PITTSFORD — Saturday’s Far West Regionals in boys lacrosse saw one of the biggest wins in Hamburg history, the end of one of the finest athletic careers Western New York has ever seen, and a game that was weather-delayed but ended oh-so-suddenly for Orchard Park.
Hamburg began the afternoon under sunny skies at St. John Fisher’s Growney Stadium with a comprehensive, 12-3 statement of a victory over Canandaigua in Class B, putting the Bulldogs in the state semifinals for the second time.
In the Class C game, senior Zed Williams did just about everything for an outmanned Silver Creek squad that started strongly but was worn down in an eventual 11-7 loss. Williams, who is headed to the University of Virginia, finishes his five-year varsity career with five sectional titles and as the presumed national record holder in career goals (444) and points (728).
Thunderstorms caused a delay in the Class A game, which late in the first half was held up for an one hour and nine minutes. Orchard Park trailed before the storms, rallied once evening fell to take a three-goal lead in the final minutes, but Penfield rallied to tie the game and win it in overtime, 12-11.
Hamburg (17-2) will return to St. John Fisher on Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. for the Class B state semifinals, where it will face Section III (Syracuse area) power Jamesville-Dewitt (19-1). The winner advances to Saturday’s state championship, also at St. John Fisher. Hamburg’s only previous trip to the state semifinals came in 2008.
“I think this year, the guys just made enough improvement that they could make a big step today,” said Hamburg coach Jerry Severino. “In the heat, in the first quarter, we were feeling each other out a little bit, playing a patient game, and then my offense kind of took over and started sticking some nice shots.”
The Bulldogs had a bit of a slow start, trailing, 2-1, in the second quarter, then rolled for the rest of the game. It took a 5-2 lead by halftime and upped it to 8-2 after three quarters.
Hamburg often got things started with senior midfielder Nick Wilcox, who won 12 of his 18 faceoffs. Senior Austin Bishop had three goals and three assists, while senior Max Maxwell and freshman Evan Hollfelder each had three goals and an assist. Sophomore goalie Jordan Kuss had six saves, and the Bulldogs defense stymied a team that had lost a 13-12 game at Hamburg on April 19.
Silver Creek (17-3) and Williams had their third straight regional meeting with Penn Yan (15-4), one that was won by Silver Creek in 2011 for Section VI’s first-ever Class C regional win before Penn Yan held off a charge by Williams in the last minute for a 14-13 win last year.
Williams, a midfielder, won 20-of-22 faceoffs for Silver Creek while he scored four goals, had one assist and also made key plays on defense. While there is no official record book for national high school lacrosse records, his career marks are believed to be unmatched.
“I’ll remember every journey, every season,” said Williams. “Every year was a different team, every year I was proud to be part of Silver Creek. I guess it’s time for a new beginning.”
In the first half, the often running-and-gunning Black Knights played a deliberate style on offense, which combined with Williams’ faceoffs, an effective zone defense and big saves by seventh-grade goalie Chase Scanlan (five for the game) had the Black Knights up, 5-3, at the break.
In the second half, Penn Yan, a perennial power, wore down Silver Creek, which played with just one substitute. Penn Yan rebounded to take control of the game, leading 9-7 after the third quarter and increasing the lead to three 1:46 into the final quarter.
Orchard Park (17-2), which had its Section VI A final postponed one day due to a storm was down, 4-3, when play was called at 6:40 p.m. due to lightning with 5:40 left in the second quarter. After a heavy downpour and thunderstorm, play resumed and OP forged a 6-6 tie at halftime, which, due to the prolonged weather delay, was a brief two minutes.
Senior Mitch Wilson dominated faceoffs (winning 15 of 19), helping the Quakers to a 9-7 lead early in the fourth. Later, three straight goals by senior Ralph Pagliei put OP up, 11-8, with 3:07 left to play.
Penfield, whose players wear undershirts with the motto “Believe & Finish” hanging out from the back of their jerseys, charged back with three goals in the final 90 seconds. The game-tying goal was scored with 30.1 seconds left by Charlie Cummins, who scored off a reboundJonathan Spaan charged in from the left side and scored the winner for Penfield 1:46 into the four-minute sudden-death overtime period.
In overtime, Penfield intercepted an OP clearing attempt. It resulted in Jonathan Spaan scoring from the left side at 1:46.
“They got the last shot,” said Orchard Park coach Gene Tundo. “I thought when we were up 11-8 we had some breathing room, but they got a couple of quick ones that made the difference. I was proud of how our team played. There’s no heads down. They were phenomenal.”