Before being injured late in the second quarter, Max Maxwell was doing his best to help Hamburg thwart a powerful Timon squad. (Photo courtesy of Ron Larson)
The schedule was announced early in the winter — the game pitting Bishop Timon-St. Jude and Hamburg was the marquee match-up of the 2013 high school lacrosse season.
For at least one half, the game lived up to the billing. Timon outscored Hamburg, 9-4, in the second half as they defeated the Bulldogs, 17-10, on a crisp spring night Friday (April 26) in Hamburg.
The game pitted one of the best offenses in Western New York in Timon against one of the best defenses in Hamburg. But, it was the little things like face-offs that were the difference. Timon junior face-off specialist Sam Watts held the advantage on the draws to help the Tigers run their up-tempo offense.
“Watts executed at the X,” Timon junior attack Layne Collins said. “Our attack did a great job. Our defense did a great job. Everything worked out and we executed, and that’s what helped us get the victory tonight...Our wings played great and helped to win ground balls and get possessions.”
Hamburg lost senior midfielder Max Maxwell late in the second quarter to a sprained ankle and had trouble continuing to execute for the remainder of the game without its Division-I bound top scorer. But Hamburg coach Jerry Severino was quick to praise a Timon team, which added a second win this season over a nationally-ranked team the next day by defeating Ithaca.
“It’s a shame that Max wasn’t able to finish the game so that his effort could have been recognized the rest of the way,” Severino said. “It’s too bad that one of the key players didn’t finish.
“All the credit goes to coach Mike Burke and all of the Timon kids,” he added. “They have a number of serious lacrosse athletes at that school.”
Among them was also junior Connor Fields, who scored seven times, along with Adam DiMillo and JD Recor, who each added two goals and three assists, to help Timon pull away.
“I don’t think (Fields) was feeling it in the first half,” said Burke, Timon’s coach. “In the third quarter, he really got in that groove and he can score a lot very quickly.”
It was Hamburg, however, that struck early as senior captain Nick Wilcox ripped a shot that beat Timon goalkeeper Jackson Brown. Recor answered 48 seconds later.
The game continued to go back-and-forth until late in the first quarter when the Tigers were able to go on a three-goal run to take a 5-3 lead. Brown, who was pulled earlier after Burke didn’t like what he saw from his senior early on, made some key saves during that stretch.
The Tigers and Bulldogs would continue to trade goals through the first half with Timon building an 8-6 lead heading into the break. The second half, however, was a completely different story as the Tigers rattled off five-straight goals (13-6) to blow open a once close game.
Heading into the season, the defense of Timon may have been the weaker link on the team, but on this night, the unit stepped up to shut down a high-powered Hamburg team.
“I thought they did a good job,” said Burke. “We prepared for them. We didn’t take them for granted. We know how good their players are. We slowed them down a little bit, but we scored a lot. So, we can give up 10 and still win, luckily.”
Down 15-7, Hamburg tried to make a run and received goals from Bishop and Shafer. The Tigers, however, were able to put the game away with goals from Recor and Lewis Vaccaro.
Severino said it seems appropriate that the best teams in a sport should play so he was fine with helping facilitate the teams getting together for the first time since 2006.
“The message I’ve been saying to everyone is that this game was scheduled because I thought this might be the best two teams in Western New York and it should be decided on the field,” Severino said. “What happened Friday was that the team that played better won the game.”
As for Maxwell, a physician has told him he’ll be out for four to six weeks. Severino said while he hopes Maxwell may return for the playoffs after missing the final six regular season games, he will not compromise the four-year varsity starter’s health or future in lacrosse at UMBC by bringing him back based on the team’s need. The decision will be made solely on the health of Maxwell, said Severino.
“In the interim, I told Max that his team will take care of business,” Severino said. “This is going to be a team that is going to be motivated to fill a hole. We’ll reevaluate our goals so that we can still get to the Class B final. All is not lost for us because of Friday night.”
Also locally, Frontie
r, which was missing several key players, dropped to 6-3 overall and 2-3 in the league after falling 9-6 at Clarence on Monday (April 29). Jim Smith scored twice and Brendan Forant, Connor Kacmarski, Ian Woods and Tyler Schwartzott also scored for the Falcons. Three days earlier, Frontier defeated Lancaster 12-8 in Class A action behind Smith’s three goals, two assists and seven ground balls. Jake Kocic also scored four times in the win and Nate Quinn added three goals and one assist.