By Tom Robinson, NEPASportsNation.com
KINGSTON – Jack Herron and Matt Swartz took turns setting each other up Tuesday night.
It was not exactly the first time the two have passed to each other with a lacrosse stick in hand.
“Matt and I have been best friends for as long as I can remember,” Herron said after they each scored five goals and assisted on three goals by the other in Wyoming Seminary’s 13-3 romp over visiting Crestwood in the District 2 Class 2A boys lacrosse championship game. “We’ve always been hanging out together and going to the field together every chance we get.
“We’ve always had this goal of a district championship. We’d go to the field or we’d go to our backyards and say, ‘this is going to be us in a district championship game someday’.
“We’ve always been really close and that helped us this season.”
Herron and Swartz won the title in their first high school season together. After attending Dallas Middle School, Herron enrolled at Wyoming Seminary to start high school as a freshman. In this, his sophomore season, he was joined by Swartz, a freshman coming up from the Wyoming Seminary Lower School.
“Every day we work out together,” Swartz said, “just to see it happening is like a dream come true.”
Herron and Swartz made the dream a reality by leading on the offensive end while Wyoming Seminary’s defense was shutting down Crestwood, never allowing more than one goal in a quarter and yielding just five shots in the middle two quarters.
Wyoming Seminary and Crestwood were two of the three teams, joining Delaware Valley, that shared the Wyoming Valley Conference title in the regular season.
The Blue Knights, however, ranked No. 1 in the Riverfront Sports Power Rankings of District 2 teams, have been the hottest in the second half of the season.
Wyoming Seminary (16-2) has won 11 straight, with the last 10 coming against District 2 opponents by a total margin of 165-31. The Blue Knights rolled through the District 2 tournament by a total of 55-13.
Swartz and Herron were big factors early in the game, but it was not until the final minute of the first quarter that the Blue Knights moved ahead to stay and began taking control of the game.
Herron hit the post with the game’s first shot a minute in.
The Blue Knights scored on the second shot 14 seconds later when Swartz fired off a quick shot from in front after Herron beat the defense down the right side.
Brendan Dennis scored the first of his two goals for Crestwood three minutes in to force a tie.
The scored remained at 1-1 and Crestwood had the lead in shots and a two-man advantage for the last minute of the first quarter.
Following a Quinn Kelly save, Wyoming Seminary transitioned up field quickly and Herron scored unassisted, with Wyoming Seminary playing short, connecting with 32.7 seconds left for a 2-1 lead after one quarter.
Wyoming Seminary then fired off the first nine shots of the second quarter, the last two in that streak created goals for a 5-1 lead.
Herron and Swartz set up each other’s goals during that time. Herron scored early in the quarter for his second goal in 1:23. Lucas Barton and Swartz then scored 39 seconds apart.
Wyoming Seminary made it six straight goals, then arrived at halftime with a 9-2 lead.
The Blue Knights held the Comets scoreless for 23:38 while stretching the lead from 8-2 to 13-2.
Chase Pugh connected on an Osten Grigas assist for Crestwood with 1:58 left to complete the scoring.
Bartron finished with two goals and three assists while Kelly had nine saves for Wyoming Seminary. Thomas Iskra also scored.
Wyoming Seminary led 44-21 in shots.
Ethan Zabroski made 14 saves for Crestwood.
Both teams had nine man-advantage opportunities in the physical, sometimes heated, battle. Wyoming Seminary’s defense held Crestwood scoreless in those situations while the Blue Knights scored two goals with the advantage and another while shorthanded.
Both finalists advance into state play with the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association tournament opening May 31. Wyoming Seminary takes on District 4-6 Subregional champion Lewisburg (16-1) at a District 2 site. Lewisburg defeated Crestwood, 14-1, in a non-league game April 9.
Crestwood (13-7) hits the road to face the District 1 champion, either Penncrest (14-5) or Marple Newtown (16-4).