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Class A Section Final Preview

Posted Thursday, June 04, 2009 by North County News

Section 1 Class A Finals Preview

June 4th, 2009 by Isaac Cass


Yorktown’s John Ranagan rips a shot against L/P in the Murphy Cup. 

Class A

No. 1 Yorktown (16-2) vs. No. 2 Lakeland/Panas (13-4)

Prior matchup: Yorktown 11, L/P 7 (click here to see video highlights from that game)

From a Yorktown standpoint:

* The Huskers — a senior-laden group — won’t be denied against an archrival in a big spot. There’s simply too much veteran leadership on this squad to falter at this point.

* Yorktown middie John Ranagan, who torched L/P for five goals and an assist in the Murphy Cup, presents a near-impossible matchup for L/P. I assume the Rebels will double the Hopkins-bound All-American. Guys like Andy Fazio, Matt Voelkel and Owen Rice will have to really bring it. But don’t you just get the feeling that this kid is destined to have another monster game? It’s scary to think just how good Ranagan has become since his sophomore year. And that doesn’t bode well for future college opponents either. I mean, he’s sure to get even better. Scary thought, right?

* Traditionally, Town only gets stronger as the season progresses and really starts to peak in the postseason. Talking with the players after the win over North Rockland, they had a Kobe-like focus on the task at hand: winning states.

* Yorktown goalie Michael Bonitatibus is going to come up HAY-UGE. Remember when these two teams met in the Class A sectional finals two years ago? Bonitatibus, who had just earned his starting spot back at the onset of the playoffs, played like a man possessed. This kid likes the championship stage and is a true competitor. Plus, don’t you think he’s just a little peeved that he wasn’t the goalie to be chosen as an All-American? As we learned in 2007, Mikey B. performs his best when there are people out there doubting him. With that said, I’d look for him to play better than he has all year.

*  Kevin Interlicchio, who looked a tad worn down late in the regular season, appears to be refreshed and refueled. This kid has made a habit of putting on exhibitions against L/P. In five career games against the Rebels, he has scored 20 points (13 goals, 7 assists). I’d look for the trend to continue.

Musing on the game from a L/P standpoint:

* Veteran attackman Jack Doherty has the potential to pop off at any moment, but we haven’t really seen a “vintage JD performance” yet this year. Yorktown All-American defenseman John Fennessy had his number in the first matchup, holding Doherty to zero goals and two assists. JD will have one more chance to show everyone just how potent a player he can be. After last year’s 17-5 loss to the Huskers in the sectional finals, I can assure you that he won’t be lacking any motivation.

* I think senior middie Johnny Hittman will win the face-off battle. However, it won’t really mean all that much if L/P throws away passes and takes ill-advised shots in 6-on-6 situations. While such mental lapses used to be a grave problem for the Rebels (see:one-goal losses to Somers and Rye), it appears they have visited the lax shrink. Against Mahopac, the their offense methodically worked the ball around late in the game, burning time off the clock to secure the win. Against Yorktown, they need to continue the trend — and then some.

* Shawn Honovich is L/P’s version of John Ranagan, so he needs to be that kind of a difference-maker for the Rebels. Look for him to trigger fast-break opportunities in transition, which are always known to sway the momentum. Attackmen Will Fallo and James Bugeya — two real nice prospects that have grown into dangerous players — need to finish those opportunities. Fallo is sure to get few, but he’s also assured to get steamrolled by rabid Town d-man. In that case, he needs to hang in there — like he did in the Murphy Cup after taking a bruising hit from Brendan Brunelle — and stick the shots. Look for Bugeya to snipe few from the point, as he has a good enough shot to beat Bonitatibus from up top. A strong and physical kid, he also needs to ride like there’s no tomorrow.

* Goalies Brendan Burke and Steve Hoch both played exceptionally well in the Murphy Cup. Both need to have even stronger performances this time around. In order to limit Yorktown’s potent offense, they need to be near-perfect against long range shots.

* More than anything, L/P has to survive the first quarter. It was 9-0 after the first quarter of last year’s sectional final, which put the Rebels in an impossible position to come back. I don’t see that happening again, trust me.

Prediction: Yorktown 12, L/P 7 — In the end, Yorktown’s potential-team-of-destiny avoids a hiccup. Still, I expect this one to be very close deep into the third quarter.  But watch out for the Rebels next year, as they return a ton of talent all over the field. I’ll say this: the Murphy Cup is going to be very interesting next season.

Posted in Boys' Lacrosse | No Comments »

Seven Diamonds: Boys’ Lax Rankings

June 2nd, 2009 by Isaac Cass

Rankings as of Noon, Tuesday


Yorktown’s John Ranagan (left) and Ethan Fox were both named All-Americans.

1) Yorktown (16-2) — The Huskers scored more goals — 42 — in their last two Class A sectional wins over Arlington and North Rockland than the New York Jets did points — 34 — in their last three losses of 2008.


With that said, No. 8-seeded Arlington and No. 4-seeded North Rockland can blame it on a perfect scapegoat: Wilton.

“Right after we lost to Wilton — and sectionals were coming around — we wanted to prove a point to the section that there was no more messing around and we are serious,” All-American defenseman Ethan Fox said. “We just wanted to blow everybody away.”

Mission accomplished.

The Huskers jumped out to a 17-2 lead at the half en route to a 21-5 Class A sectional semifinal win over the visiting Red Raiders Friday. According to senior All-American middie John Ranagan, the Huskers only lost one face-off during the obliterating stretch.

“We had a bunch of talks this week about the Wilton game,” All-American attackman Kevin Interlicchio said. “We don’t want to do that again, obviously. Things changed over the last week and changed for the better.”

Yorktown’s 1984 squad — which won the program’s first state title in an epic 6-5 win over West Genesee — was in attendance. The squad gathered along the sideline at halftime and was honored by a gigantic crop of fans.

Jim Turnbull, who coached the ’84 team, gave a brief speech.

“It was 120 degrees at Hofstra that day and West Genesee had a 91-game winning streak, but they didn’t a have a 92-game streak,” Turnbull said.

For Yorktown players, I’d imagine that moment was akin to Bill Pullman’s hair-raising speech as the president in the movie “Independence Day.”

“It was really awesome to see those guys,” Ranagan said of the ’84 team. “They did it, and we want to be that seventh team.”

Yorktown Head Coach Dave Marr burned copies of the win over West Genny and planned to show it to the team.

“It’s a reminder of history,” Marr said. “They’ve never seen the game. We are going to sit down as a team and watch it and laugh at all the short shorts and see how much the game has changed. It’s definitely a different game. It’s a lot slower with no time limits coming over. Plus, there were six poles on the field so it was harder to score.”

Before the Huskers can even think about Lucky No. 7, they have to get by archrival Lakeland/Panas in the Section 1 finals June 4 at White Plains High School.

It’s pretty insane that these teams are meeting in the Class A finals for the third consecutive year. I mean, almost all these kids — minus a handful of Panas players — live in the town of Yorktown. This is beyond fertile ground for lax, folks.

The Huskers defeated the Rebels 11-7 in the Murphy Cup and tattooed them, 17-5, in last year’s sectional final.

“We made a lot of mistakes against (Lakeland/Panas) the first time and have corrected them,” Fox said. “I think we are pretty much ready for Lakeland.”

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