The historic run ended last year. West Islip wasn't the team many predicted to appear in this season's Suffolk Class A championship.
That's why senior attack Trevor Bovich woke up Saturday grinning.
It was the same smile that appeared Friday night after Bovich and the rest of the West Islip boys lacrosse team pulled off the biggest upset of the season, defeating No. 1 Smithtown West, 8-7, in a Suffolk Class A semifinal.
"I still can't believe how we did that, even a day later,'' said Bovich, who scored three goals. "Everyone doubted us and we liked it."
It's true. Beginning in 2002, West Islip played in the Suffolk Class A championship game 11 consecutive times, winning nine straight county titles. Both streaks were snapped last season, when eventual champion Ward Melville eliminated the Lions in a quarterfinal. Smithtown West (16-2), ranked No. 7 in the nation by the Under Armour/Inside Lacrosse rankings, was the favorite to win the county crown this time, with a roster loaded with Division-I talent.
"Last year was a down year because it ended so early," Bovich said. "But we knew the whole year we could make something happen, and we did. And we're not done."
The fifth-seeded Lions will play No. 3 Smithtown East at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at Stony Brook University.
Mike Moynihan's goal with six seconds left in the first quarter gave West Islip (13-6) a 3-2 lead that it never relinquished. Bovich's third goal made the score 8-6 with 5:46 left to play.
"On paper there is no doubt they were the more skilled team," West Islip coach Scott Craig said. "I honestly did not expect us to be winning from the end of the first to the end of the game."
The defense of Ian Prate, who defended Smithtown West's leading scorer Ryan Keenan, and goalie Greg Ponce's nine saves helped make it possible.
"Ian is right up there with all of the top Suffolk defenders," Bovich said. "He probably has the quickest feet I know."
On April 6, West Islip was 1-4. The Lions, who play one of the toughest schedules on Long Island, then won eight straight before losing two games in overtime.
"We knocked and knocked on the door all season," Craig said, "and we recently started to knock the door down."