|VIDEO: Summit survives gut check, edges Cranford to win title|
Summit got a big-time gut check in its Group II boys' lacrosse state final against an unheralded Cranford team. But the Hilltoppers answered the bell, scoring the final three goals and holding on in the final moments for an 8-7 triumph.
The Hilltoppers won the state title for the second straight year and their ninth group championship overall.
Cranford, unranked despite just two losses entering the game, found ways to penetrate the formidable Summit defense. Luke Christiano scored four goals for the Cougars and Richie Hurley added two as Cranford led, 7-5, after three quarters.
But Summit kept the ball away from Cranford in the fourth quarter, and John Cordrey assisted on a Corey McManus goal before scoring the tying and go-ahead goals himself. After the game's second weather delay, Cranford had a couple of chances to tie the score but were denied, with Jay Winchell making a key save on Christiano.
Cordrey's two goals and one assist led the Hilltoppers. Five other players had goals and Winchell made five stops.
Ryan Shupp had 10 saves for Cranford, which reached a state final for the first time ever. The Cougars finish the season 19-3.
Summit, now 18-4, will be the third seed in the Tournament of Champions. The Hilltoppers take on Rumson-Fair Haven in the first round on Saturday.
For sports video highlights of this New Jersey high school boys' lacrosse state tournament final, click play in the box at left.