Delaware Hayes Roundup: Pacers boys lacrosse team peaks for postseason

Stephen Borgna
ThisWeek group
Ty Gillman and Delaware Hayes open the Division I, Region 1 tournament May 18 at home against Avon. Gillman had eight goals, six assists and 33 ground balls through 15 games.

Correction: Stats provided for the boys lacrosse team were for a recent three-game stretch before the postseason and not through 15 games. Due to a reporter's error, the timeframe was incorrect.

The Delaware Hayes boys lacrosse team feels like it’s hitting its stride at the right time with the postseason set to begin.

The Pacers stumbled out of the gate, losing five of their first six games, but have since recovered.

“We weren’t at full strength,” coach Anthony Sanfillipo said. “Depth wasn’t there at the beginning for our team and we were also going against really good teams. So we kind of had a recipe for disaster at the beginning of the year. Luckily, though, we learned from it, and now that we’re getting healthy we’re starting to put things together.” 

Since then, Delaware found success in the OCC-Capital Division, finishing second (4-1) behind Worthington Kilbourne (5-0). 

The Pacers were 8-8 overall after losing their regular-season finale to New Albany 13-12 on May 11.

“We’re feeling really good,” Sanfillipo said. “We’re getting healthy at the right time. Things are starting to click. Things we’re doing in practice are starting to show in games. We’re correcting a lot of our mistakes, and we’re really pleased where we are right now heading into the postseason.”

Sanfillipo said one of the main areas of improvement the last several weeks has been the Pacers’ ability to execute their offensive and defensive game plans. 

Delaware is seeded fifth for the Division I, Region 1 tournament and opens May 18 at home against 13th-seeded Avon. The winner plays fourth-seeded Olmsted Falls or seventh-seeded Olentangy Orange on May 21 in a regional quarterfinal. 

“Our mindset has grown to a point where we think we can compete with anyone, which gives us our confidence,” defender Andrew Houck said. “I’d say what changed from the beginning to now is getting our team healthy and finding our confidence. I really like where we are going into the tournament and I know the other guys do, too. We’re hitting our stride and having fun.” 

In addition to Houck, another top player for Delaware entering the postseason is Hunter Piroska, who had nine goals in a recent three-game stretch. He also had two assists and five ground balls. 

Shane Manor had eight goals to go with two assists and two ground balls. Clay Knight has stood out on defense, with 12 ground balls and six caused turnovers in the three-game stretch. 

Ty Gillman, whom Sanfillipo described as a “workhorse,” had eight goals, six assists and 33 ground balls. 

“He’s killing it in all phases of the game,” Sanfillipo said. 

Sam Schumacher has provided a boost since returning to the midfield from injury and has “been a huge benefit to us,” Sanfillipo said. 

According to Sanfillipo, perfecting the smaller details will be pivotal for the Pacers in the postseason.

“We have to be locked in one game at a time, one practice at a time and one rep at a time. And really I hope that comes down to fundamentals because that’s where we’re going to win or lose games,” he said. “If we can do the fundamentals and clean up just some of those silly mistakes we’ve made in games, I’d be really excited to see what kind of team we could put on the field.” 

Grant LaMar and the Pacers began the postseason with a Division I sectional May 13 and 15 at Pickerington Central.

Boys tennis team

begins postseason 

The boys tennis team competed in a Division I sectional May 13 and 15 at Pickerington Central. 

Grant LaMar, Joe Molina and Ryne Higgins competed in singles. Ryder Kardas and Gabe Fogle comprised one doubles team, and Lucas Nogueira Balaniuc and Ben Dabe made up the other.

The top four finishers in singles and doubles advanced to district May 20 and 22 at Reynoldsburg.

The Pacers were 8-7 overall before playing Mount Vernon on May 12. They finished 3-4 in the OCC-Capital. 

Delaware concludes the regular season May 17 against Reynoldsburg. 

sborgna@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekSteve