Eighth graders CR Pulizzotto, Jahiem Hawkins and Joe Sclafani paced the J. Taylor Finley Middle School “blue” boys’ lacrosse team this past spring.
Finley-Blue was coached by Matt Bilello and Jon Kowalchuk. The 20-player squad compiled a 4-6 mark.
“We had an outstanding defensive team and built up our offense as the season went on,” Bilello said. “We focused on fundamentals and lacrosse vision and knowledge, which these athletes can use and develop more at the high school level.”
Lucas Petrizzi led the team with eight goals. Sclafani tallied a team-best 10 assists. Conor Boyle scooped up 35 ground balls to lead in that statistical category.
“Jahiem Hawkins was our best all-around athlete on the team,” Bilello said. “He did face-offs and played five different positions for us without questioning it because it’s what the team needed. He is an outstanding all-around player.”
Sclafani was a standout at attack. “He was our leading goal scorer who also ran all over the field on attack and at midfield,” Bilello said. “He is going to be an exceptional high school lacrosse player.”
Pulizzotto was the team’s starting eighth grade goalie. In 10 starts he stopped 55 shots. Brett Bender enjoyed a great seventh grade season in goal. Seventh grader Peter Breingan shined on offense.
The highlight of the season was an 8-6 victory over Commack-White. “We rallied from behind in the fourth quarter to tie and then take the lead for our first win of the season,” Bilello said. “It was a great team effort.”