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Section VI swept at Far West Regionals

For the first time since 1998, there will not be a Section VI boys lacrosse team in the state final four.

All three Section VI champions lost to their counterparts from Section V (Rochester area) in the Far West Regionals Thursday night before a chilly crowd of about 1,000 at St. John Fisher.

Orchard Park had its run of state final fours end at three with an 11-6 loss to Irondequoit in Class A while Section VI's two first-time champions had their seasons end. Hamburg lost to Geneva, 18-10, in Class B while East Aurora dropped the Class C game to Penn Yan, 16-0.

Orchard Park made the final four in Class A from 1999 to 2001 and again from 2004 to 2006; Amherst advanced in Class B from 2002 to 2004 and again last year.

All three Section V teams will return to St. John Fisher for Thursday's state semifinals.

CLASS A: Orchard Park took a 3-0 lead in the first 7:04, but didn't score again for 33 minutes. In the meantime, Irondequoit scored 10 times and OP committed 13 of its 14 penalties.

"They were just better. They outplayed us and outhustled us," said OP coach Gene Tundo, whose Quakers lost the ground ball battle, 43-15. "The second quarter we didn't have the ball on offense -- we didn't clear the ball, and all the penalties added up and tired us out."

Greg Michael and OP came out roaring as the senior scored and had two great assists as the Quakers (16-5) jumped ahead. But the Eagles (19-2) scored in the final seconds of the first quarter and then added four in the second. In the third, Irondequoit's longsticks thwarted what were mostly one-on-one moves by the Quakers. OP didn't end its scoreless streak until Michael (three goals, two assists) scored 1:56 into the fourth quarter. The closest OP would get was five.

CLASS B: Hamburg had momentum on its side when it scored the final eight goals in beating Amherst, 9-7, for its first sectional title last weekend. On Tuesday the Bulldogs found out what it was like to be swallowed up by that kind of wave.

Geneva (18-4) used an 8-1 third quarter to turn what had been a 7-7 game at halftime into a rout. Hamburg was late coming out of the halftime break -- Geneva was awarded the second half's first faceoff as a result -- and Hamburg played as if it were a step behind the entire quarter. The Panthers scored twice in the first three minutes of the third as they went on a 6-0 run.

"I think [coming out late from halftime] put them down a little bit," said Geneva's Kyle Boncaro, who had three goals and four assists. "We got the ball and didn't have to take a faceoff, we put it in, got another one back . . . we kept pumping and we never looked back."

Hamburg (17-4) played an outstanding first half, delivering hard-hitting checks and finishing off fast breaks with slick goals. Hamburg junior Joe Resetarits had two goals and four assists.

"I can't believe that they wouldn't let us know that it was time to start the game," Hamburg coach Jerry Severino said. "The first half is what they're really capable of -- the stick skills and the ball movement was wonderful. And the fourth quarter they did a great job."

CLASS C: Lacrosse followers are used to seeing Penn Yan dominate, but they're not used to seeing a longstick midfielder continue to use his longstick on offense for much of the game, which is what Duke-bound senior Michael Manley did. Manley had four goals and an assist, operating in traffic by the cage as if he were just another attackman.

No Section VI Class C champion has won a playoff game in the eight-year history of the bracket, including an 0-5 record against Penn Yan (16-6), which advanced to its ninth straight final four.

"We knew it wasn't going to be easy," said fourth-year East Aurora coach Derek Hoover, whose team went 18-3 and won its first sectional title. "It's a great learning experience. They really gave it all they had. It was the best season in the history of the program -- we can't ask for more."

e-mail: kmcshea@buffnews.com

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