The season is on the line for the Buchholz boys lacrosse team, but so is a district championship.
On Friday night at 7 p.m., the Bobcats will host the Class 2A-District 1 title game against top seed Forest (Ocala) with the winner advancing to next week’s FHSAA lacrosse regional playoffs.
Unlike other sports, such as basketball and baseball, that send the district champion and district runner-up to the state playoffs, only the district champion will advance.
On Wednesday night at home, the No. 3 seed Bobcats edged No. 2 seed Niceville, 8-7, in the Class 2A-District 1 semifinals.
The game was close throughout. The host Bobcats led 5-4 at the half and the game was tied 6-6 heading into the final quarter.
Buchholz, which defeated No. 6 seed Leon (Tallahassee), 11-3, in Monday’s quarterfinal, was down two solid midfielders against the Eagles (11-4) but was still able to advance.
“We had to remain poised with the ball and make our offensive reps count,” said Buchholz coach Casey Adams. “It came down to the wire, but the key to winning was having a great faceoff player in sophomore John Haugh. He was excellent all game.”
The top-seeded Forest Wildcats (12-4) defeated Lincoln (Tallahassee), 19-4, in the other district semifinal.
They also defeated Buchholz in Ocala, 14-6, in their only regular season meeting on March 31. The Wildcats scored seven goals in the second quarter to build an 8-2 lead at the half.
“Forest has had a terrific season,” Adams said. “They have a very high-powered offense fueled by two seniors. If we can slow them down and limit their points from those players, we can win.”
Senior Drew Flagg leads Forest with 89 goals, while senior Braeden Forrest is second on the team with 42 goals.
The Bobcats (9-7) will look to their junior leaders Matt Bala and Aaron Lower, who have lead the Bobcats in points this season.