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Thursday, June 4, 2015: Manhasset pulls out last-second win in 'B' lacrosse

   Leading off today: Matt Gavin is on a roll.

   The Manhasset junior scored the winning goal Saturday with 28.9 seconds left in a 7-6 victory over Mount Sinai on Saturday in the NYSPHSAA boys lacrosse Class B lacrosse quarterfinals.

   On Wednesday, he scored another game-winner -- this time with just half a second to play -- as Manhasset advanced to the state finals by virtue of a 10-9 win over Yorktown.

   "I didn't even realize the ball was going to come to me," Gavin told Newsday. "I don't know what to say right now. I can't believe this. It's an incredible feeling."

   Manhasset led 9-7, but Justin Cavallo of Yorktown tallied with 1:35 left and Ryan Baker tied it with :26.4 left in regulation. Gavin picked up a ground ball to the right of the cage and put in the winning goal as he hit the turf, setting off a frenzied celebration.

   "I think (James Thomas) went to the cage and the ball hit the ground. I saw it drop to my feet," Gavin said. "I picked it up, took like three checks, got pushed from behind and I just put it in the goal. I didn't even see it."

   Senior Tyler Dunn had five goals and two assists, picked up 17 ground balls and was 19-of-22 on faceoffs for the winners.

   Saturday's final at Vestal will pit Manhasset against Victor, which has its own faceoff demon in T.D. Ierlan, who won 19 of 22 draws vs. Jamesville-DeWitt as the Blue Devils won 11-9.

   "This feels outstanding," Victor coach Jim Andre told The Daily Messenger. "Last year we had the lead at the half against J-D, but we gave it away. I reminded those guys, let's learn from our mistakes and be better as a team."

   Victor rallied from an early 2-0 deficit to lead 7-5 at the half. Ryan Maloney scored early in the third quarter to extend Victor's lead to three, and the teams alternated goals from there.

   J-D's Griffin Cook scored his second goal to make it 11-9 with 2:47 left, but freshman goalie Chayse Ierlan made two clutch stops down the stretch to advance the Blue Devils to their first NYSPHSAA title game/>p>    "We know what we're up against, we know the teams from downstate are excellent," Andre said. "We're going to have to play our best game."

   GW squeaks by: Wesley Rodriguez struck out Tottenville's Everett Rodriguez with the bases loaded and two outs in the seventh inning to preserve George Washington's 1-0 win in the PSAL 'AAA' baseball final at Yankee Stadium.

   "Those are the moments I look up to in baseball," said Rodriguez, likely to be selected in the MLB Draft this weekend. "If you don't want to be in those moments -- that guy, that wants the ball in those moments, that guy who wants to hit in those moments -- don't play."

   Rodriguez came on in relief of Kelvin Tapia after Tottenville got runners on first and second base with one out. When coach Steve Mandl came out to talk with Tapia, Rodriguez grabbed the ball, determined to go to the mound.

   "He took the frikin' ball out of the coaches hand," Mandl joked to The Daily News. "But that's how he is. If he wants it, we give it to him."

   Say hello to the Legends: The Lancaster School District appears to have settled on "Legends" as its replacement for the controversial "Redskins" nickname and logo that was dropped this spring out of racial concerns.

   More than 3,000 students cast votes and selected Legends on Wednesday over six other contenders. The new logo features a knight's suit of armor and sword with the district's traditional red and black colors. Pro-Redskins residents speculated that district insiders had settled upon


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  • "Red Hawks" as the new name, but it finished a distant runner-up in the voting.

       "He is the embodiment of strength and power that it takes to be a legend," Korissa Gozdziak, 14, the eighth-grader with the winning design, told The Buffalo News.

       "Nobody else has anything like that. I like it," School board President Kenneth Graber said. "We're very proud of the students and the process."

    Lancaster mascot    The school board will vote Monday night on accepting the Legends mascot. The meeting has been moved to the high school because of the expected large turnout.

       Kelly Depczynski, elected to the board last month on the strength of support from residents wanting to keep the Redskins name, attended the announcement unveiling Legends. "This is a pivotal moment for Lancaster," she told the paper. "I was happy to attend. I'll leave it at that."

       F-M coach picks up another honor: Bill Aris of Fayetteville-Manlius has been named the U.S. girls cross country coach of the year by the National High School Coaches Association.

       Last fall, Aris coached the F-M boys and girls to NYSPHSAA and Nike Cross Nationals championships. It was the first time in the 11-year history of the Nike event that one school earned both titles.

       Clearing something up: A blog item I posted last week made mention of Williamsville North's Mike Kessler, who qualified for the NYSPHSAA tennis and golf tournaments being held the same weekend.

       The Buffalo News story that was the origin of the item reported that Kessler would have to finish up his tennis competition in Flushing and get to a mandatory practice round in Ithaca on Saturday morning or else be scratched from the golf tournament.

       However, Todd Nelson, assistant director for the New York State Public High School Athletic Association, says his office checked with the golf committee and was assured that no such rule regarding the practice round exists.

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