John Jay Holds off Yorktown for Title

Justin Comerford heads for the cage in the Section 1 Class B championship game. Credits: Rob DiAntonio

SHRUB OAK, N.Y.— Top-seeded John Jay-Cross River defeated No. 2 Yorktown 10-8 in the Section 1 Class B sectional championship game, which gave the Indians their first sectional title since 2010 and ended the Huskers’ streak of seven straight sectional crowns.

“We’ve been working hard all year,” said John Jay’s Sean Nolan (3G), who was named the game’s offensive MVP. “Last year we lost in the sectional championship and the year before that. It’s all about this moment and our team rose to the occasion and we won it. It means the world to us.”

Leading Yorktown offensively was Hunter Embury (3G) on May 29 at Lakeland High School.

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“Overall, I think my team fought hard and gave everything they had,” Embury said. “I feel like the heat and the conditions were definitely a factor coming down to the wire but I was confident and always am confident in my teammates to empty the tank and fight hard until the end. Unfortunately some things didn’t fall our way but I’m happy with the way my team fought. With that being my last game in a Yorktown jersey I just want to say that I loved every second of it, and I’m so proud of my teammates for always working day in and day out together. I am definitely going to miss this awesome group of friends.”

For John Jay, it was the second time that it defeated Yorktown this season, as it also won the first matchup between the two teams 7-6 on April 6 at John Jay.

“Looking back on it, I think it’s actually huge,” said John Jay coach Tim Schurr, referring to the regular-season win against Yorktown. “We figured in all likelihood we’d get back to these guys. But it did show my guys that we could win.”

John Jay led 7-3 going into the final quarter before Hunter Embury cut that lead in half when he scored twice, with both assists coming from his twin brother Jamison Embury (1G, 3A).

Hunter Embury later scored to slice John Jay’s lead to 8-7, with 4:15 remaining in the game.

“Scoring to make it 8-7 was huge and an absolute confidence booster,” Hunter Embury said. “John Jay was playing a terrific zone all game, so credit its tough defense. On that goal I was able to pop off the crease and find some separation for just a second in order to get a shot off. Shane Dahlke deserves praise for finding me and putting the pass right on the money. At that point in the game there was finally life and energy, and you could feel it coming from everyone on the team. Unfortunately what happened after did not fall our way but I give John Jay its due for coming right back.”

John Jay (15-4) tallied an unassisted goal by Dean Ford with 3:22 remaining, followed by Bryce Ford scoring, assisted by Jack Gorman 54 seconds later, to send its student body into a frenzy and seal the sweetest of John Jay wins.

Brett Makar (defensive MVP), Dahlke (1G, 1A), Alex DeBenedictis (1G), Timmy O’Callaghan (1G), Justin Comerford (1G), Brendan Williams (8 face-offs won) and Louis Ragusa (5 saves) did the honors for the Huskers (14-4).

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