SUWANEE -- Lassiter strung together successive 4-0 runs in the first and second quarter to pull away and defeat North Gwinnett 15-9 in opening round Class AAAAAA state lacrosse playoffs on Wednesday.
"That is a well-coached, well-trained team," North coach Scott Tinney said of the Trojans (16-2). "We were trying to get our team on the same page, but they were able to do it more consistently."
After an initial feeling-out period with each team trying to attack the other's defense and failing, North struck first as Spencer Howey cut in from the side and scored to give the Bulldogs a 1-0 lead.
"Spencer Howey, one of our five graduating seniors, tried to set the tempo, but we couldn't sustain it," Tinney said of the opening goal.
Lassiter went on a three-goal run to end the first period up 3-1 against the host Bulldogs (15-3).
As the second quarter started, the Trojans completed their first four-goal run on a score by David Olson, one of his five tallies on the evening for Lassiter.
Down 4-1, North responded with goals by Luke Printz and Sam Gasta within 20 seconds of each other and at the 9:16 mark of the second quarter the Lassiter lead had been trimmed to 4-3.
But that would be as close as North come to ever sniffing the lead in the game. Lassiter put four goals on the board before halftime to take a comfortable 8-3 advantage into the break.
Printz tallied again to open the third quarter, but Lassiter responded with three of its own before Colton Garvin's goal for the Bulldogs made the score 11-5.
Gasta and Nathan Howell scored in the final quarter for North as they now look ahead to next season.
"We have a great group of juniors and sophomores and our freshmen are really contributing due to the youth league," Tinney said. "I'm excited about where we go from here."