Four dream matchups await in Section 1 boys lacrosse championships

You could have confidently predicted before the season each of the eventual four matchups in the Section 1 boys lacrosse championships. But you probably couldn’t have mapped out the route each of the eight teams took to get here.

Two-time Class A champion Lakeland/Panas spent much of the season under .500. Neither Rye nor Pelham was the favorite entering the Class C tournament. Pleasantville exceeded even the loftiest of expectations against a grueling regular-season schedule. And Yorktown was knocked off its pedestal by rival John Jay-Cross River as the programs proved to be the top two in the region.

Now here we are with four highly-anticipated Section 1 finals matchups over the next two days at Lakeland High School and you could:

A) Make a serious case for all eight programs to win titles
B) Argue that each of the four games will be the best of the four

Here’s a look at each of the four games, plus video to scope out:

2018 Section 1 Boys Lacrosse Championships
at Lakeland High School

Tuesday, May 29
CLASS B

No. 1 John Jay-Cross River (13-4) vs. No. 2 Yorktown (14-3)
Time: 4:30 p.m.
Bracket: Class B playoffs
Regular season meeting: John Jay 7, Yorktown 6 on April 6. The Indians had seven different players score, led by Bryce Ford’s goal and two assists, as they knocked off a Yorktown squad that seemed to sleepwalk through parts of the contest. Jameson Embury scored four goals in the loss. Check out the video highlights of that game here (by KDJ Media):

KDJ’s Pick: Yorktown 11, John Jay-Cross River 10. As great as John Jay is, it’s so hard to imagine Yorktown getting beat twice in any year, let alone this particular group. Brett Makar is the section’s best player for a reason and will restore this team’s swagger while bringing the toughness to retain Yorktown’s place as the area’s best program.

CLASS C

No. 2 Rye (14-4) vs. No. 5 Pelham (9-8)
Time: 7 p.m.
Bracket: Class C playoffs
Regular season matchup: Pelham 8, Rye 7 on April 7. The season was a bit of a rollercoaster for the Pelicans but this was clearly the high. Days after beating Bronxville in comeback fashion, Pelham rallied to defeat Rye in what was billed as a championship preview.

Video of Pelham’s win over Hen Hud in the Section 1 Class C semifinals (produced by PLAAY Sports):

Check out video of Rye’s win over Byram Hills in the semifinals (produced by Kyle Gardner):

KDJ’s Pick: Pelham 10, Rye 8. Personally, this is the toughest game of the four championships to predict because each of the team, while extremely talented, has been so inconsistent. Rye’s core of talent has been starving for a chance to win a section title. But the way Pelham dominated against Hen Hud in the semis was telling. Pelham is playing its best lacrosse at the right time.

Wednesday, May 30
CLASS A

No. 1 Mamaroneck (14-4) vs. No. 7 Lakeland/Panas (7-10)
Time: 4:30 p.m.
Bracket: Class A playoffs
Regular season matchup: Mamaroneck 9, Lakeland/Panas 8 (OT) on May 12. 
This was exactly the team Mamaroneck didn’t want to face in the championship. Two-time champion Lakeland/Panas has seemed to overcome the turbulant season and it turned around in this crushing OT defeat on the road leading into the postseason. Since then the Rebels rallied back to beat Scarsdale by a goal in the quarters before outlasting Mahopac in the semis.

Check out video of Lakeland/Panas’ win over Scarsdale here (produced by PLAAY Sports):

KDJ’s Pick: Lakeland/Panas 7, Mamaroneck 6 (OT). Just a gut here. There’s a lot of be said about championship experience and pedigree and the Rebels clearly have it. Mamaroneck has mounting expectations, although this group has handled it well to this point. Cort Chambers had four goals in the win over Suffern while Tim Sommer, Tom Conley and Will Martin each scored three (Conley also had four assists). The depth and balance could be tough for L/P to handle.

CLASS D

No. 1 Pleasantville (17-1) vs. No. 2 Westlake (12-6)
Time: 7 p.m.
Bracket: Class C playoffs
Regular season matchup: Pleasantville 13, Westlake 6 on May 9. The Panthers led this game 6-3 at the half before breaking away in the third quarter. They did a good job of neutralizing Westlake’s speed and not getting beat badly by Rob DiNota on faceoffs the way Bronxville did in the semifinals.

Video of Pleasantville’s win over Briarcliff (produced by PLAAY Sports):

Video of Westlake’s win over Bronxville (produced by PLAAY Sports):

KDJ’s Pick: Pleasantville 15, Westlake 10. The Wildcats will push the tempo but it’s going to be tough to keep the scoring pace with Brian Reda and Pleasantville. The Panthers take home yet another section title and begin a quest for that elusive state crown.

Follow the Section 1 boys lacrosse championships on Twitter: @KDJMedia1. Email KDJ at kdjmedia1@gmail.com

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