SECTIONAL SPORTS: Penn Yan boys lacrosse and baseball advance to finals
After a five-game winning streak and a forfeit by LeRoy in the Semi-Final round, Penn Yan finds themselves in the Class B2 Finals against the Wellsville Lions on June 15. As the higher seed, LeRoy will host the game. The Lions captured the #2 seed in the tournament, while Penn Yan came in at #5.
Wellsville is seeking its first sectional title since 2011 when the Lions defeated Hornell. Wellsville has made it back to the title game four times since then. Penn Yan is making its first sectional final appearance since 2014. The Mustangs have lost its last two championship appearances, falling to Livonia in 2014 and to Aquinas in 2012.
The Class will be decided at Wellsville High School at 5 p.m. on Tuesday.
Penn Yan 14, Bath 7
In what turned out to be one of Penn Yan's more competitive games of the season, the Mustangs defeated Bath to move on to the Class D Finals of Sectionals. Going 9-5 through the season, the Rams had taken the #4 seed for the tourney, earning their chance to face Penn Yan after defeating Aquinas in the Quarter-Finals. Penn Yan, meanwhile, averaged 14 points a game this Spring and went undefeated through almost the entire season, finally falling to Canandaigua in the last game of the regular schedule.
The game started as many have this season, with Penn Yan racking up three unanswered points in the first quarter. However, in the last two minutes of Period 1, the Rams' Jamie O'Neil netted two quick goals within five seconds of each other and added a third 30 seconds after the first two to tie the game. Not content to let the first quarter end in a tie, PY's Ayden Mowry slung one into Bath's net with eight seconds left on the clock, putting the game at 4-3. From there, the game slipped further and further away from the Rams. O'Neil was able to get a fourth goal for Bath in the second quarter, but the score was 9-4 going into the half.
The Rams managed to score twice more in the second half and offered PY one of the stronger defenses they've faced this season, but ultimately, PY's offense was too much for Bath to contain and the game ended with the Mustangs seven points ahead. Despite the Rams' loss, the contest was the type of hard-fought, physical lacrosse game one would expect to see in a Sectional Semi-Final match and gave the Mustangs one of the most competitive games they've had in a season that has thrown very few obstacles in their path.
For Penn Yan, Ayden Mowry was an offensive force on the field, scoring four goals and picking up four assists. PY's Max Brodmann had one of his highest scoring games of the season, netting four and adding an assist. Also for Penn Yan, Devon Gerhardt picked up two and two, 8th-grader Teagan Fingar scored twice, and Mekhi Mahan picked up a goal and an assist. In net for the Mustangs, Griffin Emerson managed nine saves.
Bath's goaltender, Ethan Narby, had a dynamic and well-played game that saw him constantly on his toes and making seven saves against the Mustangs' onslaught. Before PY shut him down with constant in-your-face coverage, Jamie O'Neil was an incredibly strong offensive player, scoring four times. The Rams' goals in the 4th quarter came one a piece from Brady Dickson and Curtis Conrad.
Penn Yan now moves on to the Class D Finals against Pal-Mac, after the Red Raiders defeated Marcus Whitman at the same time the PY-Bath was happening. A final matchup between Penn Yan and Whitman was anticipated by both sets of fans after the two teams spent the season battling for the top spot in the Finger Lakes League; Whitman being the only other team in the league to stay close to Penn Yan's record and their meetup earlier this season ending in a somewhat less competitive match then expected. with the Mustangs winning 10-3.
The Final game is set for Monday, June 14 at Penn Yan Academy at 5 p.m.
Pal-Mac 11, Marcus Whitman 9
After a hard-fought game that saw Whitman drag themselves back from an early thrashing, the Wildcats (13-2) fell in the end, losing by two points to the Red Raiders (12-4) and ending Whitman's postseason hopes of making the Finals and getting one more shot at Penn Yan.
The 1st quarter was an even contest between the two teams, with the period ending at four goals a piece. The 2nd quarter was a different story, with Pal-Mac scoring five to Whitman's one, ending the half at 9-5 for the Raiders. Whitman began to rally in the second half, scoring two goals in each quarter to one in each for Pal-Mac, but there wasn't enough time for Whitman to make it all the way back, ending the game two goals behind.
Logan Babcock was the top gun for the Raiders, scoring four goals. Also for Pal-Mac, Quinn Nolan scored one goal and three assists, Damian Knaak scored two and Riley Lich picked up one goal and two assists. For the Wildcats, Ryan Herod scored two goals with three assists, while Connor Tomion and Aidan Royston scored two each and Rylan Weissinger, Brody Royston and Connor Gorton each picked up one, Gorton also adding an assist.
Whitman had a very strong team this year, but stands to lose several of their most prominent players to graduation. Whitman Seniors who are ending their high school sports careers include starting goalkeeper Robert Craine as well as Whitman's core offensive unit of Jordan Lahue, Zack Lovejoy, Aidan Royston and Ryan Herod, who led the team this season in both scoring and assists. However, Whitman also has several players to watch next year. Juniors Kyle Murphy and Connor Tomion and Sophomores Connor Gorton and Rylan Weissinger have been key parts of the Whitman equation this year. The Wildcats also have a few young up and comers to watch, including 8th-grader Brody Royston and Tariku Blueye, who is one of the only 7th-graders to sit on a varsity team in Section V. It will be interesting to see what kind of moves Whitman makes gearing up for next season.
Williamson 4, Penn Yan 3
A tough game resulted in a narrow loss for Penn Yan, ending their run for the Class B2 title this year. The Mustangs had a decent season this Spring, going 7-9 and making it into the Quarter-Final round of Sectionals. While PY is losing one of its major scorers and a captain in Senior Kiana Larham this year, the Mustangs are a young softball team, with the majority of the team in 10th grade or lower. The Lady Mustangs have a lot of developing talent to work with and will likely be a team to watch next season.