Pali High Lacrosse Avenges Loss to Win Invitational Tournament

Jackson Demet celebrates with teammates after scoring in the fourth quarter of last Friday’s L.A. Invitational final.
Photo: Patrick Sherman

By STEVE GALLUZZO | Sports Editor

Early in the second half of last Friday evening’s Los Angeles  Invitational Tournament final in Manhattan Beach, the Palisades High boys lacrosse team clung to a one-goal lead over Brentwood.

Then the Dolphins’ offense erupted, netting  eight unanswered goals and surviving a late Eagles rally to win 15-11, avenging a 14-10 loss to end the regular season.

“That loss had a lot to do with our spring break… we were rusty,” said Emerson-bound middie Jack O’Rourke, who led the onslaught with seven goals and three assists. “We relied more on defense last time but knowing we didn’t have [starting goalie] Luc Schafino for this game we flipped the gameplan. We’re done losing in the first round like we did the last three seasons in the top division so I’m glad I got to experience this my senior year. It’s bigger than winning City because the competition is way harder.”  

Evan Grochola is pumped after the Dolphins’ 15-11 triumph.


Jackson Demet added three goals, Cole Farrell and Alessandro Caso each added two andJames Burks scored once for the second-seeded Dolphins, who were ahead 15-7 mideway through the fourth quarter.

O’Rourke bonded with Coach Kevin Donovan, who took over the program four years ago and is proud of his first graduating class.

“This is a special group for me because these seniors came in the same year I did and have helped me become a better coach,” Donovan said. “They say defense wins championships but I preached the opposite today. I said we’ll win it with our offense. Milo [Sherman] winning 75 percent of his faceoffs      is huge because it gives us more possessions. Not many teams end the season with a win, so I’m happy for these players… it’s 100 percent for them.”