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Justin Guterding leads Garden City to 8th straight Nassau Class B title

Justin Guterding celebrates a goal. (May 28, 2013)

Justin Guterding celebrates a goal. (May 28, 2013) Credit: Bob Sorensen

A steady rain wasn't going to stop the reign.

"Our 17 seniors didn't want to be the ones to break the streak," Justin Guterding said after he scored four goals with two assists to help Garden City defeat Manhasset, 10-4, Tuesday at Hofstra's Shuart Stadium for the Trojans' eighth consecutive Nassau Class B championship. "This is our goal every year. Everything after the counties is just icing on top of the cake."

Garden City (16-3) will try to taste some of that icing in the Long Island Class B championship Saturday against the winner of Wednesday night's Huntington-Miller Place Suffolk Class B title game.

"We challenged our seniors all year and they stepped up," Garden City coach Steve Finnell said. "Justin is playing the best lacrosse of his career. He makes things happen."

In four playoff games, Guterding, a Duke-bound senior who will attend prep school next year, has 15 goals and 11 assists. For the season, he has 87 points with 49 goals.

Guterding assisted on the Trojans' first goal Tuesday, then scored a natural golden sombrero with four straight goals. He was particularly effective from the perimeter. "I've worked hard on outside shooting and on my right hand. I always emphasize to our young players that hard work pays off."

Junior Cody George scored three goals as Garden City built a 6-0 lead before Manhasset scored. The Indians (15-4) were never in this one. They had beaten Garden City, 9-7, in this year's Woodstick Classic, the nation's longest continuous high school lacrosse rivalry.

"We used that as motivation," Guterding said.

The Trojans, who have appeared in the county final an amazing 26 times in the last 29 years, also used the faceoff skill of sophomore James Sullivan, who has been a varsity FOGO since the eighth grade. Sullivan won 11 of 14. "I've always been a faceoff guy," Sullivan said. "It's just something I'm good at. Usually I'm a pinch-and-pop guy but I changed it up and used some flips today and had good communication with my wings."

Sullivan's savvy limited Manhasset's possessions. And when the Indians did go on the attack, the Trojans' standout senior defensemen Ed Blatz and Scott D'Antonio limited them to just two shots on goal.

"Our defensive effort was incredible," Finnell said. "We're not here this year without those guys. And Sully is that X-factor that nobody else has."

The Trojans' reign just won't let up.

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