continued Yet once Marcellus grabbed an 8-7 lead early in the second quarter, 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.
The Brothers earned the rematch with Marcellus by rolling past no. 13 seed Tully 17-7 in last Thursday night’s opening round, while Marcellus knocked out no. 12 seed Chittenango 12-4 by pitching a second-half shutout.
Facing Tully was not an easy task. Back on April 20, the Black Knights hung close with CBA all game long before the Brothers prevailed, 15-13, but the playoff rematch would not be as tense.
With Tully bent on stopping CBA’s star players, the Brothers’ supporting cast stepped up in a big way. Four different players – Radziewicz, Zerillo, Gait and Jeschke – had three-goal hat tricks, with Radziewicz and Zerillo each adding three assists.
Andrew Romagnoli and Alex Brunner offered further support, getting two goals apiece, while Zazzara tacked on a goal. Defensively, the Brothers never let any Tully player score more than twice (Nate Doody, Tom Burt and Adrian Nash each had two goals) as Andrew Koscs turned back 13 of the Black Knights’ 20 shots.
With this come-from-behind win, CBA, who beat Tully 17-7 in Thursday's opening round, advanced to face top seed LaFayette in next Wednesday's Class C semifinal at Chittenango High School.
The Brothers and Lancers split their two regular-season meetings. This third, and most important, clash decides who goes to Cicero-North Syracuse's Bragman Stadium Saturday to face Westhill or Cazenovia in the sectional title game.