May 19, 2013 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
But the no. 4 seed Brothers would reverse the script in last Saturday’s Class C quarterifnal, scoring twice in that last minute, including Jack Zerillo’s tally with 1.7 seconds left, to prevail 14-13 and bring a stunning end to the no. 5 seed Mustangs’ superb season.
A similar thing happened when the Brothers met Marcellus on this same Alibrandi Stadium turf nine days earlier. Trailing the Mustangs by one in that May 8 game, CBA scored twice late in regulation, and handed the vistors a 9-8 defeat.
They were in close to the same spot here, Marcellus leading no. 4 seed CBA 13-12 and possessing the ball with less than two minutes to play, and the Brothers out of time-outs. All the Mustangs had to do was hang on to the ball, and it would advance.
Applying heavy pressure, CBA forced a turnover and rushed down the field. A series of passes set up Jack Jeschke, in front of the net, who beat Jake Lilly and earned the tying goal with 53.3 seconds left.
CBA’s Drew Brooks won the ensuing face-off, giving the Brothers the last possession of regulation. With the Marcellus defenders determined to cut off top CBA scorer Cody Radziewicz, the ball went to Braedon Gait, whose shot was off target – but Zerillo fought his way to the ball and put home the game-winner less than two seconds before the horn.
So ended a wild, exciting contest that went through several phases. In the initial phase, both defenses were overwhelmed amid a blazing pace that CBA wanted to set, as it took a 6-3 lead late in the first quarter, only to have Marcellus rally and tie it, 6-6, before the period was done.
Once Marcellus grabbed an 8-7 lead early in the second quarter, though, it slowed things down, using longer possessions to keep the ball away from the Brothers’ formidable group of attackers.
That worked deep into the third quarter, the Mustangs extending its lead to 11-8, but now the Brothers dug in, using goals by Gait and J.R. Zazzara late in that period to make it 11-10, and from that point on it was tense and tight all the way to the end.
CBA’s patience was tested. Gait, with his fourth goal, cut the margin to 12-11 with 6:59 left, only to have Tom McNaney answer 13 seconds later. Somehow, the Brothers’ defense did not allow anything more, and when Zerillo converted with 3:23 to play, the stage was set for the final drama.
Overall, Mike McNaney scored four times, with Tom McNaney managing three goals and one assist. Kevin Hutchings and Ross Filtch both scored twice, with Ben Powers also getting a goal and Rich Ghezzi earning assist. Many of Lilly’s 17 saves were point-blank efforts.
Marcellus earned this second shot at CBA by virtue of a strong second-half performance in last Thursday night’s opening-round game, where it took apart no. 12 seed Chittenango to erase a shaky start and eliminate the Bears 12-4.
For a brief moment, there was reason for concern. Up 4-1 after one period, the Mustangs saw the Bears charge in the second quarter, cutting the gap to 6-4 as they went to halftime.
From that point on, though, the Marcellus defense got more physical and hostile, turning back every Chittenango opportunity, while Lilly made most of his 15 saves and allowed the attack ample time to work the ball around and get a series of goals to put it away.
Kevin Hutchings, with two goals and three assists, anchored the attack. Mike McNaney had a three-goal hat trick, adding an assist, while Tom McNaney also had three goals. Matt Hutchings got one goal and one assist as Powers, Andrew Henderson and Harrison Cox also scored.
As for no. 9 seed Jordan-Elbridge, its season would end in the opening round, when it went to no. 8 seed Cortland and put up a tough fight, only to lose a 9-7 decision to the Purple Tigers.
Cortland gained what proved to be a crucial upper hand when it inched into a 2-1 lead by the end of the first quarter.J-E’s attack woke up in the second period, but every time it surged, the Purple Tigers had an answer, and it still led the Eagles 5-4 going into the break.
Just as in the opening period, Cortland outscored J-E 2-1 in the third quarter. Now trailing 7-5, the Eagles went all-out in the stretch, only to mostly get stymied, especially by Purple Tigers goalie Kevin Parker, who piled up 24 saves.
Aurie Schwarting was the only J-E player to consistently solve Parker, finishing with three goals and one assist. Gale Thorpe had one goal and one assist, while Sam Robles, Logan Schwarting and Zach Wagner also found the net.
Noland Michels topped Parker, managing 28 saves, but Cortland got enough against him as Andrew Potter, with four goals and one assist, and Matt May, with three goals and one assist, accounted for most of the Purple Tigers’ offense.
J-E’s season ended with a record of 9-8, while Cortland went on to face LaFayette in Saturday’s quarterfinals, where it lost to the Lancers 14-8.