Third-quarter run lifts Delbarton to T of C title


BRIDGEWATER — Emmet Cordrey fired a hat trick and Delbarton rallied from a halftime deficit to defeat Summit 7-5 in the Tournament of Champions title game at Basilone Field on Saturday.

Jordan Dowiak added two goals, J. J. McBride had a goal and two assists and Will McCarthy added a goal and an assist for the Green Wave which finished at 21-3.

John Cordrey added two goals and one assist and James Strabley, Connor Murphy and Matt Fishetti added goals for the Hilltoppers which finished at 23-2. It was the fourth Tournament of Champions title for the Green Wave but its first since 2006.

“It feels unbelievable,” McBride said. “Words can’t describe it. It’s an incredible feeling. It’s great to have it back at Delbarton. Hopefully, it will stay there.”

“It’s kind of surreal right now,” Cordrey said. “We looked forward to this moment all year. It’s amazing.”

197 bl  stfinal delbsumThe Delbarton boys lacrosse team celebrates its first Tournament of Champions title since 2006. (Photo by Mark Kitchin)

It was expected to be a defensive battle and it was. Both teams also received stellar performances from their keepers. Sam Bebout finished with 15 saves for the Hilltoppers. The Green Wave’s Stephen Kovalsky made 10 saves including three in the final three minutes to cement the victory.

The Green Wave rallied from a 3-2 halftime deficit with four third-quarter goals. Three of them came from Cordrey, who lives in Summit, and seemed to enjoy battling for bragging rights against his friends and neighbors.

“I know a lot of those kids pretty well,” Cordrey said. “It’s obviously different playing against them. You can’t look at it in the game. You have to look at it as if you are playing just another team.”

53 bl  stfinal delbsumDelbarton’s Will McCarthy opens up the Green Wave scoring with an early goal. (Photo by Mark Kitchin)

Delbarton had put together some strong third-quarter runs in the past, most notably in performances against Mountain Lakes, Seton Hall Prep and Ridgewood.

“We’re a very confident team,” Cordrey said. “We just re-collect ourselves. We settle down. We talk to each other about what is going to work or not going to work. We just execute.”

Cordrey tied the game at 3-all with 7:25 remaining in the third quarter on a feed from teammate Jack Crowley. After a brilliant save by Kovalsky on a hard Summit shot, Delbarton moved the ball in transition and Cordrey connected again on a hard, low shot with 5:58 to give the Green Wave the lead for good.

“I happened to have the ball and I just had some nice openings and went to the cage,” Cordrey said. “Sam (Bebout) was a concern. He was having a great game and he is a great goalie. We talked about switching it up and shooting low on him and it worked out.”

11 bl  stfinal delbsumEmmet Cordrey (12) scored three third-quarter goals to lift the Green Wave. (Photo by Mark Kitchin)

At around the 4-minute mark, Delbarton made it a two-goal game with a Dowiak goal in front of the crease off a McBride feed. Dowiak was knocked down on the play by a Summit defender but while he was falling, he managed to slip a hard, low shot through to make it 5-3. Cordrey finished the scoring in the quarter with a goal at 2:03 to make it 6-3.

“I couldn’t be more happy for Emmett,” McBride said. “He’s an unbelievable player. He’s worked hard all year and he really deserved this. The Summit guys had an extra incentive to win this game, playing against their hometown. It’s never fun going back to your house with a loss. It’s something that lives with you forever. They didn’t want to come out losers tonight.”

The face-off work of Connor Kirst, who switches draws with Conor Mackie, helped the Delbarton rally. Kirst also has Summit ties. He is the son of Summit defensive co-ordinator Kyle Kirst. He had some success in the late stages of Delbarton’s 8-7 regular-season loss to Summit on March 29.

“It worked out in the game today,” Kirst said. “Last time we took the loss, this time we got the win. Their face-off guy is a hard clamper, but a little weak off ball. We just tried to get the ground ball even if he won the clamp.”

170 bl  stfinal delbsumDelbarton shared its good fortune with its fans. (Photo by Mark Kitchin)

Summit rallied early in the fourth quarter on back-to-back goals by Fishetti and Strabley to make it a one-goal game. An alert play by McBride gave the Green Wave the extra cushion it needed. With 6:37 left in the game a hard shot by Dowiak bounced in an out of the stick of Bebout. McBride snatched the loose ball and stuck it in the net to account for the final score.

“Jordan had a shot that the goalie made a great save on but it kind of popcorned out of his stick,” McBride said. “I was lucky. It was right place right time and I was lucky to put it in.”

Delbarton was able to kill off an unnecessary roughness penalty and Kovalsky made three saves in the final three minutes to cement the win.

33 bl  stfinal delbsumJ. J. McBride battles the Summit defense to get off a shot early in the contest. (Photo by Mark Kitchin)

Last year, Delbarton lost to Seton Hall Prep in the early rounds of the state tournament. This year the Green Wave was the last team standing and seemed to enjoy the ride as well as the final result.

“It’s on our senior class,” Ruebling said. “It is the biggest senior class we ever had. They made up their minds that they were going to do it. They were tremendous from start to finish. They set lofty goals and they never gave up on them.”


About mcvbb

Mark Kitchin is a boys varsity basketball writer for the Morris County New Jersey area

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