WESTERLY — Westerly High turned up the pressure in the second quarter and cruised past Chariho High, 10-4, in the annual Dave Stallman Memorial Lacrosse Challenge on Wednesday at Augeri Field.
The two teams were tied at two after one quarter, but the Bulldogs outscored Chariho 5-1 in the second quarter to take a 7-3 lead at the half.
Westerly was able to pressure the Chargers into a number of turnovers that resulted in quick scores on the other end. Madigan Hiltz won four of six faceoffs that allowed the Bulldogs to control possession.
Rhys Johnstone, who finished with three goals, scored with one second left in the half and added another goal in the first 30 seconds of the second half to give Westerly an 8-3 advantage.
"I thought we had a really good defensive game," said Johnstone, who has 23 goals this season. "We had some errors on offense, but I thought the whole team pulled it together and killed it."
Joe Fusaro contributed two goals and an assist, all in the big second quarter.
"I was just cutting to the crease when they were sliding and it left me open," Fusaro said. "I thought we played really well. The offense moved the ball well and the defense played well, making the slides when they needed to."
Chariho had a man advantage three times in the first half, but could not score on those opportunities.
Chariho, which won back-to-back Division III titles before moving up to D-II this season, dropped to 1-9.
"I think we just lacked effort for two or three quarters," Chariho coach Ryan Mead said. "They outplayed us. I think when it comes down to X's and O's, when you have guys in the right spot and they are playing their best, I think we would have been fine."
Mead said the Chargers could have done a better job of competing on ground balls, clearing the ball and regaining possession after offensive opportunities.
"Those little things add up to 10 goals," Mead said. "They had the ball on offense more than half the game. We couldn't get in a groove or any rhythm."
Nathan Allamby finished with two goals for the Chargers. Nick Corrente and Evan Judkins added a goal each, Charlie Krause finished with two assists and Rogan Wotherspoon had one.
Ben Morrone finished with three goals for Westerly, giving him 36 for the season. Mark Buckley contributed a goal and two assists, and Brandon Chretien had the remaining goal.
Shaye Pasell and Bereket Janat each had an assist.
"I thought we did great in transition," Westerly coach Ted Spencer said. "We won faceoffs, we were really aggressive on the ground and we rode well. It was hard fought both ways, and I think we just executed a little better."
Westerly goalie Brandon Tallardy and his counterpart from Chariho, Adam Leander, both had strong saves several times in the game.
The game is played in memory of David Stallman, who passed away in 2013. Westerly leads the series, 3-2. Stallman was one of the founders of the Chariho program and also active in the Westerly Area Youth Lacrosse league. WAYL sponsors the game. A trophy is presented to the winning team.
Westerly, which moved to 8-2 overall, is back in Division III this year after playing in Division II the previous three seasons, has a league record of 7-2. Both losses were by a goal to Lincoln and Narragansett.
Westerly has five games left on its league schedule before closing the regular season with Stonington.
"This team, I think, can accomplish a lot of things as long as we work as a whole," Johnstone said. "I think we can go all the way and potentially win a championship."
Westerly returns to league play on Friday, hosting Scituate at 6 p.m. Chariho travels to Smithfield on Friday for a 7 p.m. game.