Class A Lax Notebook

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Lakeland-Panas captains hoist the Class A Region 1 title plaque after beating Section 2 champ Shaker.

Janavey Triggers Rebel Comeback in Region 1 Title Win

Lakeland/Panas to Battle Ward Melville in Downstate Class A Semis

Jo-Jo’s circus was in full regalia last Saturday afternoon in the NYSPHSAA Region 1 championship at Mohonasen High School in Schenectady where Lakeland/Panas junior attackman JoJo Janavey scored five times, including a pair of tallies in the final minute of the Rebels’ 10-9 come-from-behind win over Section 2 champion Shaker, the sixth-ranked team in the state.

“Jojo played great, especially in the second half, finding seems in their zone and finishing when he had the chance,” L/P boss Jim Lindsay said.

It might sound ordinary the way the coach puts it, but Janavey simply has a nose for finding open space and snapping off quick one-touch-like snipes.

“I was able to get open on the last two goals, and my guys fed me and I finished on the last two shots,” said Janavey, who has done so an astounding 127 times in his two seasons on the Rebel varsity squad (plus 41 assists). “We went down early and fought back, and we came out on top in the end because we didn’t want our season to end today.”

It was a grind, according to Lindsay, but the Rebels are back in business, poised to deal with a familiar foe in Section 11 champion Ward Melville, among the most renown programs in the world. The state-ranked (No.1) Patriots and No.11 Rebels will get after this Wednesday (4:00 p.m.) at SUNY Albany with a berth in the state championship on the line; just like last year when the Patriots put the hammer to the Rebs.

“We are trying to become the first team in school history to win the state title, and we are ready to give Melville our best shot,” said Janavey, who netted the game-winning goal with 16.6 seconds left.

Shaker was rising through the state ranks in recent weeks and had been playing its best lax of the season coming in to the game, but L/P’s patience and balance paid off. Rebel senior Tim Fallo (two goals and four assists) was swishing and dishing with equal authority. Drew Thompson used his size and strength to ward off the Blue Bison defense for a goal and two assists. Sean Laukaitis’ lone tally was huge, ending a two-goal Blue Bison run and cutting the Rebel deficit to one (9-8).

In the waning moments, Lakeland/Panas picked up a turnover and drew a penalty to go man-up and Janavey took advantage and hit the target with 42.7 seconds to go, tying the game at 9-9.

LSM Griffin Shiland also scored once for the Rebels while G Kevin Dyckman made 11 saves for Lakeland/Panas.

“The rest of the kids just kept grinding and finding ways to make plays to keep us in the game,” Coach Lindsay said. “Defensively, they really did a nice job of limiting their opportunities in the second half, and Dyckman was fantastic all game.”

An ordinary grind won’t be sufficient against Ward Melville. The Rebels will need to play over their heads on both ends of the field if they are going to reach the NYS finals for the first time since 1991 when they were defeated by West Genny in Lakeland’s only state title appearance.

REB-BITS – L/P senior A Sean Makar was named one of nine Section 1 All-American earlier in the week.

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