Rams rally past Vestal in Class B regional

The way it is set up this spring, the Jamesville-DeWitt boys lacrosse team will need four wins in the state tournament to repeat its state Class B championship from 2011.

At least the schedule was spread out over two weeks, a contrast to some years when the entire state tournament was played in a five-day span, wearing out anyone who went through it, players and coaches alike.

With all that as a backdrop, the Red Rams entered the state fray Wednesday, at Ithaca High School, where it started out slow against Section IV champion Vestal, but recovered in a big way to take out the Golden Bears 16-4 for its 41st win in a row.

Quite unlike the 11-goal first-quarter blitz that decimated Carthage in the Section III Class B final, J-D didn't even get on the board in the opening period against Vestal. The Golden Bears held the ball for long periods of time, found the net twice and grabbed a 2-0 lead.

Trailing for the first time all season at the end of the first quarter did not sit well with the Rams, who promptly went out in the second period and, in less than a minute, scored three times to grab the lead for good.

Led again by sophomore Jordan Evans, J-D used those goals as the launching pad for a 9-1 blitz through the rest of the half. Back in rhythm, the Rams continued to expand the margin the rest of the way and got all sorts of players involved in the attack.

Evans, with five goals and three assists, set the pace as Alex Hatem found the net three times and Tim Edwards got a goal and three assists. Deke Burns and Steve Aziz both finished with two goals and one assist.

Not only did Dan DiStefano lead another solid defensive effort with 10 saves, he also charged in to score his second goal of the season, adding to one he got against Cortland on May 10. Matt Kopp and Jeff Edwards also had single goals.

Now J-D goes north, to Potsdam, on Saturday to play Section X representative St. Lawrence in the Class B regional final. The winner plays Niagara-Wheatfield or Irondequoit in next Wednesday's state semifinal at St. John Fisher College near Rochester.

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