be announced.
Playing into June has become an annual tradition for the Lakers, who have won three straight group titles and rank second all-time behind Delbarton with 15.
The common thread is coach Tim Flynn, who now has a state-record 711 wins after starting the program in 1980.
“Coach Flynn and all of his guys get us ready every year no matter what group we have,” Tietjen said. “It’s really a testament to them.”
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Glen Rock (15-4) is a perennial power in its own right, despite falling to Mountain Lakes in all four trips to the sectional final.
Panthers’ coach Joe Voto praised his senior leadership including midfielder Will Consoli, who leaves as one of the top scorers in Bergen County history. The cupboard won’t be bare with an unusually large freshman class.
“We have a lot of really legit freshmen that may not have gotten a lot of time this year because of our senior leadership,” Voto said. “We’re going to be just as dangerous.”
Delaying the inevitable
Mountain Lakes allowed the first two goals but left no doubt after scoring eight of the next nine.
Kevin Gillespie chipped in a hat trick, while Cade Schuckman and Jimmy Elliott both finished with two goals apiece for the Morris County school.
The Lakers wore “relentless” stickers on the back of their helmet and the motto was put to the test during an hour, 45-minute delay midway through the fourth quarter. A 16-6 lead kept the mood fairly light despite the constant stop and starts in the locker room.
“Everybody was soaking wet,” Penn-bound senior Ryan McLaughlin said. “It was rough.”
“We were practically out the door when they said we had another 30-minute delay.”
The 6-foot-5 McLaughlin (four points, four ground balls at long-stick middie) held the fort on defense with poles Gavin Ananian, Nate Holliday and Lucas Sawransky.
Sean Farrell is a high school sports reporter for NorthJersey.com. For full access to live scores, breaking news and analysis from our Varsity Aces team, subscribe today. To get breaking news directly to your inbox, sign up for our newsletter and download our app.
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This article originally appeared on NorthJersey.com: Mountain Lakes boys lacrosse downs Glen Rock for 9th straight section title