Hello again from All High Stadium for another spectacularly sunny day for the Section VI lacrosse championships -- yesterday it was the girls, today it's the boys.
Today's tripleheader begins with an excellent Class C matchup between Amherst and Silver Creek at 3:30 p.m. (it's one I wrote about in Tuesday's Scholastic Spotlight). Then it is the Class A final between Orchard Park and Clarence at 5:30 and the Class B final has Niagara-Wheatfield takes on Hamburg in a scheduled 8 p.m. start.
3:54 p.m. First chance for an update after setting up here; Silver Creek has a 2-0 lead with 2:53 left in the first quarter.
The first goal was by eighth-grader Sherman Williams, who came in from the right side to convert a pass by Frank Brown wth 6:16 left; Blake Curry then scored off a very nice cross-cage transition pass from Jon Jimerson with 4:08 left.
4 p.m. At the END OF THE FIRST QUARTER, Silver Creek leads Amherst, 4-0.
Silver Creek added two more goals in the final three minutes as their famously high-powered offense is certainly doing its thing. Zach Williams converted a pass from Curry with 2:46 left; Silver Creek got a full-field breakaway on a play in which Amherst had a mixup as the official winded the clock -- and Curry went in alone and scored.
4:04 p.m. Silver Creek starts strong in the second quarter with a goal thanks to a fantastic effort by Zeddie Williams, who picked up a failed clear by Amherst, zig-zagged his way through at least three defenders before finding Frank Brown open on the left side of the cage for the goal 49 seconds into the quarter.
Amherst responds less than a minute later with its first goal as Evan Theilman converted a back-of-the-cage pass by Clifton Jackson with 10:14 left in the second for a 5-1 Silver Creek lead.
4:13 p.m. Silver Creek got one back quickly by Zed Williams just eight seconds later to make it 6-2, but Amherst came back with a two-goal surge to cut it to 6-4. Ed Doherty scored on an unassisted rush from behind the left side of the cage with 6:56 left, then 22 seconds later Jackson burst from the left side to the right and scored on about a 10-yard shot.
4:20 p.m. Amherst came within one as Ted Tiftickjian converted in close off a pass by Doherty with 4:24 left in the second quarter, but then Silver Creek flashed more offensive prowess with two quick goals.
Zed Williams scored on a low-slung shot from the right side off a pass from Zach Williams with 3:48 left, then Zed followed with a outstanding play to set up a Brown goal. Right off a faceoff win by Zack Williams, Zed Williams ran the ball across the front of the goal about 15 yards out, and, as he appeared to head to pull the ball back out, he no-look, backhanded a pass to Brown at the left side of the cage for an 8-5 lead with 3:33 left .
4:22 p.m. Amherst gets an extra-man opportunity and cashes in immediately as Theilman scores from about 10 yards straight out after Jackson fed him the ball soon after the whistle restarted play. Silver Creek's lead is 8-6 with 2:12 left in the second.
4:26 p.m. We are at HALFTIME with Silver Creek leading Amherst, 10-7.
Fun finish to a fun quarter. Amherst cut the lead to one (8-7) less than a minute after its previous goal as Dane Bentley created a nice play by feeding Theilman, who was in motion from behind the left side of the cage and he scored with 1:13 left in the quarter.
The Black Knights again flashed their offense thanks to more faceoff work by Zack Williams, who won two straight that led to a pair of goals. Just nine seconds after Amherst cut the lead to one, Zack Williams won the faceoff, sprinted out and found Frank Brown on the left for a 9-7 lead. Another faceoff win and another six seconds later (whoa), Zack Williams created a tic-tac-toe goal that was finished nicely by Sherman Williams for the 10-7 lead with :59 left in the half.
4:41 p.m. Amherst with a great start to the third quarter with two goals to cut the Silver Creek lead to 10-9. Doherty scored on a rebound and Dane Bentley scored 1:27 later with 9:11 left in the third.
4:48 p.m. Silver Creek takes a timeout with 5:07 left in the third; they have an 11-9 lead after a goal on a long, hard shot by Zeddie Williams with 6:02 left.
4:49 p.m. Black Knights score quickly after the timeout as Zack Williams picks up a ground ball and fires a long pass to Jon Jimerson on the right doorstep for a 12-9 lead.
4:54 p.m. Tough to keep track of all of this action :-) Amherst keeps staying close, Silver Creek keeps flashing the offense to stay ahead. The Black Knights' lead is 14-10 heading into the final minute of the third.
4:56 p.m. At the END OF THE THIRD QUARTER, Silver Creek leads Amherst, 14-10.
5:04 p.m. Amherst calls a timeout with 8:00 left to go and the score still 14-10 in favor of Silver Creek.
5:11 p.m. Silver Creek doing a great job here in the fourth and now leads, 17-10. They've had a few more flashy goals, but they've also had some lenghty, smart possessions, and its defense has stepped up with some body checks, stick checks and freshman goalie Connor Graves just came up with a fine save.
Zeddie Williams went on a solo charge to the goal with 5:24 left, somehow scoring as he fell to the turf while being slashed. Frank Brown added his fifth goal with 3:56 left in transition off the Graves save, and Sherman Williams scored off a great long feed from Brown with 3:23 left for the seven-goal lead.
5:14 p.m. Silver Creek calls a timeout with 2:06 left and holding its 17-10 lead.
5:20 p.m. We have a FINAL SCORE: Silver Creek 17, Amherst 10.
The Black Knights win their third straight Class C title.
6:07 p.m. We have our first timeout in the A final, taken by Orchard Park. The game is scoreless with 5:57 left in the first quarter. Both teams have exchanged turnovers for the most part with no good chances of note.
6:17 p.m. At the END OF THE FIRST QUARTER, Orchard Park leads Clarence, 2-0.
Orchard Park scored twice in a 2:17 span, both on unassisted goals. Tim Wagner went from left to right and scored on about a 10-yard shot with 5:48 left in the first; Austin Goltz followed with a charge from the right side and scored while spinning and falling to the turf while being fouled.
Clarence has had a few shots, all but one of them going wide of OP goalie Nick Owens.
6:23 p.m. OP calls a timeout following a failed clear with 9:46 left in the second quarter. Quakers lead, 3-0, after a nice play with Wagner up high and feeding forward to Goltz, who came in from the left side and scored on a high shot just under the crossbar.
6:33 p.m. Clarence calls a timeout with 4:12 left in the second quarter.
Clarence scored its first goal moments ago as Tom Zimmermann converted a pass from Charles Warkenthien with 7:30 left in the first quarter; OP leads, 3-1.
6:38 p.m. OP goes ahead, 5-1, after two goals within a minute. Connor Hicks speeds to the cage and whips a shot that Clarence goalie Zach Johnson got a piece of but trickled in with 2:57 left; Goltz with another goal, his third, as he goes flying to the cage and scores with 2:03 to go in the second.
6:42 p.m. Moments after an incredible point blank save by OP's Nick Owens, Clarence gets one past him on an unsettled play as Dave DeCirce picked up a loose ball off a missed pass and fired it in -- and at a great time, with just 2.9 seconds left in the half.
At HALFTIME, Orchard Park leads Clarence, 5-2.
7:02 p.m. Great start for the Red Devils, scoring twice in the first 3:35 of the third quarter to come within 5-4 and get its crowd fired up.
Warkenthien scored off a pass from Nick Gay just as an extra-man opportunity had come to an end with 9:24 left; a fast break with Alec Dietsch displaying some nice speed before finding DeCirce at the left side of the cage -- his up-and-down fake gave him a goal with 8:25 left in the third.
7:11 p.m. HELLO. We've got a tie game at 5-5 AT THE END OF THE THIRD QUARTER.
As it did in the second quarter, another huge, late goal for Clarence as Cooper Wittig sprints from the left side and unleashes a long shot from about 12 yards out that skids low into the goal with 4.4 seconds left.
Can't remember the last time I've covered a Class A final fourth quarter in which the score was tied to start. Might have to go back to an OP-Hamburg classic at UB Stadium in the early 2000s, which was when Hamburg was an A and which was won by OP in OT. Here we go.
7:17 p.m. Here we go indeed. Clarence now LEADS, 7-5, with less than 10 minutes to go.
Wittig scored as he streaked down the middle and scored off a pass by Gay with 10:47 left. After a Jack Lally faceoff win, Warkenthein came on a strong solo effort from behind the cage on the right side and whipped around and scored with 10:06 left.
Reminder: OP has won 16 straight Section VI Class A titles.
7:23 p.m. Injury timeout with 6:07 left as OP's Trevor Vargo is down on the turf. Clarence leads, 7-5.
7:28 p.m. Orchard Park calls a timeout with the ball and 3:42 left with Clarence still leading, 7-5.
7:33 p.m. Clarence timeout with the ball and 1:31 left. They ran more than 30 seconds off before the timeout.
7:35 p.m. Another timeout by Clarence with 1:00 left after running some more clock off.
7:38 p.m. Another timeout with 19.6 seconds left.
7:41 p.m. We have a FINAL SCORE and it is a STUNNER: Clarence 7, Orchard Park 5.
Sixteen-time defending champ OP goes down.
The postgame show:
8:36 p.m. Niagara-Wheatfield has an early, 3-2 lead on Hamburg with about three minutes left in the first quarter.
The Clarence win over OP has created an extra story for me to write so the updates won't be as plentiful here for the B game. My apologies. I will update at least at the quarters.
8:40 p.m. At the END OF THE FIRST QUARTER, Niagara-Wheatfield leads Hamburg, 3-2.
9:04 p.m. Niagara-Wheatfield used a four-goal run to take an 8-3 lead before Hambug got one back with 4:19 left in the quarter.
At HALFTIME, Niagara-Wheatfield leads Hamburg, 8-4.
9:57 p.m. Sorry for the delay. Exciting second half while I've been writing. Wheatfield leads, 9-8, with 1:11 left in the game.
10:05 p.m. WOW. We're going to OVERTIME tied at 9-9.
Wild finish with Hamburg tying the game with 32.9 seconds left in regulation as Pat Nowak scored off a pass from Max Maxwell.
Hamburg had a chance to win the game in the final seconds, but after one shot was blocked at the defense, a shot by Maxwell with the clock winding down was stopped by N-W goalie Rob Eisenbart. Awesome save.
Four minutes on the clock.
10:10 p.m. Niagara-Wheatfield WINS IN OVERTIME, 10-9, as Cory Becker picked up a loose ball at midfield, then sped to the cage and -- with Hamburg roving goalie Thomas Liponi retreating after the turnover -- scored to give Niagara-Wheatfield the win 48 seconds into overtime. Wow.
Here's video of the winning goal, and my apologies that it isn't clearer. I ran down into the stands to get a better angle (in front of that girder you see in other shots), but the game-ending play happened so fast -- it was too fast for me to adjust the focus to take the glare of the lights away. My bad (chest tap).
It's the first title for Niagara-Wheatfield since 1986.
The postgame show:
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10:59 p.m. Whoa. What a night. The B game going to OT was a tense thriller that we hadn't really seen here in two days of championships.
Sidenote: Clarence had a pretty good night, huh? Lacrosse team knocks off OP, baseball is champions for third straight year, softball team is back in the final. Throw in football and boys soccer titles (Mike Silverstein coaches both boys soccer and boys lax) and the Red Devils have had quite a year.
I'll be getting additional info up here.
The scoreboard page has statistics from all of the games here tonight as well as all of the other action on a busy, important day in high school sports.
All three boys finals will be broadcast on Time Warner Cable SportsNet on Thursday.