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Salmon River laxmen win state opener; Massena denied

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POTSDAM - A tornado warning for the Fort Covington area forced Tuesday’s practice to be cancelled for the Salmon River boys lacrosse team.

The Shamrocks then opened Class C state tournament play on Wednesday versus Johnson City and quickly found themselves down 2-0 to the Section 4 champions.

But Salmon rallied with scoring runs of 5-0 in the first half and 8-0 after intermission to blow out the Wildcats 15-6, advancing to the state quarterfinals on Saturday versus Section 3 champion Homer at 1 p.m. at Cicero-North Syracuse.

“Without practice Tuesday, I kind of knew we’d have a slow start,” said Salmon coach Jim Barnes. “But after that we really got focused and that’s the way this team has been all year. We’ve had a goal right from the start of the season to get back (to the state quarterfinals).”

Salmon(19-0) lost to eventual state champion Cazenovia in overtime last season, but Homer upended Caz 10-6 on Wednesday for the Section 3 title.

Section 10 All American Dalston Day scored five goals to up his season goal total to 59 on Wednesday to power the Shamrocks who also received four goals and two assists from Seth Oakes and two goals and two assists from Ky Tarbell. The Salmon starting attack accounted for 11 goals Wednesday and have now tallied a whopping 135 for the season.

“We’ve got the first win of the states and now we’re three wins away from a state championship and that would be huge,” said Day whose team led 5-2 after one quarter and 8-3 at intermission. “That’s what we’ve been working so hard for. It’s my third time at states and we know what’s expected of us.”

Salmon broke it open Wednesday with a 6-1 third-quarter burst and rested its vaunted starting attack for much of the fourth quarter.

“Dalston’s been unbelievable for us this year. He scores when it looks like there’s no room to shoot,” said Barnes “Any coach would love to have the attack we have. It’s their last year together and they want to make it count.”

Johnson City (15-5) was making its first appearance ever in a state tournament and the Wildcats were led by Nate Korutz with two goals and one assist.

Vestal 19, Massena 13: In the Class B state opener at Potsdam High School, Section 4 champion Vestal fought off a late Raider comeback attempt to advance to Saturday’s state quarterfinal at Cicero-North Syracuse versus Jamesville-Dewitt. The Red Rams denied Carthage 13-7 in Wednesday’s Section 3 final

Down 11-3 af halftime, the Raiders outscored the Golden Bears 10-8 after intermission and were praised by their coach Kris Covell for playing a full four quarters.

“I’m proud of my boys. They came out today and worked hard. There was no quit in them against a very good team,” said Covell. “We’re awfully young and we’ll be back again. I thought we came out and put our best foot forward today.”

Vestal (11-7) was led by Connor McKerchen with four goals and four assists and Patrick Carlin with four goals.

For Massena (11-7), Zach Hopps tallied a game-high five goals and added two assists. Also, Grayson Phillips scored three goals, Sako Rourke scored twice while Kyle Cooke made 16 saves in goal, many of the spectacular variety.

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