By Chris Goldberg
TopLaxRecruits.com, Posted 7/26/20
BEL AIR, Md. – Big 4HHH looked fresh and strong, not what one might expect from a team playing its fourth game in just over 4 hours today in mid-90’s heat.
The main event was the championship game of the 2022 AA South Division in the Victory Events Liberty National Elite vs. Philly rival Dukes Elite at Cedar Lane Park.
Big 4HHH turned up the heat as seven different players scored in a 9-2 victory.
“We played four back-to-back games and we were all tired, but our off season work has paid off,” said attackman Colin Michener (Penn Charter), who had a goal and an assist. “Everyone is in pretty good shape.
“The offense has started to work a lot better. Everyone hit singles; no one was going for 8 goals. We played well all-around.”
Michener scored the game-winner in the semifinal, a thrilling 9-8 victory over the West Coast Starz. Earlier today, Big4HHH toppled PA Roughriders, 6-4, and Cavalier, 12-3, to finish pool play at 4-0.
Jack Pilling (La Salle) and Dean Scalamandre (Council Rock North) each had two goals to lead Big 4HHH in the final vs Dukes. Josh Lee (Germantown Academy), Drew Bown (Springside Chestnut Hill Academy), Jack Liss (Germantown Academy) and Max Busenkell (Garnet Valley) each scored once.
Michener, Pilling and Busenkell all said that their hard work during the lockdown has helped during the return to the field.
“I definitely think, in my biased opinion, we (Penn Charter Quakers) could have made a run at the Inter-Ac this year,” he said. “Basically, we all, as teammates, held each other accountable. We had groups of six or seven people for workouts. We used the BAND app and watched everyone work out. It was kind of addicting.”
“It was definitely tough trying to work out on our own,” added Pilling. “It’s different than getting into the wright room with the whole team and being competitive.
“But definitely the transition to playing on a full field is a lot harder than training on our own.”
Pilling said Big4HHH has picked up its game since returning to the field last weekend at the National Lacrosse Federation kickoff tourney at the Kirkwood Soccer Complex (DE).
“That (win over Dukes) was probably our best game of the summer,” Pilling said. “The offense was clicking and we didn’t try to do too much. We, as our coach says, hit singles, worked it around and got the easy shot. We weren’t doing that in prior tournaments. And our defense was amazing.”
Busenkell, who is ranked among the top 2022s in the nation, said he kept lifting and shooting throughout the lockdown.
“It was tough,” he said. “I know (the Garnet Valley) seniors really wanted it. We lost in the (PIAA Class AAA) semis last year to La Salle and we wanted a rerun.
“I stayed in the weight room. My neighbor had a weight room in his garage and I was keeping a stick in my hands, and I was going to the wall and going to the nearest field and shooting with some of my close friends.”
Busenkell was happy with how his team played today.
“We had a playday the other week and for one game we played like we played today,” he said. “Today we were spinning the ball backside and everyone was playing together. No one was just going to the net; when we do that we’re unstoppable.”
Busenkell said he is not worried about the recruiting scene and how its being affected by COVID-19. No Division I coaches are at events – there were 50 mostly D3 coaches present during the weekend at the Victory showcase and tournament – and it’s unknown if the Sept. 1 start date for live communication between D1 coaches and players will be upheld for the Class of 2022.
“It’s different, we can’t really control that,” Busenkell said. “We are sticking with how it is, getting our film for the coaches of the teams we are interested in and making the best of it.”