Monday's lacrosse battle between York-Adams division leaders Central York and West York was just another regular-season boys' contest.
But it had the feeling of a title showdown. And it may well serve as a preview of the York-Adams League championship match.
Intensity and physical play were in abundance from both sides throughout a contest of unbeaten teams played in front of a large crowd at West York Middle School.
Neither side disappointed.
Central was outstanding in the first half on both ends of the field, especially goalie Shane Walker, who made a number of big saves.
The Bulldogs, though, started to get their act together in the second half, rallying from a three-goal deficit. Led by a four-goal, three-assist game from Devyn Roehm, the Bulldogs outscored Central 11-3 in the second half en route to a 14-9 victory.
"We know that Central is a tough team," said West York coach Rodney Tamblin. "Whenever we play, it's always a good game. We just had to get our guys to stick with the game plan. We have six guys on the field that are going to put goals in. We stressed for them to do the little things and the little things add up."
Perhaps the biggest reason the Bulldogs (8-0) were able to rally was those little things. The home team was impressive defensively, hounding a potent Central (7-1) side all game long.
"I can't say enough about our defense," Tamblin said. "Our four guys that we have running pole have been just tremendous. They don't get a lot of love in the games, but they're the ones that do the dirty work in the games."
The Bulldogs held Panther standout Max Haldeman without a goal for the contest and contained fellow star Ian Desenberg (four goals) to just one tally in the second half.
Central coach Wade Noonan wasn't surprised. He knew the Bulldogs would be tough after having personal coaching experience with much of the West York lineup.
"I coach them during the summer and then we come and play against them in the spring," Noonan said. "They're a really good team. They have a lot of athletic kids that can get the ball up and down the field. I tell our kids that they need to finish the ball in the back of the net and that's what they did."
West York was also extremely strong on faceoffs, winning more than 70 percent of them for the contest. It was a quick pair of faceoff wins, in fact, that led to a pair of quick goals to start the third period that ignited the West York rally.
"Faceoffs were humongous for us," Tamblin said. "I know that last year we struggled with faceoffs. But another thing I tell the guys, 'if you do all your fundamental things and possessions you win games.' And it proved it here."
Roehm and teammate Seth Clauser proved to be a tough act for the Panthers to stop in the second half. Each scored a pair of goals after the intermission.
"Coach told us that we had to step it up and finish," Roehm said. "And that's what we did. We were getting good shots all game, but they weren't falling for us (in the first half)."
While the victory was obviously a big boost for the Bulldogs, the truth of the matter is that the next time these two teams square off, the stakes will likely be much, much higher.
That contest would likely occur in the league title tilt, and Noonan, for one, is confident that will be the case.
"We'll see them again," Noonan said. "They're going to have a good end of the season record and so will we. Like I said, we'll definitely see them again."
Walker finished with 23 saves for the Panthers in net, while the duo of Jordan Lombardo and Cole Rinehart combined for 14 saves for West York.
OTHER BOYS' LACROSSE
DALLASTOWN 13, YORK CATHOLIC 6: At York Catholic, Joe Didusch led the Wildcats by scoring four goals and adding four assists. Jacob Mitchell (three goals, one assist), Tanner Ierley (two goals, one assist) and Kyle Andrews (two goals) also excelled for Dallastown. For the Irish, Tanner Yanick (three goals), Luke Brennan (two goals), Teddy Trapeni (two assists) and Jacob Norton (two assists) led the way. Dallastown improved to 7-2 in York-Adams Division I and 7-3 overall.
KENNARD-DALE 14, SOUTH WESTERN 6: At Hanover, Freddy Seitz led the Rams by scoring five goals. Dave Wallace (two goals, three assists), Jesse Schonbrunner (three goals, one assist), Nate Mikolinis (two goals) and James Barlow (one goal, one assist) also had strong games for K-D. For the Mustangs, Ryan Delea scored one goal and added two assists. K-D improved to 6-2 in York-Adams Division II and 6-2 overall.
YORK SUBURBAN 5, NEW OXFORD 4 (OT): At Suburban, Mike Sipes found the back of the net with 3:25 left to play in the overtime period to secure the victory. Andrew Toman picked up the assist on the game-winner. Sipes collected three goals, while teammate Raine Sindicich scored one goal and picked up one assist. For the Colonials, Aaron Zimmerman scored two goals and added one assist.
EASTERN YORK 8, RED LION 6: At Red Lion, the Golden Knights broke a 6-6 tie after three quarters. Jon Witman led the Golden Knights with three goals and one assist. Conrad Rhein (one goal, four assists), Christian Buser (two goals), Justin Keller (one goal, one assist) and Connor McCormick (one goal, one assist) also shined for Eastern. For the Lions, Sam Sipe scored three goals, while Hayden Jennings scored two goals. Eastern improved to 6-3 in York-Adams Division II and 7-3 overall.
-- Reach Ryan Vander sloot at sports@yorkdis patch.com.