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Boys Lacrosse: Timeout! Mother Nature

Riverhead had blown a pair of two-goal leads and saw Bay Shore seize momentum, as well as a 7-5 lead. It was a great time for a timeout, except that this timeout didn’t come from the Riverhead sideline. It came from the dark sky above.

Tuesday’s Suffolk County Class A outbracket boys lacrosse game was suspended because of lightning with Bay Shore leading, 7-5, and 5 minutes, 48 seconds remaining in the third quarter. The game is to be resumed Wednesday at that point.

The lightning may have been a blessing for 10th-seeded Riverhead (8-8), which has lost two of its last three games.

“They were absolutely annihilating us there, so yes, it definitely helps that we had a timeout that goes for 24 hours because they were on a 4-0 run and we couldn’t stop them,” said Riverhead coach Vic Guadagnino, who was unhappy with the turn of events at Bay Shore High School’s Clifton LaPlatney Field.

Both teams were trying to beat the weather as well as each other. A late-afternoon thunderstorm was in the forecast. The game began in brilliant sunshine and a steady breeze. But clouds moved in late in the first quarter and the temperature dropped. By the third quarter, a menacing black and gray sky covered the area. The players headed off the field and into a nearby school building after a game official spotted lightning. That came seven seconds after Terrance Day scored off a feed from Will Button for a 7-5 Bay Shore lead.

“They just got this energy and they kept going from there, and we just kind of let up a little bit,” said Riverhead attack Connor Batjer.

What turned the game around?

“Turnovers and we’re just playing slow,” Guadagnino said. “We’re not attacking the ground balls.”

No. 7 Bay Shore (11-5), winner of its last three games, had fallen behind, 3-1, thanks to first-quarter goals by Riverhead’s Kamryn Gill, Caleb Zuhoski and Connor Kalmus. But a jumping shot by Robbie Saragga and a man-up goal by Ryan Scully, assisted by Saragga, evened things at 3-3.

Batjer pumped in a pair of goals off passes from Kalmus and Gill within 46 seconds of each other for a 5-3 Riverhead edge.

Dan Mastropaolo won all 13 faceoffs for Riverhead, but the Blue Waves had a tough time trying to beat Bay Shore goalie Jayson Tingue, who made five saves, several of which were tremendous.

“He’s a great keeper,” Kalmus said. “We’ve seen him from travel lacrosse. He’s a good keeper. He was making great saves. He was keeping his team in it.”

The tide turned, though, when Bay Shore’s Tom Naslonski scored before halftime on the second of Saragga’s three assists on the day. That kick-started a 4-0 burst with third-quarter strikes by Button, Naslonski and Day, who ripped one past goalie Anthony Caputo after a pass from behind the goal by Button.

Both teams were ushered inside, where they waited until officials, seeing no break in the weather forecast, decided to call it a day.

“It’s pretty weird what’s going on right now but we just got to come back tomorrow,” Kalmus said. “In the first quarter we were moving the ball well. Everyone was playing together. Early third quarter, we started trying to do our own thing a little bit. We weren’t doing what we were coached to do. We just have to come back and stick to the game plan, and we’ll be fine.”

Guadagnino sees the teams as a good match for each other.

“I think it’s two of the same teams playing each other,” he said. “Very close.”

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Photo caption: Riverhead’s Connor Kalmus (7) and Dalton Lucas (13) during the first quarter of Tuesday’s playoff game in Bay Shore, which was suspended because of lightning. (Credit: Bob Liepa)