Nick Santorelli's five goals help Babylon to Suffolk Class C title
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Blood, sweat and tears, of course. But the cost of this championship for Babylon can also be measured in chicken wings and milkshakes.
"It took a lot of bribery," Nick Santorelli said. "We took that guy out to eat a lot."
And, finally, two days before the first practice this season, football star Jake Carlock decided he would rejoin the lacrosse team.
"It was absolutely worth it," Santorelli said. "If we hadn't convinced him, we would not be here right now."
Where the Panthers were Tuesday night was the Dowling Sports Complex, huddled and laughing as they clutched the Suffolk Class C championship plaque.
Santorelli scored five goals and Luke Zappia four as top-seeded Babylon beat No. 2 Bayport-Blue Point, 12-10, to capture its first county title since 2004.
"These guys helped me win in football and basketball, so the least I could do is try to help them get a championship," said Carlock, a Stony Brook-bound defensive back who led Babylon's football team to consecutive undefeated seasons. He gave up lacrosse after ninth grade. "They'd been on me about it since. So for senior year, I owed them."
Carlock repaid his friends for those years of cajoling -- and free meals -- by doing what he does best: creating chaos on defense. He forced three turnovers and snagged seven ground balls, giving extra possessions to an offense that built an 11-5 lead in the third quarter.
"Jake is just a freak," said Ray Wardell, who had a goal and an assist. "He regularly makes plays that most people can't."
This sequence, for example: Carlock checked a ball loose, scooped it and outran the pursuit 55 yards before passing to Wardell, who fed Nick Antolini for a goal that put Babylon up 6-2 with 3:05 left before halftime.
"We've all been friends since we were little, playing football in Carlock's backyard, now they call us the 'Super Seniors,' " Zappia said. "We had to get another championship together."
Santorelli had two goals -- 19 seconds apart -- to open the scoring and Babylon took control immediately, avenging last year's semifinal loss to the Phantoms. Zappia's goal with 11:07 left made it 12-6. Matt Pinto had 12 saves, several on bouncers and close-range shots.
The Panthers (10-7) advance to the Long Island championship on Saturday, 6 p.m. at Hofstra.
Jake Weinman and Kyle McClancy each had three goals and an assist for BBP (10-8). Brad Morris made 13 saves.
"It's surreal," Wardell said. "We've just put Babylon lacrosse back on the map."