MAHOPAC, N.Y. — Possession is the name of the game in lacrosse because without it you don’t have anything.
That was particularly true in top-seeded Yorktown’s dominating 14-6 triumph over No. 3 John Jay-Cross River in the Section 1 Class B championship game at Mahopac High School on Friday, which gave the Huskers their 40th sectional championship plaque and seventh in a row.
“There have been a bunch of great Yorktown teams before us, whom I grew up watching hoist that plaque. It’s something that you dream of growing up in this town,” Yorktown junior captain Brett Makar said. “John Jay is a rival who we expect to see every season this time of year and to beat it we just had to stay together and follow our senior leaders, Jose Boyer, Dom Cioffi, Justin Cavallo, Kyle Casey and Anthony Altimari at the face-off X. Hoisting No. 40, it’s like no other.”
Leading the Huskers in goal scoring were Cavallo (5G) and Jamison Embury (4G), who each simply put on a clinic in offensive prowess while carving up the John Jay defense.
“Justin’s size, his strength, he was turning the corner well, shooting well. He has been really working on his game the last month,” Yorktown coach Sean Carney said. “Halfway through the season, he turned the corner, sometimes the switch goes on in seniors. As for Jamison, he’s been playing like that all season. He’s the quarterback back there. He controls games—it’s what we expected him to do.”
Carney admitted that John Jay’s Duke University-bound long stick middie/defenseman Braden Burke being out of the lineup because of an injury was a factor.
“They missed Braden,” Carney said. “(John Jay coach) Timmy (Schurr) does a great job with his kids but they did miss Braden because Braden usually covers Justin. It was a tough match-up for them.”
As brilliant as Cavallo and Embury were, they would not have been able to display their skills without the relentless work ethic of Altimari (1G), who won 20 of 24 face-offs.
Altimari’s dominating effort earned him the game’s offensive MVP honors.
“I just knew we needed to possess the ball,” Altimari said. “We have a great offense. We have been working hard all season. I knew if we possessed the ball we’d come out on top so I just knew I had to do that in order for us to win.”
Earning MVP honors on the defensive end was Yorktown goalie Louis Ragusa, who came up with eight big saves.
“Once our offense gives us momentum, we want to play better with them too,” Ragusa said. “When they are playing good, we are playing good. We just needed to win this game.”
Yorktown’s offense and defense both began to click late in the first half. It outscored the Indians 4-0 in the final 5:05 of the second quarter, on unassisted goals by Cavallo, Casey (2G, 3A), Hunter Embury and Casey again with just seven seconds before halftime.
That scoring spree put the Huskers up 6-3 at the half and they never looked back.