Ward Melville midfield Jack Harvazinski #23 moves into the zone...

Ward Melville midfield Jack Harvazinski #23 moves into the zone as Smithtown West attack James Pannell #32 defends. (April 12, 2011) Credit: George A. Faella

After a deluge of first-half goals, followed by a second-half scoring drought, Tuesday night's's Ward Melville-Smithtown West boys lacrosse game was halted by lightning with 6:03 remaining and the visiting Patriots clinging to an 8-7 lead.

"In 32 years of coaching, I've never experienced this,'' Ward Melville's Mike Hoppey said of the incomplete game that will be resumed Wednesday at Smithtown West at 4:30 p.m. "Neither side wanted it to happen, it's been such a great game.''

But once lightning bolts shot across the sky on a night punctuated by intermittent downpours, by Suffolk County rule, the game had to be stopped. Ward Melville took its first lead with 8:46 left in the fourth quarter on the game's only fluky goal. Scrappy Will Mazzone fired a shot that goalie Ryan Adler saved, but the rebound caromed off a Smithtown West defender and trickled past Adler.

The other goals resulted from slick one-on-one moves, crafty passes or booming shots. Smithtown West (3-1) grabbed a 6-3 lead early in the second quarter on Kyle Keenan's third goal, a roll dodge from behind the cage. But Ward Melville's Sean Cleary (three goals) circled from behind the net for a low rocket, and Tyler Hegarty scored 25 seconds later to make it a one-goal game.

Frankie Reda scored off a loose-ball scramble in front for a 7-5 lead, but the Patriots (4-0) again rallied. Cleary finished a nice solo dash from up top and then Mike Rastivo took a brilliant feed from John Edmonds to score with one-tenth of a second left in the first half to tie it at 7.

James Pannell gave Smithtown West an 8-7 lead with a low blast off a Keenan feed five minutes into the third quarter, but the Bulls' offense was shut down thereafter thanks to some quick double-teams. Cleary's boomer from the top right tied it early in the fourth quarter and Mazzone gave Ward Melville its only lead before play was stopped with the Bulls in possession near midfield.

"I probably would've called timeout,'' Smithtown West coach Sean Keenan said. "Now it's a 24-hour timeout. I've got plenty of time to figure something out.''