Just when it looked like the Baldwinsville boys lacrosse team were marked for a quick exit once the Section III Class A playoffs got started, it pulled off one of the season's biggest surprises.
The Bees went to Corcoran Thursday night and hung right with the state Class A no. 14-ranked Cougars all night, then made the key plays down the stretch to shock the Cougars by a score of 11-10.
B'ville came in with a 9-8 record, off lopsided defeats to Cicero-North Syracuse and West Genesee. Corcoran was 15-2 and had just knocked off Fayetteville-Manlius earlier in the week.
Yet it was the Bees that got off to the quick start, moving ahead 5-2 in the first quarter. More than anyone else, Pat Mahar sparked this trend, and would stay hot all night as he led B'ville with three goals and three assists.
Slowly, the Cougars would make its way back in the next two periods, eventually tying it, 8-8, by the end of the third quarter.
Still, the Bees' defense, led by Bob Hennessey, Tom Foederer and Alex Hipolito, never let Corcoran star James Cathers take over. Cathers finished with three goals and one assist, a modest effort by his standards.
They continued to stay close in the fourth quarter. With 2:42 left in the regulation and the game tied, 10-10, Billy Ward flashed in and beat Corcoran goalie Ben Crenshaw for the go-ahead goal, his third of the night.
Corcoran had chances to tie it again, but Pat Briggs made at least two point-blank stops in the last two minutes, part of a night where he posted 16 saves.
Aside from Mahar and Ward, Tim Hayden produced two goals, with Kyle Styer adding one goal and one assist and Collin Kaval getting two assists. Cookie Caloia and Evan States earned one goal apiece.
On Tuesday, B'ville will find out who it will face in the Class A playoffs that start next weekend.