Long removed from last season’s 6-10 struggles, the Chittenango boys lacrosse team has already matched its 2012 win total and is nearing a Section III playoff berth.
Up against 8-1 Cortland last Saturday afternoon, the Bears pulled off, by far, it most impressive victory of the season, pulling away in the second half to beat the Purple Tigers 15-11.
All through the first two periods, Chittenango showed that it could stay right with Cortland, leading most of the way, even though it was tied 4-4 at the break.
Then the Bears’ attack started to click in the third quarter, more than doubling its total as it inched back in front 9-8. Then it wore Cortland’s defense down in an impressive 6-3 dash through the final period to seal it.
Aaron Jones stepped up with four goals and two assists, with Devin Phelps managing three goals and three assists. Robert Whittin also had a three-goal hat trick.
Just behind them, Steve Billington and Kyle Zimmer both scored twice, with Garrett Sadler picking up a goal and three assists. Though Cortland’s Pat McMahon led his side with five goals and one assist, Connor Shea turned more shots away as he picked up 29 saves.
The Bears also prevailed last Tuesday night, at Onondaga, where it kept the Tigers winless with a dominant effort through the opening stages and cruised to a 15-9 decision in a game that really wasn’t that close.
Through a steady, relentless attack, Chittneango built a 9-3 halftime lead, and put things away by outscoring OCS 5-0 in the third period. Thus, it could sit its starters in the fourth quarter and withstand a furious Tiger rally, which only cut the margin in half.
Billington, with four goals, led a balanced effort as Zimmer and Jones both managed three-goal hat tricks and Jones added an assist. Phelps scored twice, adding two assists, while Sadler managed two goals and one assist. Whittin was close behind, earning a goal and two assists.