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BH-BL rallies past Queensbury for first boys lacrosse title

The Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake boys lacrosse team made history Tuesday, but Queensbury made the Spartans work for it.

BH-BL rallied from a 7-4 deficit to top Queensbury 12-9 in the Section II Class B championship game at Brent Steuerwald Stadium in Clifton Park.

It's the first Sectional title in BH-BL's five-year history as a varsity program, and the fourth for head coach Tom Schwan.

\It's definitely -- easily -- one of the top two moments of my coaching career, said Schwan, who won three Class A titles at Guilderland in the late 1990s. "It's an awesome feeling."

Two players turned the tide for BH-BL. First, Evan Nusbaum scored a pair of goals in the final minute of the first half to pull the Spartans within a goal of Queenabury. Then, Alex Lewek dished out three clutch passes to teammates stationed in front of the Queensbury goal during a seven-minute stretch of the second half -- all of which were converted into goals to give BH-BL the lead.

"We've been doing it all year," said Lewek. "We've had great finishes by our attackmen."

BH-BL's offense had to be sharp to get the ball past Queensbury goaltender Ben Coughlan. The junior stopped 11 of the Spartans' first 15 shots on goal and finished with 16 saves.

"He stops them with his knee, his shin, his foot," said Schwan. "People think he's getting lucky when he does that, but what they don't realize is that it takes great skill to make those stops."

Coughlan's saves helped Queensbury build its three-goal lead in the first half, but he eventually wore down in the second half under BH-BL's relentless offensive pressure -- something that often started with Nucci Lauria winning the center field face-off. Lauria gained control of the ball nearly 75 percent of the time, and he turned several of those face-off wins into fast break opportunities for himself.

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