LATHAM — Tom Schwan’s going away season as head coach of the Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake boys’ lacrosse team is going on a little longer.
His Spartans displayed both their quick-strike ability and offensive balance Tuesday in beating South Glens Falls 17-4 in the Section II Class C championship game at Shaker High School.
Jack Scalise scored two goals before the contest was two minutes old, and was one of five Spartans to finish with multiple goals in what was another strong all-around performance by the tournament’s top-seeded team.
“We’re trying to keep him coaching for as long as we can,” Scalise, a senior attackman, said of Schwan. “This is a huge deal. It’s a year of history this year for Burnt Hills, and we’re trying to make it as far as we can.”
Burnt Hills earned its fourth Section II title under Schwan and second in a row after a 15-9 Class B win over Ballston Spa in 2021. That Burnt Hills edition had nowhere to go afterward, though, due to the cancellation of the state’s spring competitions due to concerns related to the COVID pandemic.
“We talked about that,” said Schwan, who is winding down his 13th year with the Burnt Hills program. “Six seniors, four of them starters and two key reserves, didn’t get that shot.”
The current group will after posting its second one-sided tournament win including Friday’s 21-7 semifinal victory over Averill Park that featured an 11-0 first-quarter run. Tuesday’s win saw Burnt Hills (16-2) build a 4-0 first-quarter lead, and the Spartans were up 7-0 before Trey Marcil scored the first of his two goals for the second-seeded Bulldogs (15-1) with 6:09 left in the opening half.
“We have goals that we have checked off,” Schwan said. “We won the Suburban Council championship, we got to the sectional final, we won the sectional final. This team has goals beyond that.”
Burnt Hills advances to the state quarterfinals on Saturday at 5:30 p.m. at Shaker High School and will meet Wednesday’s Pelham (Section I, 13-7)/Rondout Valley (Section IX, 11-7) sub-regional winner. Burnt Hills’ 2011 and 2016 Section II title teams lost regional games to Yorktown.
“We’re all psyched. This is what we’ve worked for,” senior midfielder Kevin Carney said of Burnt Hills’ state tournament appearance. “Even in the regular season it was in the back of our heads.”
Nick Bailey had three goals and four assists for the Spartans, Shane McClernan collected four goals and an assist, Scalise fired in four goals, Colden Swisher recorded a hat trick, and Carney finished with two goals and three assists.
“We have a really selfless team,” said Carney. “We were moving it well and finding open guys.”
Carney was the offensive star against Averill Park with seven goals and three assists, while top billing at that end was shared by many Spartans Tuesday.
“They had a good game plan. They were double-teaming me,” said Carney, who in 2021 was selected a US Lacrosse All-American. “When they have all their attention on one player it opens up other guys to score.”
Burnt Hills scored six goals in both the second and third quarters. In a show of balance, Bailey was the lone Spartan to score two goals in the second, and McClernan was the only one to connect twice in the third.
“This year and last year was the first time we were able to put nine guys out there who can shoot and run,” Schwan said. “In other years we’ve had three or four of them, maybe five.”
Scalise scored 38 seconds into the game, Swisher delivered 1:03 in, and Scalise made it 3-0 1:53 in. Burnt Hills’ lead grew to 7-0 on a goal by Anthony Andolina with 8:05 left in the half.
“You try to hold the fort,” said South Glens Falls coach Matt Germain. “We’ve been down a few times and had to fight back. We knew this could happen.”
“We came our firing and it carried on through the game,” said Bailey, a sophomore attackman.
Burnt Hills led 10-2 at the half, which McClernan and Bailey finished off on goals 23 seconds apart inside the last minute.
“We came out hungry,” Scalise said. “Ever since last season we’ve been hungry to get another one [Section II title].”
Tyler Manning made 14 saves for Burnt Hills including several when his teammates were building the early lead.
“Their goalie stoned us a couple of times, and they came down and scored,” Germain said.
Rocco Mareno did most of the faceoff work as the Spartans held a 15-7 advantage in that category.
“We had the ball a lot and that’s because Rocco was winning faceoffs,” Bailey said. “They couldn’t score.”
South Glens Falls beat Glens Falls 18-6 in its semifinal but went long stretches without a goal in the title matchup. Peyton Viger opened the second half scoring with a goal for the Bulldogs, but they didn’t score again until Marcil connected late in the fourth quarter.
Schwan said he was particularly pleased with the play of close defensemen Joe Spade, Bernie Townsend and Santino Mareno, long stick midfielder Jacob Pausley, and short stick defensive middie Michael Frattarola.
“We held them to one goal every 12 minutes,” Schwan said of the Foothills Council champs this season and last. “That’s an undefeated team that went 15-0 with skilled players.”
South Glens Falls came in as the reigning Class C champ after its 15-14 title-game win over La Salle in 2021. South Glen Falls secured its only other title in 2008 with a 13-5 Class B victory over Burnt Hills.
South Glens Falls 0 2 1 1 — 4
Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake 4 6 6 1 — 17
Halftime score: Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake led 10-2. South Glens Falls scoring: Marcil 2-0, Viger 1-1, Walter 1-0. Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake scoring: Andolina 1-0, Carney 2-3, McClernan 4-1, Scalise 4-0, Swisher 3-0, Bailey 3-4. Goalkeepers: South Glens Falls, Dennis, 13 saves Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake, Manning, 14 saves; Pickard, 2 saves.