One more harsh lesson awaited the Christian Brothers Academy boys lacrosse team before its 2010 season would end.
Having grown up so much in the two months since the campaign began, the Brothers would take its no. 12 seed to the north country last Tuesday night and not be able to get past the first round in a 14-11 loss to no. 5 seed Watertown IHC.
Part of the problem, at least at the outset, was that CBA had a hard time finding the Cavaliers' home field, arriving late after its long bus ride from DeWitt.
Rushed into warm-ups, the Brothers got roughed up in the game's opening minutes, but still fought back within 5-4 by the end of the first quarter.
But a decisive IHC move followed in the second period, as CBA scored just once and suddenly was dealing with a 9-5 deficit going into the break.
They traded goals in the third quarter. IHC at one point moved the margin to five, but CBA scraped back again and, when Nick Papayanakos scored with three minutes left, it was 13-11, with time enough to catch up.
The Cavaliers wouldn't let that happen, though, forcing a quick turnover after CBA won the next face-off, then holding the ball in the closing minutes and tacking on one more goal.
Papayanakos had three goals and one assist as part of a well-balanced CBA attack. Cody Radziewicz picked up two goals and two assists, while Jared DePalma had a goal and three assists. Joe Dalfo and Shane Murphy each matched Radziewicz with two goals as Max Luthringer got the other goal.
IHC won by claiming a majority of the face-offs, as Tom Burgess and Rob Kunz each got four goals, with Burgess adding three assists. Lindsey Pound added three goals.
CBA closed its season at 6-11, the mark not a reflection of how the team had matured and played hard down the stretch just to earn a playoff berth. With most of its lineup back for 2011, CBA has a chance to return to the ranks of top contenders.