Bryan Garrahan had two goals to lead a balanced offense by No. 6 Archmere (14-3).
The Hillers never trailed but never led by more than two goals, and for all but a span of 1:36 in the game's first 34:54, the game was either tied or Tower Hill gingerly held a one-goal lead.
Miles Bonner tied it 5-5 for the Auks with 5:18 left in the third quarter off an assist from Zachary Revak. Tower Hill led 7-5 through three quarters on goals by Nielsen and Pettit. Pettit assisted the Nielsen goal, with Charles Robino setting up Pettit.
With 8:57 left in the game, Archmere was back within a goal, 7-6, after Garrahan passed the ball to Christopher Thomson, who skipped in the ball from just aside the left side of the net. An underhanded sling by Nielsen from 10 yards, assisted by Tyler Luft, restored Tower Hill's lead to two goals with 5:53 left.
That was the end of the scoring, as Tower Hill goalkeeper Demetrius Murray made five of his 10 saves in the fourth quarter, including two with the Hillers playing a man down for a minute through the 2:23 mark. Tower Hill won back possession soon after that penalty was cleared as passed the ball around the Archmere goal to wind down the rest of the game.
"I know my team needed me," Murray said about his late-game saves. "That's what I told myself and that's what I told my defense, that they needed us."
WILMINGTON -- Tower Hill School won a taut 8-6 tourney thriller Saturday night against Archmere Academy in the quarterfinals of the Delaware High School Boys Lacrosse Tournament. Michael Pettit and Ripley Nielsen had three goals each for No. 3 seed Tower Hill (12-3).
Tower Hill won a regular-season meeting 16-3 on May 5.
"We showed that we can hang with the big boys," said Archmere coach Noel Breger, in reference to the perception that Salesianum, Cape Henlopen and Tower Hill, the top three seeds in the the tournament, are at significant talent level ahead of the rest of the state, "and that's the truth. Anybody can get anybody as long as they work hard through the season."
Hunter Bolling and Robino also scored for Tower Hill. Archmere's other goals were by Ty'Ron Gorman and Brannock Furey.
"That was a big deal," Breger said about some of his "role players," as he described, scoring in such an important game. "That is what's important, that everybody on the team this season had [at least] one point, whether it was a goal or an assist. That's the attitude I instill and I know [Tower Hill coach Brad duPont] instills, too, and if you are going to be a quality team, everybody matters."
Tower Hill 8, Archmere 6
Archmere 3 1 1 1-6
Tower Hill 4 0 3 1-8
Goals-A: Garrahan 2, Gorman, Thomson, Furey, Bonner; TH: Pettit 3, Nielsen 3, Robino, Bolling. Assists-A: n/a 2, Thomson, Garrahan, Revak; TH: Luft 2, Pettit, Robino, Nielsen, n/a, Graham. Shots-A 25, TH 25. Saves-A 17 (Allender, Lin), TH 10 (Murray).
Contact Buddy Hurlock at firstname.lastname@example.org.