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J-D lacrosse beats F-M at Wildcat Invitational

Red Rams go 4-0, Hornets 3-1 as part of Pepper Tournament

— In what was a busy and exciting weekend for local high school lacrosse, Jamesville-DeWitt and Fayetteville-Manlius had a memorable showdown during the final game of last Saturday’s Wildcat Invitational at West Genesee High School.

Each year, as part of the John Pepper Memorial Tournament weekend, 16 teams, representing the Syracuse, Rochester and Buffalo areas, plus North Carolina and Georgia, gather for four games apiece in front of more than 90 coaches from dozens of college programs.

This was one of the first times J-D was on the field since dropping last June’s state Class B final to Garden City, not long after F-M was denied again in an overtime defeat to West Genesee in the Section III Class A title game.

Placed in the same division and time brackets, J-D and F-M would both open with three consecutive victories. The Red Rams started the morning with a 10-5 win over Canandaigua, while the Hornets, in a defensive struggle with Baldwinsville, prevailed 6-3.

Two hours later, J-D survived a close call with Webster Thomas, from the Rochester area, 8-7, but F-M had an easier time in its own game with Canandaigua, winning 9-5. Then, in the first afternoon game, J-D got past B’ville 10-6 and F-M, by that same four-goal margin, defeated Carthage 11-7.

This all led to the final showdown. For a pair of 23-minute halves, J-D and F-M went back and forth, the two defenses unable to stop each other. Finally, the Red Rams moved out in front and held on for an 11-10 victory.

Had they tied, F-M and J-D would have shared runner-up honors with West Genesee’s JV team, who went 3-0-1, topping even the varsity Wildcats. Instead, the Red Rams and Timon/St. Jude, from Buffalo (who outscored its four opponents by a combined 47-16 margin), shared the best 4-0 marks of the day.

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