That changed quickly over the next 12 minutes.
Shaler Larmon had two goals and two assists in a 6-0 second quarter that put the Millionaires on top for good en route to a 13-3 win over McCann Tech and a berth in next week’s regional title game against Pittsfield.
“I think we opened up more and moved the ball,” Larmon said of Lenox’s dominance in the second quarter. “When we can move the ball, we play better. I think in the first quarter, we were forcing too many passes.
“When we slow it down and take our time, I don’t think there are many teams that can stop us.”
Larmon was one of three Millionaires with a hat trick on Thursday. Paul Naventi and Luke Gamberoni each scored three goals; Gamberoni also had three assists. Kitson Stover scored twice.
Jeffrey Larmon made seven saves to earn the win in goal as Lenox won its fourth straight to improve to 17-1 this spring.
Head coach Brett Larmon was not too happy with what he saw early on as Lenox shook off the rust after a six-day layoff.
“We came out a little sloppy in the beginning, thinking we were going to beat everybody,” Brett Larmon said. “But we calmed it down a little bit. They tried to shut Shaler down most of the game, just had a short guy on him, chasing him around. But we camped him in the middle for a while, and that seemed to work.”
It also worked to have Shaler Larmon finding his open teammates as he has done all season.
Lenox’s first two goals of the decisive third quarter came when he set up Gamberoni and Ian Mack to give Lenox a three-goal cushion.
But the real damage came in the closing minutes of the half, when Lenox scored four times in the last five minutes of the quarter to go into half-time up, 9-2.
“We wanted to come out here and compete against a very talented Lenox team,” McCann Tech coach Marshall Maxwell said. “We stuck in there in the first quarter. We knew we could compete with them, but we knew they’re such a good team that if you hurt yourself, which we did in the second quarter …
“I think we were man up three times and turned ourselves over. When you play against a good team, and you have those opportunities where you’re a man up, you’ve got to fill the net. It’s a 3-2 game when that happens, maybe we get a couple of goals … and maybe it’s 5-4, but now it’s 5-2. You’re giving them extra opportunities, and with an offense like that, you just can’t give them extra opportunities.”
McCann Tech’s Colby Marko opened the scoring in the second minute of the game, converting an assist from Max Morin to give the Hornets their only lead at 1-0.
Lenox scored the next three: one from Shaler Larmon and two from Stover, to go ahead, 3-1.
Marko finished the scoring with a goal on what appeared to be a pass that found its way into the net with about a minute left in the quarter.
After Lenox exploded for six goals in the second quarter, the teams combined for just five goals in the second half. It was 10-2, Lenox, before Musa Thomson scored in transition with an assist from Nick Abuisi for the Hornets.
McCann Tech keeper Brody Rhinemiller made eight saves.
The Hornets (9-8), like the Millionaires, have qualified for the state tournament that gets underway a couple of days after Lenox and Pittsfield decide the Western Mass crown at Berkshire Community College.
“This is one of the hardest working teams I’ve ever had,” Maxwell said of his squad. “They’ve made McCann proud. I’m proud of them. Every day, all I ask of any of these kids is, ‘Show up and work, be a good teammate, be a good member of the community,’ and this team did it every single day.
“It’s been a pleasure to coach this team. We still have state playoffs, there’s still a little bit of lacrosse for us, but I truly have enjoyed being around them. And the coaching staff. I had a couple of coaches with me this year. Last year, I was by myself, and I have a couple of great coaches who helped me out this year, Coach Lange and Coach Kelly.
“It’s a good group of kids. I love being around them.”