Drew Belinsky didn't do the whole jumping up and down thing when it was celebration time. Instead, when time expired, he bent over, hands on his knees, to the right of the cage - near the same spot where he scored the final goal in Manhasset's 7-5 win over Cold Spring Harbor in the Nassau Class C boys lacrosse championship game last night at Hofstra.
He had a few hugs, but Belinsky, who scored the last three goals, one assist and six groundballs for the Indians, was gassed. "I played hard," he said later. "A game like this, playing for a championship, you have to give everything you got."
Manhasset stayed unbeaten at 17-0, but got everything it could handle from rival Cold Spring Harbor, who tied the score at 2, 3 and 5 in the second half - the final time with 9:06 remaining. But the Indians responded to every comeback and never allowed the Seahawks (15-2) to lead.
Belinsky scored with 3:02 left in the third quarter to put Manhasset up 5-3, and he made it 6-5 with 8:43 remaining with a transition score. For the final goal with 1:45 left, the Penn-bound senior midfielder beat a defender to the right of the cage and sent a 5-yard shot over the goalie's right shoulder.
At the time, the offense was working a fine line between running out the clock or trying for a goal. "We'd be happy to run out the three minutes, but if they gave us a layup and you know it was a winner, then go for it," Manhasset coach Bill Cherry said. "When Drew makes that decision, you know it's going in."
Earlier, it was Manhasset's Chris Cook who put them in. He scored three of the Indians' first four goals, including one to make it 3-2 about a minute after the Seahawks' Jack Wallice tied the score 15 seconds into the second half. Cook also scored from Belinsky to give Manhasset a 4-3 lead with 4:41 left.
Belinsky then scored his first goal and Cold Spring Harbor rallied to tie it at 5 on Christian Kennedy's on-the-run lefty shot to the bottom right corner.
And if this was indeed the last postseason meeting between these two teams - Manhasset expects to become a Class B school next year - Belinsky provided some parting memories.
Leaving the field, Cold Spring Harbor coach Dennis Bonn congratulated Belinsky and said: "We should have shut you off a little more."
Manhasset will play the winner of the Glenn/Bayport-Blue Point game in the Long Island Class C championship at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at Hofstra.