It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish. The phrase is commonly uttered when it comes to sports.
On Tuesday, the Davis High boys lacrosse team’s performance was a testament to the veracity of that adage, as the Blue Devils came roaring back from an early deficit to beat Bella Vista, 10-5, at Brown Stadium.
The game started poorly for DHS (3-1) as the Broncos took advantage of a few defensive lapses to jump out to a 3-0 first-period lead.
However, once the second quarter started, the Devils took control with five consecutive goals.
Davis’ scoring onslaught started when senior Mark Bruemmer found his way through a man-down Bronco defense, and quickly continued on a strike from Griffin McNamara — off a pass from Daniel Rowen — with 6:28 left before halftime.
Four minutes later, senior Logan Davis added a goal of his own, setting up his shot with a litany of moves. Moments later, Bruemmer scored two quick goals by coming from behind the net and wrapping around. The second of those two — which completed a first-half hat trick — saw Bruemmer spinning inside after coming from behind the goal.
“When we needed a goal, Mark was there,” said Blue Devil coach Nick Juri. “He found a weakness and just exploited it.”
DHS’ offensive outburst continued after intermission when Ryan Amesbury converted off of an assist by Liam Neville with 9:53 left in the third quarter. That tally completed a 6-0 run that put the Devils ahead to stay.
“I liked how they bounced back from a slow start,” Juri said. “Putting up six unanswered goals … that felt good.”
The Broncos finally stopped the bleeding with less than a minute remaining in the third, closing the gap to 6-4. But that was as close as they would come as Davis found the net four more times in the final period.
Bruemmer finished with five goals and one assist to pace the Blue Devils, with McNamara, Davis, Amesbury, Neville and Sam Eaton each scoring one. Jake Hammond won 11 face-offs, many of them leading directly to a DHS goal.
“It helps when you’re able to possess the ball on almost every face-off,” Juri said. “Hammond did a great job of that. (You) can’t lose if you have the ball the entire time.”
Hammond also scooped up a team-high six ground balls, while Rowen added five.
The Devils’ next matchup is a Friday night home game against Monte Vista, a team Juri expects to provide a good test:
“We need to come out here and play the best game we’ve played all season if we want to have a chance against those guys. They’re good. We know what’s coming.”
— Reach Spencer Ault at firstname.lastname@example.org