Slower pace means Hawks have to grind out win against South Fork


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Viera High's Gavin Wessel (in white) tries to race past a South Fork defender during Thursday night's Class 2A, District 8 boys lacrosse game. Wessel had a goal and an assist and won all 14 of his faceoffs as the Hawks won 11-1.

VIERA VOICE Carl Kotala

The Viera High boys lacrosse team wasn’t able to get out and run as much as it wanted to Thursday night.

But that didn’t stop the Hawks from dominating visiting South Fork.

Nate DePlancke scored five goals and had five assists and Gavin Wessel went 14-for-14 on faceoffs as the Hawks defeated the Bulldogs 11-1.

“That was a frustrating game,” Viera coach Bo Bartlett said. “They play a zone, and our guys like to get out and run. We don’t see a lot of zone. With a zone, you have to be patient. And I have a lot of impatient players.

“If you’ve ever watched the NCCA (men’s basketball) tournament, Princeton slows the ball way down and frustrates those fast teams. That was happening to us tonight.

“We were finally able to get some good breaks on them and started to really push the ball where they couldn’t get into their zone and we were able to move the ball a little better. It was just one of those grind-it-out games.”

The Hawks led 1-0 after the first quarter and 4-0 at the half before picking up their game in the second half.

Matt Lynch had two goals and an assist for Viera (7-2). Wessel, Jared Weiss and Trevor Williams all had a goal and an assist. Tracy Tucker had an assist. Freshman Ethan Discuillo, just called up from the JV team, also had a goal.

Goalie Austin Jensen had three saves.

“I think we played pretty good,” Wessel, a junior co-captain, said. “We need to clean up the passes, settle the ball more.”

Viera’s offense certainly had plenty of time to work the ball considering the Hawks controlled possession for much of the contest. A big part of that had to do with Wessel’s success on faceoffs.

“I do (like taking faceoffs),” Wessel said. “They’re fun. At the start of the game, (it helps) get the tempo going early. If you can win that first one and go down on a fast break and score right away, the tempo gets really good and your teammates get pumped up and everything.”

The Hawks were able to execute one of those fast break goals off the faceoff Thursday night, but for the most part, Viera had to try to stay patient against the South Fork zone.

Being able to control possession made that a much easier task.

“It makes it so much easier. We control the game when we’re on our offensive side. We have enough players, good players, to be able to make those outside shots when we need to.”