Leading off today:
An unhappy Ward Melville is a very, very dangerous Ward Melville
Coming off its first loss of the boys lacrosse season, the defending NYSPHSAA Class A champion stormed back Wednesday by defeating Smithtown West 10-2 in a clash of top-notch Section 11 squads.
Ward Melville is ranked fifth this week by the New York State Sportswriters Association. Smithtown West had ascended to No. 1 after the Patriots' loss last week to No. 4 Half Hollow Hills East.
"That loss re-focused us," said Ward Melville coach Jay Negus. "This is a glimpse into our potential. It's the first complete game we've played all year."
Zach Hobbes scored the first two goals and finished with four while Liam Davenport contributed two goals and an assist as Ward Melville raced to a 10-0 lead against an opponent that had averaged 12.7 goals a game coming into the contest. Collin Krieg made nine saves.
"We watched a lot of film all week and we knew what they were going to do," said defender Frank Ciniglio, whose end-to-end goal in the second quarter that made the score 4-0. "Since the loss, we had our best week of practice and we were all fired up. We've had a couple of slow starts this season, but not today."
Team work: We're used to seeing rival players come together as teammates in summer basketball, American Legion baseball or even as wrestling training partners in the week ahead of the state high school tournament.
Most of those arrangements are between students from adjacent or at least nearby school districts. However, that's not the case with two of the best female golfers in New York.
Seniors Lauren Peter of Carmel and Lindsay May of Auburn, who hold the last four NYSPHSAA tournament championships, will join forces in a bid for a USGA championship at the U.S. Women's Amateur Four-Ball at El Caballero Country Club in Tarzana, Calif., from April 28-May 2.
May won state high school titles in 2014-16 and was the runner-up to Peter last spring.
"We've become such good friends," Peter told The Journal News. "We've played a lot together and we'll go to dinner afterward or just go to the pool."
Peter, who'll head to Ohio State in the fall, and May teamed up to capture medalist honors last August in the four-ball qualifier at Knollwood Country Club in Elmsford.
"We're just friends who love to play together," said May, who'll play for Clemson next season. "I wouldn't call us rivals. We are just friends who have gotten so close to each other over the years. It's like one plays well one day, one plays well the other."
By the way, Peter will not defend her NYSPHSAA title this spring. She's skipping her senior season in order to tune up for qualifying events for the U.S. Women's Amateur and U.S. Girls Junior.
"It was a very hard decision," she said. "I love the team.