May 13, 2014 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Whether the Cazenovia boys lacrosse team can put it all together and win a third state Class C championship in four years remains a matter of dispute.
What is undisputed, though, is that the 2014 Lakers managed to do what their 2011 and 2013 state title-winning predecessors could not pull off – namely, a perfect regular season.
Sixteen opponents faced Cazenovia, and all 16 of them trudged away defeated, the last of them Skaneateles, who battled hard in Monday night’s Laker showdown at the Sean Googin Sports Complex, but still saw the hosts prevail 14-10.
The importance of winning this game went beyond the quest for 16-0, though. It was Senior Night for eight Cazenovia standouts – Henry Mann, Trevor Cross, Mike Nourse, Pat Karmis, Kevin Porter, Jeremy Maxwell, Luca Kraemer and Jay Hahn – and they were not about to get beat in their last regular-season outing in front of the home folks.
Coming off back-to-back home wins over state-ranked opponents (Westhill and CBA), Skaneateles was in a good frame of mind, though, and that showed in the first quarter as, twice, the visitors went out in front, requiring answers from Mann and Jake Lewis to forge a 2-2 tie.
Another exchange of goals early in the second quarter made it 3-3, but that was where Cazenovia started to take over, again benefiting from Mann’s dominance in the face-off circle and the extra possession time that followed.
P.J. Brown, already with a goal in the period, hit for the second time to put Cazenovia in front for good, and he followed by scoring his third goal before Mann fed Jake Lewis for another tally.
Then, right before halftime, the red-hot Mann put in his second goal, and Alex Hunt followed by finding the net, and the Cazenovia margin doubled to 8-4 going into the break.
During the third quarter, much the same thing happened again, on a smaller scale, as Hunt scored once and assisted on Brown’s fourth goal, while Mann scored again and Cole Willard joined in too, and Cazenovia enjoyed a comfortable 12-5 lead.
To its credit, Skaneateles, led by Tyler Strods (four goals, two assists) and Sam Duggan (three goals), battled to the end, but it had too much ground to make up.
Nourse, Hahn, T.J. Connellan, Eli Mitchell and the rest of Cazenovia’s back line made sure the lead held up, just as they have done all season, with Cross superb in the net as he picked up 16 saves.
Overall, Mann amassed four goals and four assist. Brown matched that four-goal output, with Hunt getting three assists to go with his pair of goals. Lewis and Willard both scored twice, too.
Drawing the top seed for the Class C sectional tournament, Cazenovia faces no. 9 seed Tully in next Tuesday’s quarterfinals after the Black Knights edged General Brown 13-12 in the opening round.
A win would put the Lakers in the semifinals next Thursday at Chittenango against no. 4 seed Marcellus or no. 5 seed Westhill, with the sectional final on Saturday at 2:30 at the Carrier Dome.