Finals Preview: Champs Again Favorites

June 7, 2013

By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor

Michigan has known only one MHSAA Division 1 boys lacrosse champion, Birmingham Brother Rice. And Grand Rapids Forest Hills Central is the Division 2 power of late, with two titles in three seasons and the possibility of adding another this weekend.

Grand Rapids Forest Hills Northern/Eastern will attempt to break the Warriors' eight-season championship in the Division 1 Final at East Grand Rapids. And Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook-Kingswood should provide a formidable foe to Forest Hills Central as it looks to avenge a regular-season finale loss to the Rangers.

The Division 1 Final begins at 2 p.m., followed by the Division 2 Final at 4:30. Click for more information including all results from this season's tournament. Both finals also will be streamed live on and broadcast on, and shown next week on Comcast. 

Here's a brief look at the four teams vying for titles (player statistics do not include Semifinals): 

Division 1

Record/rank: 17-5, No. 1 at end of regular season
League finish: First in Detroit Catholic High School League Division I
Coach: Rob Ambrose, 20th season (373-45)
Championship history: Eight MHSAA championships (most recent 2012).
Best wins: 19-0 over No. 4 Detroit U-D Jesuit, 14-13 and 16-10 over No. 3 Detroit Catholic Central, 22-9 over No. 2 Clarkston in Semifinal, 13-5 over Division 2 No. 1 Grand Rapids Forest Hills Central.
Players to watch: J.P. Forester, sr. A (66 goals, 19 assists); Graham Macko, sr. A (45 goals, 17 assists); Sergio Perkovic, sr. A/M (49 goals, 26 assists), Jason Alessi, jr. A/M (30 goals, 47 assists).  
Outlook: Brother Rice has won all eight titles since the MHSAA began sponsoring boys lacrosse and had only one scare, against rival DCC, in-state this season. The Warriors finished 3-5 against out-of-state competition facing top teams from Ohio, Indiana and Ontario.

Record/rank: 15-7, No. 6 at end of regular season
League finish: Third in O-K Conference Tier 1
Coach: Mark Lardieri, first season (15-7)
Championship history: Division 1 runner-up in 2011.
Best wins: 10-8 over No. 7 Grand Haven, 14-8 over No. 8 Holland West Ottawa, 13-11 over No. 4 Detroit U-D Jesuit in Regional Final, 11-10 (OT) over No. 5 South Lyon in Semifinal.
Players to watch: Bobby Pelton, soph. M; Connor Sullivan, sr. A/M; Bennett Dipzinski, sr. D. (Statistics not submitted.)
Outlook: Northern/Eastern closed with two losses (including one to Division 2 finalist Cranbrook-Kingswood), but has advanced with three straight wins of two or fewer goals. Northern/Eastern also avenged two of its regular-season losses – coming back to beat both West Ottawa and Division 2 No. 4 East Grand Rapids in their second meetings.

Division 2

Record/rank: 16-6, No. 2 at end of regular season
League finish: Second in Detroit Catholic High School League Division II
Coach: Mat Wilson, second season (31-13)
Championship history: Division 2 champion 2006, runner-up 2007.
Best wins: 16-8 over No. 9 Warren DeLaSalle, 10-8 and 8-6 (Semifinal) over No. 4 East Grand Rapids, 13-10 over No. 3 Pontiac Notre Dame Prep (Regional Final), 17-5 over Division 1 No. 9 Brighton, 13-8 over Division 1 No. 6 Grand Rapids Forest Hills Northern/Eastern.
Players to watch: Matthew Giampetroni, sr. M (67 goals, 38 assists); Taylor Ghesquiere, jr. A (54 goals, 15 assists); Johnny Wagner, soph. A (50 goals, 23 assists), Michael Langdon, soph. D.
Outlook: Half of Cranbrook-Kingswood’s losses came against top-four Division 1 teams, and another was against Norte Dame Prep – a loss the Cranes then avenged in the Regional. They’ll try to do the same now against Forest Hills Central, which beat Cranbrook-Kingswood 15-5 in the regular-season finale.   

Record/rank: 17-3, No.1 at end of regular season
League finish: First in O-K Conference Tier 1
Coach: Tony Quinn, seventh season (115-31)
Championship history: Division 2 champions 2012, 2010; runner-up 2008.
Best wins: 17-2 over No. 9 Warren DeLaSalle, 15-5 over No. 2 Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook-Kingswood, 22-2 over No. 10 Portage Central in Regional Semifinal, 17-4 over No. 8 Haslett/Williamston in Regional Final, 11-8 over No. 5 Detroit Country Day in Semifinal.
Players to watch: Neil Cunningham, sr. A (39 goals, 19 assists); Andrew Kransberger, jr. A (63 goals, 52 assists); Luke Gerard, sr. A (42 goals, 24 assists); Chris Bosscher, sr.  D (44 ground balls).
Outlook: In addition to beating half the top 10 in Division 2, Forest Hills Central also owns five wins over teams ranked in Division 1 at the end of the regular season – including two over Division 1 finalist Forest Hills Northern/Eastern. Those few losses came against No. 4 East Grand Rapids, Division 1 No. 1 Brother Rice and Indiana power Culver Academy. The Rangers have won 12 straight. 

PHOTO: Forest Hills Central's Neil Cunningham (left) looks to pass to a teammate during last season's Division 2 Final. He'll be among key players as his team plays for a repeat championship Saturday. 

State Champs! Network: 2023 Lacrosse Finals Highlights

July 19, 2023


Join Sean Baligian and Greg Durham as we take a look at all of the action from the 2023 Lacrosse State Finals Congratulations to our State Champions:

Division 1 Boys - Brother Rice
Division 2 Boys - Forest Hills Central
Division 1 Girls - Brighton
Division 2 Girls - Detroit Country Day