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Massapequa boys win Nassau lacrosse title

Carter Hawthorne of Massapequa brings the ball from

Carter Hawthorne of Massapequa brings the ball from behind the cage. (May 28, 2013) Credit: Bob Sorensen

They burst, en masse, from under the bleachers at the north end of Hofstra's Shuart Stadium before the start of Tuesday night's Nassau Class A championship game. This was not only a grand entrance by the Massapequa players; it was the debut of their new, ultra-bright uniforms. "Sunshine yellow," is how midfielder Paul Bentz described them.

Turns out, the Chiefs made a fashion statement, too. They played as if solar-powered, scoring four goals in each period to pound Port Washington, 16-3, and win their first boys lacrosse county championship since 2006. They face the Ward Melville-Smithtown West winner in Saturday night's Long Island Championship at Hofstra.

"We knew we were supposed to be getting new uniforms," Bentz said. "Then during the week, coach said, 'They didn't come in.' But when we got to the locker room, there they were, hanging up."

On what, meteorologically speaking, was a dark, dank, gloomy night, Massapequa (16-3) played with sparkle and zest, lighting up the scoreboards on both ends of the stadium.

Paul Dilena and Ian Kirby each scored a hat trick. Bentz and Scott Pemberton scored two goals apiece. Nassau County scoring leader Jim Byrns contributed a goal and an assist. Carter Hawthorne had a goal and two assists.

"It's been a total team effort all year," said coach Tim Radomski, who received the ritual ice-water dunking with about two minutes left. "We never know who will score the goals."

Massapequa's offense is not only deep; it is efficient. Of the Chiefs' 39 shots, 29 were on goal, including all eight by Bentz. "We take pride in our shooting and we're always looking to pass to whoever has the easiest shot," Bentz said.

Against the Vikings (15-4), it was wave after wave of yellow fellows that made life easy for goaltender Wyatt Russo (eight saves), one of 14 seniors who found the championship journey especially satisfying because of all the detours. The Chiefs had lost in the county finals for three consecutive years. "We said at the beginning of the season that we had unfinished business," Russo said. "It's a great feeling. The best defense for us is a great offense."

Pemberton, like Bentz a senior, added, "It's pretty indescribable to finally get it done. I had been to two county finals in lacrosse and one in soccer and lost them all by one goal. But I knew this would come eventually."

On Tuesday night, Massapequa wore it well.

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