Junior Charlie Estill scored four goals and three other players had hat tricks as the eighth-ranked Ithaca High boys’ lacrosse team won its fourth consecutive Section 4 Class A championship Wednesday night with a convincing 16-8 victory over No. 20 Corning at Binghamton High School’s Alumni Stadium.
Seniors Jaedon Henderson, Eli Lasda and Doug Biondi had three goals apiece for the Little Red (15-2), which advances to Saturday’s state regional game against Section 3 champion West Genesee (13-5). The Wildcats, ranked 18th, knocked off previously unbeaten, third-ranked Fayetteville-Manlius on Tuesday in Syracuse.
Ithaca led 2-1 after the first quarter and 6-4 at halftime, then outscored the Hawks 5-1 in the third quarter to take charge. Ithaca coach Frank Welch said his team turned up the intensity in the third to counter Corning’s defensive efforts.
“Against some of the stuff Corning was doing, we just amped it up a little bit,” Welch said. “It was nothing that we were doing poorly, it’s just that Corning made us work.”
Ithaca’s victory avenged one of its two losses, a 13-11 defeat at Corning in the Little Red’s regular-season finale more than two weeks ago. Welch said the 15-day break was good news and bad news.
“I’m pleased with the way we’re playing, and it’s hard to have that much time off between games,” he said. “It’s always a concern, but it kind of came at a good time for us, gave us time to rest some people.”
Welch said seeing West Genesee in the state playoffs is not a surprise, even given that the 18th-ranked Wildcats won the sectional crown over the third-ranked Hornets, who had won 17 in a row before Tuesday’s 6-5, double-overtime loss. The sectional title was West Genesee’s 18th in the past 20 years and its 32nd overall since 1971.
“They (West Genesee) are just so disciplined and well-coached, you can never count them out,” Welch said. “Those five losses came early in the year, and they’ve been getting better and better. They don’t do anything strategically great, but they’re just good players who go out and play.
“We’re just going to do what we do,” Welch said, referring to strategy against the Wildcats. “There are some areas where we have to be aware of what they do, but nothing drastic.”
The Little Red has lost in the state championship game in each of the past two seasons. Ithaca beat West Genesee in the state regionals three years in a row before defeating Liverpool last season.