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Thursday, June 7, 2018: West Genesee, Messere return to lacrosse finals

   Leading off today: The NYSPHSAA boys lacrosse semifinals on Wednesday generated minimal drama, but they did produce a fitting ending: Retiring West Genesee coach Mike Messere will go for one more state championship Saturday at St. John Fisher College.

   Messere's Wildcats, 15-time state champions, reached their 24th New York State Public High School Athletic Association title game by defeating Lancaster 15-6 in the Class A semifinals.

   Lancaster pulled into a 1-1 tie 3:27 into the game, but Jack Howes and Max Rosa countered with goals in the next minute to put West Genesee ahead for good.

   Rosa and Ryan Sheehan scored three goals apiece. Kevin Sheehan dished out seven assists in the victory.

   The final on Saturday will be against Ward Melville, an 18-2 victory over Niskayuna. The Wildcats and Patriots have met in the finals six times previously, which each coming out victorious three times.

   Attackman Matt Grillo scored five goals and Dylan Pallonetti, Zach Hobbes, Trey Berry and Malachy McAvoy added two apiece for Ward Melville on Wednesday. Grillo scored three straight goals to build the lead to 8-1 late in the first quarter, and Mike Giaquinto won 16 of 20 faceoffs in the game.

   "It's crazy," Grillo said. "We were hoping to win but we didn't think it would be like this. But we have great players all over the field. We played together on offense and defense and got people open."

   More lacrosse: If you believe in omens, what happened 34 seconds into the Class B semifinal between Victor and East Syracuse Minoa was game, set and match.

   With ESM clamping down on a Blue Devils clear attempt with a hard ride, Victor goalie Chayse Ierlan raced the ball downfield and scored a goal that started the three-time defending NYSPHSAA champions on their way to an 18-3 rout.

   "My first thought was to get over and not be offsides," Ierlan said. "And then the attackmen did a great job of clearing out to create more space."

   Alexander Mabbett, Sam Lambert, Connor Keenan, Andrew Russell and Joey Pezzimenti all scored in the first quarter to give Victor a 6-0 lead. Camden Hay's second of four goals on the day made it an 11-2 lead going into halftime.


   The Blue Devils play Garden City in Saturday's title game. The Trojans cruised past John Jay Cross River 14-4 as Liam Curtin and Kyle Steinbach scored three goals apiece. Cole Dutton and Colin Hart scored twice apiece.

   "We were sharing the ball and creating on offense," Trojans coach Steve Finnell said. "We don't need any one person to dominate on offense, but Liam and Kyle were fantastic."

    • The Class C final will pair Islip against Westhill.

   Islip dispatched Pelham 14-4 as Jeff Atlas finished with two goals and six assists. Mike Bienkowski and Chris Giuliani scored three goals.

   Westhill dominated West Seneca East 17-3 on two goals and four assists from Luke McAnaney, while Owen Matukas chipped in with two goals and three assists.


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  •     • In Class D, Penn Yan and Pleasantville will play for the championship.

       Penn Yan climbed back from 5-1 and 6-2 deficits on the way to a 10-7 win against Chenango Forks. Austin Blumbergs scored four goals, including the go-ahead tally with 1:42 left in the third quarter. Conner Fingar scored three times and Dylan Stape twice for the Mustangs.

       Pleasantville beat Mattituck 20-7 as Declan McDermott finished with four goals and two assists. Brian Reda added three goals and five assists, and Pat Doherty tacked on three goals and three assists. James Daniele also had a hat trick.

       National award for Bouda: Millbrook School junior forward Ousseni Bouda was honored Wednesday by Gatorade as its national boys soccer player of the year while attending an event for the Right to Dream Academy in New York City.

       Bouda scored 49 goals last fall for Millbrook, a private prep school in Dutchess County.

       The last New York athlete to earn a Gatorade national award in his or her sport was Cicero-North Syracuse basketball great Breanna Stewart in 2012.

       Bouda is now a finalist for the national male athlete of the year award to be presented at a ceremony prior to The ESPY Awards next month.

       Bouda, a native of Burkina Faso, already owns the career scoring mark (94 goals) at Millbrook School, which competes in the New England Prep School Athletic Council.

       Dramatic turn of events: A South Dakota golfer cost herself and her team a state championship when she tuned herself in for signing an incorrect scorecard.

       Kate Wynja had appeared to have defended her state title Tuesday until realized she mad marked herself with a 4 instead of a 5 on the 18th hole. The senior and her coach reported the problem to tournament directors, who disqualified her. Having to replace Wynja's score with that of a teammate dropped Sioux Falls Christian from first to second place in Class A.

       "I knew I needed to tell them," Wynja said. "It was really sad, mostly because I knew what the result would be. I knew that I would be disqualified, and it broke my heart for the team. But I knew I couldn't leave without saying something."

       Said tournament official Dan Swartos: "I have so much respect for Kate to come up and do that,” he said. "I cannot say enough for that young lady and how much integrity that took, and how proud I am to have kids like that in South Dakota."

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