One of the routines for the Westhill boys lacrosse team in its successful 2010 campaign has been an ability to get into close games -- and win them, on a regular basis.
And that proved true again in last Monday night's trip to Jordan-Elbridge, where the Warriors needed a strong fourth quarter to pull out a 10-9 victory over the Eagles.
With J-E badly needing a win to improve its playoff chances, Westhill stayed patient through a second-quarter drought, keeping the Eagles off the board, too, as it took a 4-3 lead to the break.
Then the Eagles attacked in the third period. Led by Dylan Johnson, who had four goals to lead both sides, J-E seized an 8-6 lead, and now waited to see if it could stay out front.
Westhill proved otherwise, holding the Eagles to a single tally in those last 12 minutes and scoring four times to inch back out in front to stay.
Depth, and balance, made a difference. Austin Webb had three goals, while Alex Lesins scored twice. Five others -- Tris Nicola, Sal Valenti, John Zimmerman, Dylan Tripodi and Christian Vadala -- got single goals, with Owen Nicola adding an assist.
Behind Johnson, J-E saw Gale Thorpe landing two goals and one assist as Jeff Guadagnolo, Clint Daniels and Cody Lewis each had one goal and one assist. Zach Stevenson added two assists. Connor Smart kept his team close with 17 saves, more than twice the number of Westhill counterpart Mark McAnaney.