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Thursday, June 8, 2017: Yorktown returns to final with double-OT win

   Leading off today: Sometimes the best play that a coach can call is no play at all.

   It's precisely what happened moments before Hunter Embury fed Dom Cioffi atop the crease for the winning goal 1:19 into the second overtime to lift Yorktown over Garden City 5-4 in the NYSPHSAA boys Class B lacrosse semifinals Wednesday in Albany.

   Yorktown coach Sean Carney had called a timeout after Brett Makar picked up a ground ball off the opening faceoff of the second OT.

   "We've been calling a lot of plays all day and with that we just told the kids to play," Carney said. "We're just going to throw you out there in overtime, we're not going to call anything and play some lax like we do every practice, all winter, all summer and it worked."

   The resulting goal advanced Yorktown to the New York State Public High School Athletic Association title game for the second year in a row, this time against Victor -- the champion in Class B two seasons ago and Class A in 2016.

    • Victor roared to a 5-0 lead in the first quarter of its semifinal and cruised past Vestal 11-5 to book a return to St. John Fisher College for Saturday's finals.

   Zach Estabrooks, one of two seniors in the starting lineup, scored three goals for the Blue Devils.

   Class A: Pittsford worked its way back from a three-goal deficit and senior midfielder Colby Barker put the Panthers ahead for good with a pair of goals in the second half of an 11-8 triumph over Baldwinsville.

   "He's a gamer, whether it's football, basketball, or lacrosse, in the big games is when he plays his best, so we knew we could count on him," coach Andrew Whipple said of Barker, an Ohio State commit who finished with five goals.

   After Barker scored the two third-quarter goals, he set up Jake Balias for a bouncer and a 9-7 advantage heading into the final 12 minutes. The Bees closed to within 9-8, but Barker countered with an extra-man goal and Sonny Imburgia tacked on another score a minute later.

MP3 audio Senior Patrick Sullivan discusses faceoffs after a strong day on the X for Pittsford in the NYSPHSAA semifinals vs. Baldwinsville to advance the Panthers to Saturday's Class A championship game against Ward Melville:
  • mp3 audio clip

        • Senior attackman Andrew Lockhart finished with two goals and three assists, and Michael Giaquinto won 16 of 19 faceoffs. Still, Ward Melville coach Jay Negus found a few things to not like about the Patriots' 9-6 win over Lakeland/Panas.

       "I'm just not happy with our decision making," Negus said. "We have a lot to critique on film and get ready for Saturday."

       Ward Melville surrendered its early two-goal lead before steadily clawing its way to an 8-3 advantage in the third quarter. Even then, though, Lakeland/Panas persisted.

       "That wasn't really the outcome we were looking for at all," Lockhart admitted. "We weren't really celebrating this win as much as (the Long Island final against) Massapequa or (the sectional final against) Smithtown East. We've got a lot to work on."

       Class C: Junior Kevin Winkoff scored all three of his goals in the final 18 minutes as Cold Spring Harbor remained unbeaten with a 9-6 win over Pleasantville.

       Winkoff connected twice just seven seconds midway through the third quarter to break a 3-3 tie.

       "I looked up at the scoreboard and I was just thinking, 'When am I going to put one in?'" Winkoff said. "This whole


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  • season I've been hurt, I've been just trying to get back into the scheme of things and it just happened. It was just a spark."

       Cold Spring Harbor now travels to St. John Fisher on Saturday in pursuit of a third straight state championship.

        •Jamesville-DeWitt roared past first-time semifinalist Palmyra-Macedon 20-6 as Griffin Cook registered six goals and an assist. Ryan Archer added three goals and three assists.

       Cook's first goal set off a 16-0 run for the Red Rams.

       Class D: Westlake senior attackman Kyle Donnery slapped home the rebound of his brother Ryan's shot for the goal in overtime and an 11-10 triumph against Babylon.

       Westlake trailed by three goals with two minutes left in regulation. James Gorman started the comeback with a goal at the 1:58 mark, Ryan Donnery completed his hat trick with :34.9 left and junior Rob DiNota tied it with :09 remaining on his second goal of the game.

       "I came on board four years ago and coached a lot of these guys when I was the JV coach and we talked back then about how this team has a chance to do something special, and they believed that they could," the Wildcats' Hunter Burnard said. "Now we're going to the state championship."

        • Syracuse CBA got five goals and three assists from senior Ben McCreary in a 20-3 rout of Akron. Alex Calkins added another three goals and four assists to send the Brothers to the championship game.

       Junior midfielder Patrick O'Brien added four goals.

       "It was unbelievable. We worked our game plan perfectly," said goalie Matt Vavonese, who made five saves.

       Baseball: Lancaster St. Mary's beat St. Joe's 5-2 to force a third and deciding game in the Monsignor Martin baseball finals.

       Christian Szablewski doubled to left to drive home two runs in the fifth inning and break open what had been a 2-1 game.

       St. Mary's will host Thursday's winner-take-all contest because Coca-Cola Field is unavailable due to a concert.

       "I've never been bounced for 'Taste of Country' before," a laughing St. Joe's coach Paul Nasca said. "But that's fine. The bases are 90 feet apart. The mound is 60 feet, 6 inches from the plate."

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