After a 10-goal loss in its league opener a few weeks ago, making the MIAA A Conference playoffs was the farthest thought for Calvert Hall’s lacrosse team. The Cardinals have found their bearings and Friday, put themselves firmly into the postseason picture.

No. 4 Calvert Hall defeated third-ranked Boys’ Latin, 8-7, in overtime at Russo Stadium in soggy Towson. Kyle Basco and Nick Steele each scored two goals and Shuey Kelly added a goal and three assists.

Basco’s goal, with 2 minutes, 38 seconds left in the extra session was the magic score for the Cardinals (8-4 overall), who overcame a four-goal first half deficit, to improve to 5-2 in the nation’s toughest high school boys lacrosse league. Calvert Hall sits in third-place behind No. 1 Loyola Blakefield and second-ranked McDonogh with more than a week left in the regular season.

The defending league champ Eagles (7-1 MIAA A) gained a half-game advantage for first with a 14-9 victory over No. 5 St. Paul’s (4-3), Friday in Brooklandville. Loyola Blakefield (6-1) hosts 10th-ranked Archbishop Spalding (2-4) at Hargaden Field in Towson in a rare Saturday afternoon match.

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The top six teams in the standings at the end of the regular season advance to the playoffs. The Cardinals, who lost to St. Mary’s (4-3; defeated Gilman, 11-7, Friday) in the MIAA A opener (13-3), have won five of their last six league decisions.

Basco helped author Calvert Hall’s biggest league win so far this spring. Off a reset, Bacso sprinted from behind the goal. emerging on the left side where he stopped.

He changed direction, changed hands, and rifled home the left-handed low-to-high shot past Lakers goalie Dylan Cadigan, setting off a wild celebration under a steady rain.

“I ran as hard as I could to my right,” said Basco, a senior midfielder. “I knew I had an angle, so I just went low to high lefty rollback. It was just instinct. I only use that shot in practice.”

Boys’ Latin (9-4, 5-2 MIAA A), coming off an impressive 12-5 home win over top-ranked Loyola Tuesday, enjoyed a 4-0 advantage early in the second quarter, but the Cardinals clawed back. Basco, who will play for Bryant University next spring, got Hottle’s pass right in front of the goal and finished, tying the game at 4 with 6:27 left in the third.

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After going scoreless for nearly 20 minutes, Boys’ Latin got a goal from Matthew Higgins with eight seconds remaining in the third to regain the lead. The Cardinals got two scores inside the first two minutes of the fourth as Steele finished a pass from Kelly to gain their first lead.

The squads alternated goals as Duncan Barnes’ unassisted tally for the Lakers, evened things at 7 with 1:56 left in regulation. Boys’ Latin had the ball in the final seconds, but lost possession and the game went to overtime.

Jackson Strickland, who went 16-of-18 on faceoffs, won at the “X” to start overtime. The Cardinals had a shot caromed off of the pipe before a pass hit off a Boys’ Latin stick and out of bounds.

Basco did the rest. Hottle, a Syracuse recruit, had a goal and two assists. Higgins finished with two goals and an assist for Boys’ Latin.

The Cardinals got a major boost Friday from Steele, playing his first game this spring after recovering from knee injury.

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“It’s great to have Nick back,” said Calvert Hall coach Bryan Kelly. “He and Shuey have great chemistry. They could have had a few more goals. He’s been working hard.on his recovery for about eight months, and we’re fortunate he’s been able to practice with us the last few weeks.”

NO. 4 CALVERT HALL 8, NO. 3 BOYS’ LATIN 7 (OT)

Boys’ Latin 2 2 1 2 0 - 7

Calvert Hall 0 2 2 3 1 - 8

Goals: Calvert Hall – Basco 2, Steele 2, Kelly, Collier, Duggan, Hottle,

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Boys Latin – Higgins 2, Walsh, Insley, Meredith, White, Barnes

Assists: Calvert Hall – Kelly 3, Hottle 2; Boys’ Latin - Higgins, Ford, White

Saves: Calvert Hall – Swartz 8; Boys’ Latin – Cadigan 11

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