Though they took wildly varying routes, the East Syracuse-Minoa and Jamesville-DeWitt boys lacrosse teams both got through the opening round of the Section III Class B playoffs.
The no. 4 seed Spartans needed some late heroics to get past Whitesboro 7-6 on Friday night, while the no. 1 seed Red Rams toyed with Cortland Saturday in a 17-0 shutout.
As a result, J-D and ESM got to meet each other Tuesday at Central Square in the Class B semifinals. The winner would face Carthage or New Hartford in Friday night's championship game at Cicero-North Syracuse's Bragman Stadium at 5:30.
Going first, the Spartans and Whitesboro played on even terms in the early going, but ESM's defense tightened, blanking the Warriors in the second quarter and allowing the hosts to sneak out to a 4-2 halftime lead.
Whitesboro came back, pulling within one, 6-5, then tying it early in the fourth quarter. Garrett Smith broke the tie with 6:17 left with his second goal of the night, and ESM again cranked up the defense to keep the Warriors from forcing overtime.
Mike Cummings produced a three-goal hat trick to lead the Spartans' attack. Quadear Mike had one goal and one assist, with James Chayka also scoring and Matt Lyons getting an assist. Matt Letcher played in goal, earning six saves.
J-D had its playoff opener with Cortland in hand long before the fourth quarter. It had a 5-0 edge in the first quarter, then took off in the second period, building the margin on the Purple Tigers to 13-0 before easing up late.
Jake Bratek had six goals in his limited playing time, with Cam Stone getting six assists to go with his lone tally. Jeff Sciera and Peter Goss each found the net twice, with Eric DeJohn adding a goal and three assists. Mac Keehfus, Colin Short and Robby Wengert each had one goal and one assist.