BY CHUCK SLATER
SPECIAL TO TOWNLINK NEWS + VIEWS
By Chuck Slater
The John Jay baseball team and the John Jay and Putnam Valley girls lacrosse squads all went deeper in the post-season than they ever had before. But all suffered disappointing losses in the state semifinals June 8-9.
John Jay, which built its season and its post-season run through Class A on pitching, ran into a superior pitcher on June 8, and was outdueled, 2-1, by Section 5 champion Williamsville South in Binghamton.
The day before, their girls lacrosse counterparts fell to Section 3 dynamo Christian Brothers Academy, 17-l3, in the Class B semifinals. Minutes later on the same field in Cortland, Putnam Valley dropped its Class C match to Skaneateles, also of Section 3, by 16-6.
Damian Powers of Williamsville South one-hit John Jay. "He's the best kid we've faced all year -- by far," said John Jay coach Geoff Curtis, who started his post-season ace, Sam Mines, on three days rest. A tiring Mines went four innings and had a 1-1 tie when he exited.
Jack Weiller's bunt single figured in the Indians' fourth-inning run.
John Jay (18-9) allowed just l0 runs in seven playoff games.
The Indians' lacrosse girls faced a loaded 17-2 team, which raced to an 8-2 lead in a little over 10 minutes. John Jay closed to 10-7 by halftime but CBA opened up 5-1 in the second half and again the Indians battled back but fell short. The losers were led by Molly O'Reilly, who had three goals and two assists, dominated on second-half draws and made the all-tournament team. Delaney Spencer also had three goals for John Jay.
"I was so proud of my girls," said second-year coach Christina Smith. "They fought back and persevered. It was a tremendous season despite some obstacles."
Putnam Valley's Tigers were also led by a second-year coach, Kurt Worell, but Skaneateles's 5-0 run in the middle of the first half put the game out of reach. Still, Worrell's girls brought the school its first-ever sectional and regional lacrosse titles.
"I hope little kids realize they can do this," said sophomore Eva Rabson, who had half of the Tigers' six goals.
The last word belongs to senior Sarah Lang, whose 21 goals in five games led the Indians' post-season effort. But it probably stands for what everyone on the three state semifinalists felt.
"It was," Lang said, "a heck of a fun ride."