OP starts season with a win
After getting off to a slow start, Orchard Park went on an 8-2 run in the third quarter to put away host Nichols and post a 16-9 boys lacrosse victory in the Quakers' season opener Tuesday afternoon.
Seven Orchard Park players -- led by Matt Ciambella's two goals and two assists -- scored in the quarter as the Quakers took a decisive 14-6 advantage in the nonleague contest. The game was tied, 2-2, after the first quarter before the Quakers edged ahead, 6-4, at the half.
"We're not in championship form yet. . . . We've got a long ways to go to June," said Joe Biondi, assistant coach of the defending Section VI Class A champions. "We've had a lot of scrimmages and things are picking up a little bit. . . . We're getting there."
Ciambella (three goals, three assists) and Greg Michael (three goals, one assist) led the Orchard Park scorers. Jeff Tundo (three assists), Josh Eustice and Tom Mitchell (one assist) each scored two goals.
Goalie Vinny Lepore made seven saves for the Quakers. Orchard Park visits defending Class B champ Amherst on Friday night.
Will Gurney led Nichols (0-2), the defending Western New York Private School champion, with three goals and an assist. Vikings teammate Peter Marlette added two goals and two assists.
In a nonleague game, Clarence sophomore Dan Daron had seven goals and an assist and Dan Audy had two goals in a 13-3 win over Medina.
Weather permitting, the baseball and softball seasons get under way for most Western New York high schools next week with action scheduled throughout the ECIC, the Niagara-Orleans League and in competition for the Thompson Trophy (Buffalo softball) and Cornell Cup (Buffalo baseball). In an early ECIC Interdivision game Tuesday, Brandon Lindsley of Pioneer drove in two runs with a single and pitched two scoreless innings to earn the save in an 8-3 win over Holland.
Meanwhile, Fredonia's Brian Bongiovanni hit a bases-loaded triple in the top of the seventh for a 4-1 win over Iroquois (Pa.) in the four-team Harborcreek (Pa.) Tournament. Winning pitcher Kevin Manzella struck out four in three innings and Abe Rak whiffed seven in the final three innings. Fredonia plays Erie Central in the final Thursday.