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Sunday, May 31, 2015: Manhasset rallied in Class B quarterfinals

   Leading off today: Matt Gavin fired home the winning goal with 28.9 seconds left to give Manhasset a come-from-behind, 7-6 victory over Mount Sinai on Saturday in the NYSPHSAA boys lacrosse Class B quarterfinals.

   Manhasset's Tyler Dunn (two goals, two assists and 16-for-17 on faceoffs) tied the game with 4:02 remaining as Manhasset fought back from a 6-3 deficit through three quarters. Gavin took a feed from Kyle Cherry to set up the winning shot, his third goal of the game.

   "The double-team came quick, so we kept moving the ball," Gavin told Newsday. "I found myself open and I just shot it."

   The victory gave the Indians their first Long Island championship since 2010, when they went on to capture the NYSPHSAA Class C championship. Manhasset's opponent in Wednesday's New York State Public High School Athletic Association semifinals will be defending champion Yorktown, a 21-9 winner over Albany Academy.

   "It's not as easy this time because we didn't have the same kind of schedule as we did last year," senior midfielder Michael Dedvukaj told The Journal News. "We've been going easy, easy, easy to hard. It showed against teams like Ward Melville and Chaminade, we either didn't start well or we only played one half.

   Now we have to come out and go 48 minutes all out. We'll play our game and hope for the best."

   And then there was one: Class B Victor is the state's last remaining unbeaten team in boys lacrosse.

   The Blue Devils swarmed all over Hamburg in the first half and coasted to a 20-9 victory in their quarterfinal. T.D. Ierlan won the game's first 14 faceoffs to help stake Victor to a 17-3 halftime lead and set up a semifinal against Jamesville-DeWitt, which defeated Vestal on Sunday.

   "I'd be real surprised if they lost the rest of the year," Hamburg coach Jerry Severino told the Democrat and Chronicle. "I've seen a lot of lacrosse; I've never seen a team as good as this, and we've played J-D a couple times."

   Drew Collins and Jamie Trimboli scored four goals apiece in the win.

   Potentially costly win: Pittsford fought its way past Orchard Park 16-12 in Class A despite losing faceoff middie Zac Cooley and goalie Kevin Maguire to injuries before halftime. Maguire aggravated a hamstring injury and Cooley had to be helped off the field with a leg injury.

   "Definitely losing Kevin and Cooley, they're two of our biggest players, so kids had to step up," said senior midfielder James Felix.

   Junior attackman Jonathan Perotto, Pittsford's leading scorer this season, scored six goals.    "It's tough when our guys are looking back and seeing their teammates on the bench," Panthers coach Andrew Whipple said. "Those are guys we counted on all year, but we gutted it out and it says a lot about our team."

   Pittsford's semifinal opponent will be West Genesee, a 17-3 winner vs. Corning. The Wildcats raced to a 5-0 lead before enduring a nearly hour-long weather delay.

   Close call: In one of the day's rare close calls, Niskayuna defeated Mamaroneck 16-13. Senior John Prendergast's fourth goal with 5:28 left was the final goal for Niskayuna, then it was left to Villanova recruit Nick Testa to preserve the lead with some big stops in goal.

   Testa made just 11 saves, but among them were stops on Eric Greenberg and Alex Ewald while Niskayuna was trying to preserve its three-goal margin.

   "Their goalie stood on his head at the end. Props to him," Mamaroneck All-America Reed Malas, who had three goals and an assist, told The Journal News.

   Shut down: Akron averaged 24 goals a game during the season and rang up 30 in the Section 6 Class C final, attracting a lot of attention this spring including a story in USA Today.

   "We talked about that," Penn Yan coach Brian Hobart told the Democrat and Chronicle. "We see scores, 25, 28, 30 goals, and our kids were like, 'OK,' and they came in today believing if we had to score 17-18 goals to win the game, we could."


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  •    The Mustangs didn't need nearly that many goals. Prepped for adversity by a more demanding regular-season schedule, Penn Yan rolled to an 8-1 lead and beat Akron 20-8 as junior Austin Fingar scored seven times.

       Akron senior Larson Sundown, who entered the contest with 112 goals this season and 331 for his career, scored twice in the loss.

       Commentary: The Long Island sections, the Syracuse area and -- to a lesser extent -- Section 5, have generally been the most successful in the state. That's no accident, says New York State Sportswriters Association editor Neil Kerr.

       "One reason for the large number of state tourney playoff games won by at least 10 goals are the lame schedules played by many teams in this state, mostly in Classes B and C," he wrote Sunday. "Too many teams enjoy the spring by trashing West Woodchuckville, East Bumskunk and Gartersnake Gulch week after week. They make it to the state tourney and quickly lose by 10-15 goal margins to seriously good teams playing tough schedules. ... This happens every spring."

       Consider Akron coach Bryan Bellis among those coming around to Kerr's way of thinking in the aftermath of the loss to Penn Yan, one of eight boys quarterfinals decided by a double-digit margin.

       "We knew going in it was another level," he told The Buffalo News. "We tried to step up our non-league against Section 6 but maybe we need to come out of our comfort zone and play more Section 5 teams in non-league just to get used to the style of play."

       Girls quarterfinals: The day's winning numbers were 1, 3, 5 and 11. Those four sections advanced three teams apiece to next weekend's final fours in Cortland.

       Rochester-area schools swept their Buffalo-area competition for the 19th time in 20 years. Pittsford (Class A), Victor (B) and Honeoye Falls-Lima (C) outscored their Section 6 opponents by a combined 54-23.

       Lancaster was thought to hold Section 6's best chance, but Pittsford raced to a 4-0 lead and won 16-7.

       "We gave it everything we had and battled back after being down 4-0," Lancaster coach Julie Buccieri said. "We knew they were going to be tough; they just have a ton of weapons. ... We left it out on the field. We're honored to play them."

       Instant classic: Sydney Pirecca's fourth goal of the game, on an end-to-end charge coming with 18.6 seconds left in the fourth overtime, gave Mount Sinai a 10-9 win over Cold Spring Harbor in a Class C quarterfinal.

       "All the adrenaline, it was a big game, and we needed to score," Pirecca said. "I was out of breath, but, at that moment in time, it was a do-or-die situation. You have to do whatever you have to do to get that goal and get your team on top."

       In Class B, Eastport-South Manor edged Wantagh 11-10 as Kaeli Huff and Kelsey Huff scored three goals apiece.

       E-SM went up 11-8 on a Kelsey Huff goal.

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