Boys’ lacrosse sectionals preview

PETER R. BARBER/Gazette Photographer Niskayuna looks to return to a sectional title game, and more.PETER R. BARBER/Gazette Photographer Niskayuna looks to return to a sectional title game, and more.

BY JIM SCHILTZ
Gazette Sportswriter

Seeds for the new-look Section II boys’ lacrosse tournament were released Friday.

Champions will be crowned in four classes for the first time with the addition of Class D, where Wasaren League titlist Greenwich has been tabbed the No. 1 seed. Greenwich (15-1) is also the lone No. 1 seed that won an area flag last season.

The other No. 1 seeds are Shaker (14-1) in Class A, Niskayuna (13-2) in Class B and Glens Falls (10-4) in Class C.

The Section II tournament expanded from two classes to three in 2000. The three champions that year, ironically, were Shaker, Niskayuna and Glens Falls.

CLASS A

View from the top

No. 1 Shaker saw its bid for a perfect regular season end Tuesday with a 9-8 loss to Niskayuna. The Blue Bison – ranked No. 7 in the state – have been the Section II Class A runner-up five times since earning their last crown in 2000.

Best of the rest

No. 2 Shenendehowa can beat any team in the Class A field with four strong quarters. No. 4 Saratoga Springs and No. 5 Bethlehem face an uphill climb, with Shaker awaiting the winner  in the semifinals.

A year ago

Shenendehowa ended Niskayuna’s 81-game win streak against Section II competition with a 15-14 Class A title-game win when Matt Stucchi scored seven goals and Anthony Tebbano made 27 saves. Shenendehowa’s last title before that came in 2013 against Shaker.

Don’t be surprised if …

Shaker and Shenendehowa lock horns in the Class A title game. Shaker beat Shenendehowa 13-7 earlier this month.

Keep your eyes on …

Stucchi, Shenendehowa’s junior standout,  who started to heat up near the end of the regular season.

The schedule

Tuesday

Quarterfinals

6-CBA at 3-Guilderland, 4:15 p.m.; 5-Bethlehem at 4-Saratoga Springs, 4:15 p.m.

Friday

Semifinals

CBA/Guilderland at 2-Shenendehowa, 4:30 p.m.; Bethlehem/Saratoga Springs at Shaker, 5 p.m.

Wednesday, May 31

Championship

Semifinal winners at Mohonasen, 7:30 p.m.

CLASS B

View from the top

No. 1 seed Niskayuna is coming off another sweep through the Suburban Council and has lost only to Class A St. Anthony’s and Connecticut heavyweight Darien. Niskayuna is seeking its 15th straight title-game appearance (Class A and B), and its 15th championship going back to 1994 (Class A and B).

Best of the rest

No. 2 Ballston Spa, No. 3 Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake and No. 4 Queensbury  had successful regular seasons, but a sectional title is a long shot with Niskayuna  – the state’s No. 4-ranked team  – standing in the way.

A year ago

Will Clark and Darien LaPietro scored five goals apiece and Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake defeated Ballston Spa 17-9 for the Class B title, the highlight game of its 10th anniversary season. Burnt Hills claimed its first Class B crown in 2011.

Don’t be surprised if …

Ballston Spa, Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake and Queensbury win their quarterfinal games Monday. The No. 5 Columbia at Queensbury game is a rematch from 2016, and Spartans won that 13-8 in the closest quarterfinal from that tournament.

Keep your eyes on …

A potential semifinal rematch between Ballston Spa and Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake in the Thursday semifinals. The Scotties edged BH-BL 12-9 earlier this month.

The schedule

Monday

Quarterfinals

1-Niskayuna, bye; 7-Troy at Ballston Spa, 4:15 p.m.; 6-LaSalle at 3-Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake, 5 p.m.; 6-Columbia at 4-Queensbury, 5 p.m.

Thursday

Semifinals

Troy/Ballston Spa vs. LaSalle/BH-BL, time, site, TBA; Columbia/Queensbury at Niskayuna, 4:15 p.m.

Tuesday, May 30

Championship

Semifinal winners at Mohonasen, 7:30 p.m.

CLASS C

View from the top

No. 1 seed Glens Falls beat every Section II opponent it faced in the regular season except Foothills Council champ Queensbury (twice) and Greenwich. The Indians are looking to add an eighth Class C title to their resume that also includes four Class B banners.

Best of the rest

No. 2 Scotia-Glenville would enjoy nothing more than another crack at Glens Falls after losing twice in league play including a 14-10 setback earlier this month. Scotia-Glenville will have to beat No. 3 South Glens Falls in the semifinals to reach its first title game since 2012.

A year ago

Greenwich defeated Glens Falls for the third year in a row in the Class C final 12-6 when Adam Owens and Dennis Dauphin scored four goals apiece. Glens Falls won the four previous titles in a superb run from 2010-13.

Don’t be surprised if …

Glens Falls goes the distance after winning its last four regular season games, and six of its last seven.

Keep your eyes on …

The No. 5 Johnstown at No. 4 Averill Park quarterfinal Tuesday. Averill Park is a second-year varsity team seeking its first sectional win. The Warriors only win in 2016 came against Johnstown, and their only win this season came against Albany.

The schedule

Tuesday

Quarterfinal

5-Johnstown at 4-Averill Park, 5 p.m.

Friday

Semifinals

Johnstown/Averill Park at 1-Glens Falls, 5 p.m.; 3-South Glens Falls at 2-Scotia-Glenville, time TBA.

Wednesday, May 31

Championship

Semifinal winners at Mohonasen, 5 p.m.

CLASS D

View from the top

No. 1 Greenwich has strung nine victories since losing its only game to Queensbury 5-1. Aside from an 8-7 overtime win against Glens Falls, the Witches have won each of their other games by at least six goals.

Best of the rest

No. 2 Cambridge is the only other team in the Class D field with a winning record (11-3) and will be striving for its first championship-game appearance. Cambridge has a potential semifinal date No. 3 Schuylerville, which it beat 13-10 during a six-game win streak midway through the regular season.

A year ago.

No title game.

Don’t be surprised if …

No. 4 Maple Hill and No. 5 Hoosick Falls play another close game in Monday’s quarterfinal round. Hoosick Falls beat Maple Hill 11-8 and lost to the Wildcats 9-8 in Wasaren League action.

Keep your eyes on …

Cambridge junior Maxwell Hoffer, who had one of Section II’s greatest individual scoring games with six goals and seven assists in a April win against Lansingburgh.

The schedule

Monday

Quarterfinals

6-Voorheesville at 3-Schuylerville, 7 p.m.; 5-Hoosick Falls at 4-Maple Hill, 5 p.m.

Thursday

Semifinals

Voorheesville/Schuylerville at 2-Cambridge, 5 p.m.; Hoosick Falls/Maple Hill at 1-Greenwich, 7 p.m.

Tuesday, May 30

Championship

Semifinal winners at Mohonasen, 5 p.m.

Reach Gazette Sportswriter Jim Schiltz at 395-3143, jims@dailygazette.com or @jim_schiltz on Twitter.