Class A’s best Quakers take down?Class C’s best Knights
SILVER CREEK – Silver Creek (9-1) saw its run to perfection come to an end Wednesday, as the Black Knights fell to Section 6 Class A power Orchard Park (7-2), 17-11, in boys’ high school lacrosse.
“Our guys shot well,” Orchard Park head coach Gene Tundo said. “And we moved the ball well and Mitch (Wilson) had a big day facing off. And I think we limited their big scorers early in the game to a few goals. And our goalie made some great saves, too.”
What was a game of two of Western New York’s top boys’ lacrosse teams, saw the Quakers jumped on top early, as they took a 5-0 lead after the first quarter.
“I was real impressed with our defense in the first half,” Tundo said. “And from there we kind of kept it going. It was a great run for our team. (Silver Creek) has been great the last five years and I really respect what they’ve done here with their program.”
Ralph Pagliei got Orchard Park going at the 8:00 mark of the opening frame while John Januszkiewicz added a pair of goals.
Mitch Wilson and Tim Wagner added goals to push the Quakers’ lead to 5-0, and a goal by Adam Belica on an assist from Januszkiewicz, put Orchard Park up 6-0 with 10:24 left in the half.
“We’ve played really well,” Tundo said. “That game against (Section V’s) Pittsford we played awesome. We just need to keep getting challenged, and keep getting better.”
Zeddie Williams was able to finally get Silver Creek on the board with 9:04 left in the second, as the Black Knights took advantage of penalty to Wilson and scored with the man advantage.
“You want to limit his touches, obviously,” Tundo said of Williams. “And you want to take away his strength, which is finding room and shooting. And his right hand, he’s great with it.”
However, the Quakers, as they did the rest of the half, answered the Black Knights’ tally with one of their own, as Januszkiewicz picked up his third goal on a feed from Wilson.
“He’s just going to rotate players in every single year,” Silver Creek head coach Bill Brennan said of Tundo. “It’s one of the better teams that he’s had. I know last year we lost to pretty much the same team because he had six or seven juniors that are seniors now.”
A goal by Frank Wolfe cut the Quakers’ lead to 7-2, but that was as close as Silver Creek was able to get in the first half, as Orchard Park received two goals from Pagliei, and one from Januszkiewicz, and Brian Moran to go up 11-2 at the break.
“I think that our defense is very good and when you win that many faceoffs, things just seem to fall into place,” Tundo said.
Despite being down 11-2, the Black Knights didn’t quit playing and actually outscored the Quakers, 9-6, in the second half, which was pleasing to Brennan.
“We got into the system a little bit,” Brennan said. “But I had told them, and coach (Rob) Genco also said it at the half. He said, ‘Listen guys, we have to go all out. I want you to leave it out on the field.’ And they went out and played extremely hard and I’m very proud of them.”
Zeddie Williams added two more goals and Brennan White had three goals to help lead the Silver Creek charge, but it just wasn’t enough.
“Our main goal (Wednesday) was we just wanted to be in control,” Brennan said. “We just wanted to be a team. We knew (Orchard Park) was good, we just didn’t want (Orchard Park) to come out and beat us, and beat us mentally, where we would start pointing the finger and start playing the blame game. Everybody bucked up, we manned up and everybody took responsibility for this loss, myself included.”
Zeddie Williams finished with three goals and an assist while younger brother Sherman added two goals and four assists.
“We’re playing well,” Brennan said, before adding that he doesn’t think his team has peaked yet. “There’s so much potential on this team.”
Not making anything easier on the Black Knights was the fact that they were without starting goalie Chase Scanlan.
“If our goalie would have been here, it would have been closer,” Brennan said. “I’m not saying the outcome would have been different, but it would have been a closer game.”
Filling in for Scanlan was Owen Tallchief, who was making just his second start of his varsity career.
“He just gave us what we needed him to do,” Brennan said. “But he won’t be in net anymore. Our goalie will be here (today) for our game against East Aurora and we’ll move (Tallchief) to a starting attackman position. He manned up, and he wanted to go in net and I give him a lot of credit for it.”
Tallchief finished with six saves in net, but Brennan will be more than happy to have Scanlan back, and not just for his play in net.
“He’s young,” Brennan said. “He’s a seventh grader and he’s just one of those boys who likes to get people fired up. He’s very competitive and he wants to win.”
NOTES: Chance Gates had a goal and an assist for the Black Knights while teammate Frank Wolfe added a goal in the loss.