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Manhasset-CSH postseason rivalry goes out with another close game

If Manhasset’s 7-5 win over Cold Spring Harbor for the Nassau Class C championship Wednesday night at Hofstra marked the final postseason meeting between the two teams – Manhasset expects to become a Class B school next year – fans from both sides and everyone involved were left with some indelible parting memories.

In what was their seventh straight meeting for a county title, Manhasset came in as the only undefeated on Long Island, ranked No. 2 in the nation by Inside Lacrosse, and had beaten Cold Spring Harbor, 7-2, during the regular season. CSH, meanwhile, was banged up without two starters who had played in the Manhasset game earlier in the year. The edge for the title game? Well, that would have had to been clearly in Manhasset’s favor.

But emotions ran high and Cold Spring Harbor certainly gave the Indians everything they could handle. A sterling late-game performance by Manhasset senior Drew Belinsky – he scored the Indians’ final three goals, making it 6-5 with 8:43 left and 7-5 with 1:45 to go – was needed to ensure a win.

After falling behind 2-1 in the first quarter and playing a scoreless second, CSH’s Jack Wallice scored 15 seconds into the second half and from there, it was game-on. The score was again tied at 3 before Manhasset went ahead 5-3 with 3:02 left in the third quarter behind two straight goals by Chris Cook and Belinsky. CSH then rallied to tie it at 5 on a Christian Kennedy on-the-run shot with 9:06 left.

Belinsky scored in transition 23 seconds later to make it 6-5. Cold Spring Harbor had a man-up opportunity but Frank Morelli made a save and Manhasset regained possession with 6:40 left and called time out. They held the ball, and after another time out with possession with about three minutes left, Belinsky scored the putaway goal with 1:45 remaining. He beat a defender to the right of the cage, noticed a late slide, and scored from 5-yards out over the goalie’s right shoulder to make it a two-goal game.

Manhasset moves onto the Long Island Class C title game, where it will play the winner of Glenn/Bayport-Blue Point, at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at Hofstra. Cold Spring Harbor finishes 15-2, with both losses to Manhasset.

Since Nassau Class C boys lacrosse began in 2000, Manhasset has now won six ‘C’ titles and Cold Spring Harbor has four. They’ve met for the title eight times, including the last seven seasons with Manahsset winning the final two. But Wendesday’s game may have been the last playoff meeting in the near future as Manhasset’s enrollment next year will make them a Class B school, among the likes of Garden City, Wantagh, Lynbrook and South Side.

But Manhasset and CSH still plan to play. “We’re going to play them in non-league,” Manhasset coach Bill Cherry said. “We have to.”

“It’s always a pleasure playing them,” CSH coach Dennis Bonn said. “They have class coaches and class players. My hat’s off to them. That’s why they’re undefeated and the defending state champs.”

Of the possibility of this being the last postseason meeting with Manhasset for a while, Bonn said, “It hurts.”

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