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Thursday, May 31, 2018: Ward Melville avenges loss, rolls into state tourney

   Leading off today: Defending NYSPHSAA champion Ward Melville avenged its only regular-season loss Wednesday by dispatching Half Hollow Hills East 14-5 for the Section 11 boys Class A lacrosse championship.

   Dylan Pallonetti scored five goals, Matt Grillo added three, faceoff specialist Mike Giaquinto won 18 of 23 draws and the Patriots walked away with their 26th Suffolk County championship.

   Half Hollow Hills East defenseman Mike Gomez scored an unassisted goal early in the third quarter to pull within 7-5, but Ward Melville answered with the last four goals of the third quarter and all three in the fourth.

   "When we're clicking like that on offense, there's no better feeling,” said Grillo, who has scored 59 goals this season. "We're not dodging to get a shot but we're dodging to get open and look for someone else. We shot it very well tonight."

   More sectional 'A' finals: West Genesee earned retiring coach Mike Messere's 31st Section 3 championship by edging Fayetteville-Manlius 12-10 behind a Jack Howes hat trick to help offset five goals from F-M's Chris Lubrino.

   Max Rosa and Howes scored 59 seconds apart late in the third quarter as West Genesee pulled ahead. F-M's Zach Van Valkenburgh won the opening faceoff of the fourth and tied the game at 8-8, but the Wildcats' Anthony Dattellas and Noah Sabatino countered 1:49 apart.

   "It definitely means a lot for coach's last year," Howes said. "There's also 20-something seniors on this team. It's a whole team effort, and I'm just so proud of these guys."

    • In Section 6, Brett Beetow scored two goals during the third quarter to put Lancaster ahead for good in a 12-9 win over Orchard Park, earning the Legends their first crown. Alex Reimer finished with three goals and three assists.

   Orchard Park has won 25 of the previous 27 sectional large-school championships.

   "We finally slayed the dragon," Legends coach David Mazur said. "We took our lumps two years ago. Last year we lost by two goals. This year we knew if we put a little time and effort into it we could catch them."

   Close call for Victor: Alexander Mabbett scored on a feed from sophomore Joey Pezzimenti 1:59 into the second overtime as three-time reigning state champ Victor fought off Webster Thomas 10-9 in Section 5 Class B.

   "Two overtimes? I've never been in a game crazier than that," said junior defenseman Sutton Boland.


   Senior midfielder Tucker Hill opened the second half by winning a faceoff and taking it straight downfield for a goal and the lead was pushed to 7-3 on Anthony Pezzimenti's goal before Thomas began chipping away.

   Nick Mabe's third goal of the game put the Titans ahead 9-8 with 3:31 left, but Mabbett struck with 1:43 left and Thomas came up empty in the final minute of regulation after winning the faceoff.

   More Section 6 finals: Hamburg defeated Williamsville East 11-6, sparked by goals from Brett Chiodo and A.J. DeMarco in the final 35 seconds of the first half.

   In Class C, West Seneca East rallied for an 11-10 victory over Eden for its first title. Shaun Dolac scored four goals and Colin Schmatz connected three times.


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  •    In Class D, Akron made it five championships in a row with a 15-3 rout of Medina, which had taken the Tigers to overtime twice during the regular season. Owen Hill had four goals and two assists, and Donovan Nephew also scored four times.

       More Long Island finals: Harborfields goalie made 15 saves in an 8-4 win vs. East Islip for the Section 11 Class B championship.

       "I'd say he stood on his head, but that's the way he's played for us most of the year," Harborfields coach Glenn Lavey said after the school's first title since 1992.

       A long, strange trip: General Brown suffered a blowout before its game against Syracuse CBA for the Section 3 Class D trophy even began. The Lions' bus had a passenger-side tire go down en route to Liverpool, prompting the host school to send a district bus to help complete the trip.

       The game started about half an hour late and CBA pulled out a 14-12 win.

       "The bus driver did an awesome job to keep it under control and to get us off to the side of the road," General Brown coach Rich Purvis said after the loss. "Then Liverpool sent a bus to pick us up, which was awesome on their part. ... I don't know if it really had anything to do with the outcome of the game. I think (it was) more weather and not having enough possessions."

       Section 2 sweep : Tyler Bowen scored with 51.9 seconds left to give Schuylerville an 8-7 win -- it's first in state tournament play -- over James I. O'Neill in a Class D regional semifinal.

       The Black Horses committed a penalty with 19.1 seconds left and had to finish it out a man down.

       O'Neill took its first lead with 5:36 left in regulation on Mitch Browne's second goal, but Schuylerville's Andrew Phillips tied it at 3:49 before Browne’s go-ahead score.

       Junior midfielder Justin Carte scored five goals in the win.

       Overall, it was a sweep for Section 2:

        • Finn McCollough and Griffin King finished with five goals apiece as Niskayuna stormed past Kingston 21-7 in Class A. The winners scored six times in the final 3:01 of the first quarter.

        • David Barclay scored five goals and Hogan Fox had a hat trick plus five assists as Glens Falls topped Highland 18-11 in Class C.

        • Ballston Spa pieced together two big first-half runs and defeated Warwick 19-8 in Class B. Zac Schuette piled up five goals and three assists.

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