By Garden City’s standards, the season started a bit slow. There were a few hiccups in the middle, too.
Yet with seven straight wins down the stretch, defending Class B state champion Garden City proved it is still, well, Garden City.
The latest piece of evidence: a 12-3 win over No. 4 Hewlett on Thursday in a Nassau boys lacrosse Class B quarterfinal at Hofstra’s Shuart Stadium.
Justin Guterding had five goals and four assists, James Sullivan had three goals and one assist and defenseman Ed Blatz kept Hewlett’s top offensive threat Zach Richman without a point. The starters on No. 1 Garden City (14-3) sat for much of the second half.
“We’ve had our ups and downs and we’ve had a couple of losses but hopefully they’re our last,” said Sullivan, who has dominated at faceoffs all year. “We’ve learned to stay resilient and this was certainly a good win for us to have.”
Garden City will face Long Beach in a Class B semifinal at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday at Hofstra. Long Beach opened the season with 11 consecutive victories. The Trojans snapped the Marines’ winning streak on April 30 with an 8-5 win at home.
“We have a tough matchup on Tuesday,” Sullivan said. “They’re a really tough team and I expect a good game.”
Blatz anticipated a similarly gritty game against Hewlett because of Richman’s and Kevin Fuchs’ scoring abilities.
“Hewlett has a good offensive team and it’s just a matter of doing all the little things and executing what we talk about at practice,” Blatz said. “We just can’t come out slow and flat in games.”
To Blatz’s liking, Garden City was the exact opposite on Thursday. The offense exploded with 10 points in the first half and the defense, led by Dan Dolan’s eight saves, played with an intensity and alertness reserved for champions.
“On the offensive end we have been playing unselfish and on the defensive side the guys just feed off it,” Sullivan said.
And it’s all happening at the right time.