May 19, 2013 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Nearly 12 months after the Cazenovia boys lacrosse team’s Section III and state Class C championship reign ended at the expense of Homer, the two sides met again in the post-season, and the stakes were far different – as was the result.
The no. 3 seed Lakers, getting a double-digit point effort from Ryan Cook and a superb all-around performance from its defense, blasted the no. 6 seed Trojans 16-4 in Saturday’s sectional Class C quarterfinal at the Sean Googin Sports Complex.
As a result, Cazenovia will make the short trip to Chittenango High School next Wednesday at 5 p.m. to face no. 2 seed Westhill in the Class C semifinals. The winner there gets LaFayette or CBA in next Saturday’s title game at Cicero-North Syracuse’s Bragman Stadium.
Though Cazenovia’s most recent encounter with Homer, a 13-11 come-from-behind victory in early April, was a successful one, what really stuck in the Lakers’ collective minds was that 10-6 defeat to those same Trojans in the 2012 sectional final.
Motivated not to let Homer end its season again, Cazenovia was aggressive from the start, converting scoring opportunities and gaining a 4-1 edge by the end of the first quarter.
Then it got close to the same thing in the second period, expanding its margin to 8-3 by the time they hit the break, and it was already apparent that Homer’s plan to tail Connor Cannizzaro had backfired.
Cook, getting all kinds of open looks, kept finding the net, and his work in the second half led to Cazenovia putting the game well out of reach. In each of the last two periods, the Lakers outscored Homer 4-1, just as it had in the first quarter.
Nearly half those goals came from Cook, who managed seven goals and added three assists, giving him 56 goals and 26 assists for the season, just behind Cannizzaro, who despite all the attention still scored four times to run his season goal total to 62, to go with 30 assists.
Henry Mann, strong all game long with the face-offs, chimed in with two goals and one assist, while Jake Stowell’s late-season surge continued with a goal and two assists. Kyle Brown and Alex Sullivan each had one goal and one assist, with P.J. Brown adding an assist.
On the other end, Cazenovia’s defense, led by Joe Colligan, Mike Nourse, Jay Hahn, Keaton Ackermann and Eli Mitchell, kept every Homer player except Brandon Maxson (two goals) from scoring more than once. Trevor Cross was particularly sharp, stopping 11 of the 15 direct shots he faced.
And this brings the Lakers (17-2) into the sectional semifinal against Westhill (16-2), another chance for payback, since the Warriors gave Cazenovia its last defeat, an 8-7 overtime decision on May 3. Westhill used a strong fourth quarter to knock out no. 7 seed Skaneateles 13-10 in its quarterfinal game as Ryan Suddaby picked up seven goals.