Bayport-Blue Point's Dan Aiello (7) looks to get around Shoreham-Wading...

Bayport-Blue Point's Dan Aiello (7) looks to get around Shoreham-Wading River's Ryan Wilson (6) in the fourth quarter during the Suffolk Class C boys lacrosse final on Thursday, May 23, 2024. Credit: Bob Sorensen

One minute and thirty seconds left on the clock, tie game. The lights are bright and the crowd is loud. If anyone’s going to make a big play, it’s going to be Bayport-Blue Point senior Dan Aiello.

Taking possession at midfield, Aiello breaks past every defender in his way with one goal in mind: to make it to the Long Island championship game. A ball in the net later, that dream became a reality for top-seeded Bayport-Blue Point after they defeated defending champion and second-seed Shoreham - Wading River, 9-8, in the Suffolk Class C boys lacrosse championship game at Longwood High School Thursday night.

“We put an unbelievable amount of trust in [Aiello],” Bayport - Blue Point coach Doug Meehan said. “And somehow he delivers every time. He deserves every accolade he’s been given - and even more.”

Bayport-Blue Point (17-1) will face the winner of Wantagh/Island Trees in the Long Island Class C championship game, scheduled for Wednesday at Longwood. 

The Phantoms have fallen to Shoreham-Wading River (8-7) in the playoffs in each of the last two seasons.  Aiello was not ready to accept another defeat.

“We have pictures of the scoreboards from those past games hung up in the locker room to make sure we remember how we felt in those moments,” said Aiello, whose goal with 8 minutes left tied the score at 8. “So this win feels even more special.”

The Phantoms outscored Shoreham-Wading River, 4-1 in the first quarter but, by halftime, the score was tied at 5.

“We started off hot, and we were riding that high,” said Aiello, who totaled three goals and an assist.  “When it was tied, we had to think of it as 0-0. We know how hard we’ve worked for this, and we were ready to take over.”

Even though Bayport- Blue Point defeated Shoreham- Wading River, 10-5, just two weeks ago, the Wildcats weren’t going to give up their title without a fight . Noah Gregorek’s back-to-back goals early in the fourth quarter gave Shoreham - Wading River an 8-7 lead.

“It felt like we were playing against a completely different team today,” Bayport - Blue Point senior goalie Brady Smith said. “But we wanted this one really bad.”

Maclin Keyser added two goals and one assist and Ben Morris had one goal and two assists. Smith, a first-year starter for the Phantoms, made 15 saves.

“We knew they were going to win a lot of faceoffs today,” Meehan said. “Our counter to that was going to be Brady making saves. He started hot and stayed hot, he was a true X-factor in this game.”

Wednesday will mark the Phantom’s first Long Island championship appearance since 2011.

“This is the group that I want to bring,” Meehan said. “This is the group that deserves to go.”


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