Shaker climbs back to the top

PETER R. BARBER/Gazette Photographer Michael Stiso of Shaker works the ball against Pierce Holohan of Shenendehowa during Wednesday's Class A championship game.PETER R. BARBER/Gazette Photographer Michael Stiso of Shaker works the ball against Pierce Holohan of Shenendehowa during Wednesday's Class A championship game.

Gazette Sportswriter

ROTTERDAM — Section II’s first dynasty team is back on top after beating Shenendehowa Wednesday night 9-5 on the Mohonasen High School turf.

Jack Cheney scored the first three goals in a second-half comeback, and Shaker’s defense shined in the program’s first Class A title-game win since 2000.

“It’s been 17 years,” Shaker coach Shawn Hennessey said. “It’s been quite a long haul. We’ve always been the bridesmaid, and never the bride.”

Shaker (No. 1 seed, 17-1) had lost five times in title games since winning its last crown. From 1982 through 2000, Shaker was the area’s premier large-school program with 12 lacrosse titles.

“Since we came in March 6, the seniors have said it every single day,” Cheney, a sophomore attackman, said. “Make a play, win the section.”

The Blue Bison did that against the 2016 Section II champs and a hot goaltender in Anthony Tebbano, who stopped three shots in the first quarter and five more in each one after that.

“He was fantastic. He’s been fantastic all year,” Shenendehowa coach Jason Gifford said of his senior netminder, who kept the Plainmen close for three quarters. “That’s why he’s the best in the section. We’ve got some big shoes to fill.”

While Shaker didn’t fill up the cage, it found enough cracks and creases to add  13th championship to its resume. Five of Shaker’s goals came without an answer after Shenendehowa (No. 2, 13-5) built a 4-3 halftime advantage.

“They pressed a little more,” Gifford said. “They picked up the tempo.”

Cheney scored two goals in the third quarter and another early in the fourth before goals by Michael Stiso and Nick Pepe extended Shaker’s lead to 8-4 with 2:20 left.

Dean Cannon had Shenendehowa’s lone second-half goal with 2:01 left, part of the junior’s hat trick.

“When I scored those three goals, I think it gave us the confidence that we can do this,” Cheney said.

Shaker’s defense, anchored by John Stewart, Sean Orr and Chris Callicchia, and backed by Brendan Morrison (3 saves), stymied the Plainsmen after Matt Stucchi’s goal with 34.6 seconds left in the second quarter.

“We coach them every day and they pick things up quick,” Hennessey said. “When they see it, they see it and they stop it.”

Shaker, the state’s No. 6 team, beat Shenendehowa 13-7 late in the regular season. Shenendehowa came in No. 18 in the state.

“It’s been a lot of work in the youth program,” Hennessey said. “It’sbeen a commitment by the community members, moms and dads, and most of all, by our players.”

Shenendehowa edged Niskayuna in last year’s title game 15-14 when it ended the Silver Warriors’ 81-game win streak against Section II competition. Tebbano was among the Shenendehowa stars that night with 27 saves.

Shaker will meet Section I champ Lakeland/Panas Saturday at 10 a.m. at Mohonasen in a state quarterfinal game.

Shenendehowa    2 2 0 1 — 5
Shaker    2 1 2 4 — 9
Shenendehowa scoring: Dean Cannon 3-0, Eric Makhatadze 0-1, Tommy Sullivan 0-1, Matt Stucchi 1-0, Pierce Holohan 1-0. Shaker scoring: Colin Sorady 1-1, Nick Pepe 2-1, Michael Stiso 2-1, Jack Cheney 3-1, Ryan Laberge 1-0.
Goalkeepers: Shenendehowa, Anthony Tebbano, 18 saves. Shaker, Brendan Morrison, 3 saves.

Glens Falls ended a mini championship drought and prolonged Scotia-Glenville’s for another year with a 21-10 Class C title-game win.

Scotia-Glenville (No. 2, 9-9) scored two quick goals before Glens Falls (No. 1, 12-4) put together the first of its two four-goal runs and never looked back.

“They scored the first two,” Glens Falls senior midfielder Andrew Stamatel said after piling up three goals and five assists. “We answered right back and didn’t stop.”

Glens Falls lost to Greenwich in the last three Class C finals and claimed four consecutive titles before that including an 8-5 win against Scotia-Glenville in 2012. That was the last title-game appearance for the Tartans before Wednesday.

Scotia-Glenville, which has been playing varsity lacrosse since 1997, is 0-for-8 in championship games.

“I thought maybe today was going to be that special day,” Tartans’ coach Brett Campbell said. “We got off to a good start and then we got deflated a little bit.”

Hogan Fox had five goals and three assists for Glens Falls, and Nolan Hogan had five goals and an assist. Stamatel and Dylan Balcom, who notched two goals, also won sectional titles this school year in football and basketball.

“That’s what I really wanted to do, go 3-for-3 after getting three reds [runner-up patches] last year,” Stamatel said.

Glens Falls had a 22-11 faceoff advantage, and scored four man-up goals to go with another while a player down.

“Faceoff win play was definitely a factor,” Campbell said.

Nathan Bruce paced the Tartans with four goals, Ian Flaherty had three goals and two assists, and Jonathan Goetz had three goals and one assist.

Flaherty and Goetz began the scoring before Glens Falls responded with its four straight including two by Balcom. Stamatel capped a four-goal run in the third frame that made it 16-7.

Glens Falls will take on the Section I champ Pleasantville in a sub-regional game Saturday at Mohonasen at 3 p.m.
Scotia-Glenville    3 3 2 2 — 10
Glens Falls    5 6 6 4 — 21
Scotia-Glenville scoring: Nathan Bruce 4-0, Ian Flaherty 3-2, Jonathan Goetz 3-1, Matt Williams 0-1. Glens Falls scoring: Aidan Defelice 2-0, Hogan Fox 5-3, Dylan Balcom 2-0, Julian Winston 2-2, Cooper Montgomery 0-2, Nolan Hogan 5-1, Thompson Collins 1-0, Grayson Brady 1-2, Andrew Stamatel 3-5.
Goalkeepers: Scotia-Glenville, Christian Olsen, 9 saves. Glens Falls, Isaiah Prunty, 5 saves.