We'll be live at Tifft Farms' Paul Fitzpatrick Field in South Buffalo for arguably the best boys lacrosse matchup of the Western New York season as Orchard Park visits Bishop Timon-St. Jude at 7.
I'll have Tom Borrelli Memorial Fund raffle tickets. They are just $5 each. Any help is greatly appreciated.
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6:55 p.m. We're online from the press box at Paul Fitzpatrick Field at the George J. Hartman Playfields here -- what is commonly referred to as Tifft Farms. Quite a mouthful. We're to have some sort of pregame senior night tribute.
7:18 p.m. Orchard Park to a quick 4-0 lead with OP calling a timeout with 3:32 left in the first quarter. The Quakers look very good at both ends.
Timon standout Chris Kane, who is in uniform and was announced before the game as one of the Tigers' seniors, is not playing. Word in the press box is that it is due to a suspension of some kind. More to come on that later. Obviously disappointing that one of the best players in the area is not on the field for one of the best matchups of the year.
7:24 p.m. At the END OF THE FIRST QUARTER, Orchard Park still has a 4-0 lead on Timon. Timon ended the quarter with an extra-man opportunity but couldn't convert -- the final play was a transition chance for OP and Timon goalie Dave Scarcello made a nice save on Sean Rimmer at the horn.
7:40 p.m. OP's lead is still 4-0 with 2:59 left in the second quarter; Timon just called a timeout following a solo clear by goalie Scarcello. OP has continued to have the better of the play but Timon has had more possessions.
7:46 p.m. OP with a timeout with 18 seconds left in the second quarter with OP now up, 6-1. OP has the ball in the Timon end and called the timeout to set up a final possession.
After the last timeout, that worked well for Timon, which scored its first goal after that whistle when Brett Carroll scored off an assist by fellow senior Mark Almquist with 2:45 left.
OP responded just over a minute later on a very nice solo effort by Rimmer, who flat-out beat his longstick as he came from behind the right side of the goal and then unleashed another low stinger of a shot that got a piece of Scarcello but then rolled over the line.
With 38 seconds left in the half, OP cashed in just after the end of an extra-man opportunity in which it had great ball movement -- Rimmer was found wide open in front of the cage by Johnson.
7:48 p.m. We are at HALFTIME and OP leads Timon, 6-1. Scarcello stopped a Ben Johnson hard shot just before the end of the half.
Rimmer has three goals and an assist to lead OP while Sean Purtill, Johnson and Kevin Collins also have goals; Matt Wilson, Kole Robinson, Johnson and Rimmer have assists.
Some details on OP's start: Matt Wilson won the opening faceoff to gain a possession that ended with Purtill scoring just 35 seconds into the game; Johnson scored all alone in front off a nice long feed from the top right by Wilson for a 2-0 lead with 7:43 left in the first; Collins coverted a behind-the-cage feed from Rimmer with 5:52 left.
The best goal of the half was the fourth, as Robinson, the sophomore longstick middle, came out of a scramble in the OP end, cleared the ball and zinged a pass ahead to Rimmer, who scored on a slick sidearm shot.
8:13 p.m. At the END OF THE THIRD QUARTER, OP leads Timon, 7-1.
Rimmer added another goal off an extremely pretty passing play. The Quakers killed off an extra-man opportunity for Timon thanks to a strong ground ball and a clear by junior Cullen Mangino. OP worked the ball around, waited for the penalty to expire, then set up a play (with assistant coach Larry Catalano calling some of the moves being carried out) in which junior midfielder Trevor Vargo drove hard down the right side, passed back to the right corner to senior attack Sean Purtill, who found an open Rimmer in front of the net. Textbook.
8:30 p.m. OP calls a timeout with 3:04 left in the game owning an 11-3 lead.
Rimmer added another goal as Wilson found him open right in front of the net. Timon senior Luke Mann provided some highlights for the home crowd with two nice efforts for goals to make the game 8-3 -- but OP came right back and ended any chance of drama.
Mike Fischer scored off a Trevor Vargo pass just 47 seconds after Mann's second goal to put OP up, 9-3, with 7:51 to play. Collins collected a high pass from Wilson as he bore down on Scarcello to score over the goalie with 6:43 lef for a 10-3 lead. Rimmer added his sixth goal after Timon started getting desperate -- Scarcello rushed Rimmer well outside the cage but he was able to get the ball past him before the hit.
8:33 p.m. OP calls a timeout with 1:17 left in the game with its 11-3 lead. OP looks as it has cleared the bench.
8:37 p.m. We have a FINAL SCORE: Orchard Park 11, Timon 3.
Off to get quotes and write a story.
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Postgame reaction from OP:
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My story is online here, where Timon coach Mike Burke called the suspension of Kane a "school administration suspension."
It obviously would have been great to see Timon with Kane -- it's not often that OP plays a team from Western New York that is a truly significant threat. I think OP probably still wins, but you never know.
OP jumped to a 4-0 lead and that set a tone for both sides, and even the press box -- it was a message that OP had brought the complete game it always does. Timon hung around all the way to into the fourth quarter, but I think that after that start OP knew what it had and knew it wasn't going to get beat.
The Quakers are annually impressive with its athletic midfielders and defenseman -- just the speed and the stature of the players while they are going on solo clears is enough to earn a "wow." Robinson, Gary Davies, and Cullen Mangino were just some of the very strong sticks with very strong legs.
However, Timon made enough plays -- and Scarcello made enough saves (and started enough clears) -- that it sure would have been interesting to see if they had Kane to simply possess the ball on offense. Several early possessions were short-lived against a serious OP defense. Burke said Kane -- who played at attack in some games -- would have played midfield (as he did last year) and would have made an impact throught on both ends.
Despite the close call to Clarence this week (11-7), OP is again an overwhelming favorite in Section VI Class A as the tournament starts next week. Timon rolled through the Monsignor Martin Association and should is expected to earn a berth in a Catholic state title game against one of the powers from Long Island.