Barnes won 14 of 18 faceoffs and a stingy defense held top-seeded Long Island Express Barracudas (N.Y.) scoreless for 30:31 as 3d Select became the first Western-based team to win the gold medal in the five-year history of the event with a 10-4 defeat of the defending champions in the title game Sunday.
3d Select, with most of its players from Colorado and California, completed a 7-0 run through the field that included two wins over For the Love of the Game (N.Y.) and a 10-7 defeat of third-seeded Dukes HHH (Pa.) in the semifinals.
“This is huge, knowing that the West is rising and we’re making a huge impact on lacrosse,” said Barnes, a rising sophomore at Regis Jesuit (Colo.) High School. “We’re as good as everyone else.”
Or better. Barnes spent a part of the summer learning and honing techniques from FOGO Lacrosse, and the results showed. He won six of eight in the first half and eight of 10 in the second half against the Barracudas’ combination of Sam Nadjari and Kyle Portera.
“All I do really is clamp, try to pinch the ball in the stick and pop it out to start a break,” Barnes said.
Barnes added two assists in the first half, and his off-balance feed to Keaton Komatz with 2:19 left in the first quarter gave 3d Select a 2-1 lead it would not surrender. When Barnes didn’t win a faceoff or if 3d Select turned it over, its defense went to work. After yielding a goal to Daniel Rooney with 6:23 left in the first quarter – one which he bounced off Jimmy Littlefield – 3d Select shut down the Barracudas’ potent offense until 5:52 remained in the game, well after the outcome had been decided. Defenseman Will Weitzel joined goalie Otto Bohan on the Lacrosse Magazine All-Tournament Team (below) from 3d.