May 15, 2013 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Whatever happened to the Westhill boys lacrosse team in the Section III Class C playoffs, it had already proved a memorable and historic season.
The Warriors set a school record with 14 wins, and when it fought off Chittenango 12-8 Tuesday night, it clinched the outright OHSL Liberty division title for the first time.
Westhill’s big late-season surge meant little to the Bears, who hung around in a 6-3 first half and picked up the tempo in the third quarter, closing within 10-8.
But as it had done so many times during a season-closing 10-game win streak, the Warriors played outstanding defense down the stretch, blanking the Bears in the fourth quarter as goalie Jack Sweeney stopped 13 of 21 shots overall.
On the offensive end, freshman Ryan Zimmerman buzzed the Bears for five goals, while Luke Longo and Richie Easterly each had two goals and two assists. Ryan Suddaby scored twice, adding one assist, while Jack Centore had a goal and two assists. Mark Purcell also managed two assists.
Any chance of Marcellus improving its playoff seed hinged on winning last Monday’s regular-season finale against visiting Cazenovia. And it played well, but star senior Connor Cannizzaro helped push his Laker side past Marcellus 13-11.
The two sides warily eyed each other through a 1-1 first quarter. Then the pace quickened the rest of the half, Cazenovia handling it a bit better as it seized a 7-5 lead.
All through the rest of the game, the Mustangs tailed the Lakers, watching Tom McNaney earn five assists to feed an attack where Kevin Hutchings and Mike McNaney both had three-goal hat tricks, with Morgan Reilly adding a pair of goals. Ross Filtch and Harrison Cox also found the net.
Yet Cazenovia stayed in front, largely due to Cannizzaro, the reigning Central New York Player of the Year, who zipped past Mustang defenders on his way to six goals and two assists, something that Jake Lilly could not overcome, even with 13 saves.
Jordan-Elbridge, before going into the playoffs, clinched a winning record for 2013 by venturing to Onondaga last Monday night and taking out the Tigers 13-7.
This was a gradual effort, the Eagles carefully working its way to a 7-4 halftime lead and then putting the game away by blanking OCS in a 4-0 third-quarter spurt.
Gale Thorpe and Matt Somes matched each other with four goals and one assist. Zach Wagner was productive, too, with three goals and three assists, while Aurie Schwarting had two goals and three assists. Sam Robles also had an assist as Noland Michels was impressive in the net, turning back 17 of 24 shots.
Bishop Ludden played last Monday and lost, 9-7, to Manlius-Pebble Hill, a game where the Gaelic Knights’ 6-5 halftime lead did not hold up as it went cold in the game’s latter stages.
A day later, the Gaelic Knights edged Clinton 12-11 to finish its season at 2-14. Cameron Bennett ruled for Ludden with four goals and five assists, while Brian Cizenski and Joe Spano each scored twice. Mark Shattuck and Connor Smith had one goal apiece.