Baltimore Highlight Girls finish pool play unbeaten, as does Baltimore Command Boys; Baltimore Command Girls suffer first loss, but still clinch their Pool (VIDEO INTERVIEW HERE)

Things did not go well in the early going for Calvert Hall coach Bryan Kelly and the Baltimore Highlight boys squad — for rising high school juniors and seniors — at the 2017 Under Armour All-America Lacrosse Weekend at Towson University on Saturday at steamy Towson University.

Nor did things end well for Baltimore, considering it dropped its first game of the tournament, 10-9, in overtime on a goal by West rising senior attackman Ellis Geis (Foothill High, Santa Ana, Calif.).

It was in the middle of the game and near the end of regulation when the Baltimoreans shined after falling into a 6-0 hole early in the second quarter.

The locals notched consecutive goals by rising senior Calvert Hall attackmen Jacob Kelly and Zach Green, rising senior midfielder Jack Simmons (McDonogh) and rising senior face-off specialist Felix Knorr (Howard) to cut the deficit to 6-4 at halftime.

After the West widened its lead on a goal by rising senior midfielder Quentin Buchman (Santa Margarita Catholic, Calif.), rising senior midfielder Alex Reid (Loyola Blakefield), Kelly and rising senior longstick Michael Ubriaco (Boys’ Latin) answered for Baltimore to knot the score at 7-all early in the fourth quarter.

The West pushed back ahead, 9-7, on tallies by Buchman and rising senior attackman Bernhardt Pederson (Park City High, Utah) before Baltimore drew even again on goals by rising senior attackman Chris Brandau (Boys’ Latin) and rising junior attackman Liam Powderly (McDonogh).

Credit West rising senior goalie Jack Schlendorf (Oregon Episcopal) for making a fine save on Kelly as time expired, which forced the game into overtime.

Baltimore had a couple of possessions in the extra session, but Schlendorf turned away long-range shots and eventually started a fast break that Geis finished after a nice inside feed by rising senior attackman Sam Handley (Jesuit, Portland, Ore).

Bryan Kelly

Bryan Kelly, who was just named the top prep coach in the nation by USA Today after leading Calvert Hall to the MIAA A Conference crown in May, said that his team played well during the rally but was not patient enough in overtime.

“We were playing to end the game, not playing to win it,” he said.

Kelly said there were other issues as well.

“We took a couple of bad shots,” he said. “We have to realize that theses goalies we’re playing against a good, and if you take 15-yard shots fading away, they’re going to make the saves.”

Ultimately, the loss did not hurt Baltimore, as it defeated the South team later in the day to qualify for the playoffs, which get underway Sunday. The crucial battle against the South was delayed because of thunderstorms that rolled through the area.

Contrary to the Baltimore Highlight boys’ travails, the Baltimore Highlight girls finished pool play unbeaten after wins over the West, 16-5, and Upstate New York, 14-9, to earn a bye in the playoffs.

The same can be said for the Baltimore Command boys, who routed Upstate New York, 13-3, to run their record to 4-0 in pool play. They also earned a playoff bye.

The Baltimore Command girls, though, fell to the South, 10-9, to fall to 3-1 and into a tie with Philadelphia in pool play.

However, the Baltimoreans topped Philly, 11-9, Friday to win their pool and gain a bye into Sunday’s playoffs.