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Tuesday, April 19, 2016: Ward Melville knocks off Smithtown East lacrosse

   Leading off today: A trio of All-American defenders would qualify as a lacrosse goalie's best friend. Since that doesn't come along very often (if ever) in the high school ranks, his real best friend is the set of pipes supporting the net behind him.

   D.J. Kellerman 14th save of the day, in the dying seconds, secure Ward Melville's 13-12 upset of previously undefeated Smithtown East in Suffolk County boys action Monday.

   Ward Melville is ranked 11th and Smithtown East second this week in Class A by the New York State Sportswriters Association. Smithtown East won in overtime when the squads met in the 2015 sectional title game.

   Oh my God, this was a huge win," Kellerman told MSG Varsity. "To win a one-goal game, they got us last year, but we came up big."

   Kellerman final save against the two-time defending Section 11 champs came with seven seconds left when the senior got a piece of Dan Rooney's shot that also caromed off a pipe.

   "I think it got a piece of my glove and then hit the post," Kellerman said. "I don't even know, but it was a big win."

   Sophomore Ryan Pallonetti paced the Ward Melville offense with four goals and the defense held up even minus Army-bound John Day, who is out with a concussion suffered April 6.

   Smithtown East pulled within a goal three times in the fourth quarter, including at 13-12 on a goal by Luke Eschbach with :55 left.

   Close call: Conor Smith scored his fifth goal of the game with :17 to go, allowing No. 16 West Islip to earn a 10-9 comeback victory over Northport (1-4) in more Suffolk County Class A action.

   "You've got to want the ball in that situation," Smith said.

   Northport led 9-7 on Justin Roderka's second goal with 1:07 left in the third quarter, and C.J. Scharf of West Islip answered with :01 to go in the quarter.

   West Islip gained possession with 1:07 left, and Smith used a swim move and a pick to get off the game-tying shot with 46 seconds left. Danny Penny won the ensuing faceoff and West Islip used a timeout to set up Smith's winning score, his 19th goal of the season.

   Late fireworks ... twice: Gretchen Weiss hit a three-run homer in the top of the seventh inning to give Clarence a 4-2 lead, but Section 6's top Class AA team early in the 2016 season wasn't ready to give up.

   Lancaster rallied in the bottom half of the frame to pull out a 5-4 win and improve to 3-0.

   Kara Paradowski (three hits and three runs scored) and Maddie Pepke started the rally with singles and scored on Jenna Neumaier's double. With the bases loaded, junior Christina Stasiuk came through with a game-winning single to right-center.

   The schools' baseball game Monday was equally compelling. Junior Joe Dombrowski singled home the winning run for Lancaster in the bottom of the eighth after Clarence had rallied to tie in the seventh.

   No-hit streak broken: Rye Neck sophomore Olivia Dunne threw three straight no-hitters last week (one was a mercy-

rule six-inning game), including a triumph against Valhalla in a rematch of last spring's Section 1 Class B final.

   The excellence in the circle came to an abrupt halt Monday as Ardsley unloaded with a 19-4 victory. Freshman Lauren Rende drove in seven runs, Nicolina Chenard hit three triples, Dani Scaperrotta went 5-for-5 with five runs scored and Taylor Macri drove in three runs.

   Ardsley took the lead for good in the bottom half of the first inning on Rende's two-run double.

   Leaving for N.J.: Williamsville East sophomore Erica Martinsen was selected The Buffalo News' girls basketball player of the year over the weekend, but she apparently will not be contending for the 2017 version of the honor.

   Martinsen will transfer to Blair Academy in the fall. She started the current academic year at the northwest New Jersey school but came back to Williamsville East a couple of days into the basketball practice schedule.

   "It's mostly for basketball reasons," Martinsen said about the decision to go back to Blair. "There are amazing players there. There are two USA players, and a 6-9 girl. They are very serious about basketball there. That's what I liked -- playing people that are good competition."

   Martinsen led all Western New York players in scoring with an average of 31.3 points per game this winter, including 99 3-point baskets.

   R-H names replacement: Assistant Jason Collins has been named as the replacement for Rush-Henrietta football coach Joe Montesano, who retired after 11 seasons in charge.

   Collins has coached quarterbacks and outside linebackers on Montesano's staff.

   "I think it's a great person to follow," Collins said. "I've been a part of something successful. He showed us the right way to do things and how to treat people. There is his work ethic. Everything he is has rubbed off on all of us."

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