BRIDGEWATER, N.J. - The fact that Hunterdon Central's lacrosse team beat Moorestown during the regular season meant just one thing to Quakers senior attack Jon Lefferts.
"It's locker-room material," Lefferts said. "You hang it on the locker. Coaches preach it all week."
The fifth-seeded Quakers stormed to a big lead and withstood a late comeback for a 12-10 victory over the fourth-seeded Red Devils in an NJSIAA Tournament of Champions quarterfinal game at Bridgewater's Basilone Field yesterday.
Moorestown's seventh straight win avenged last month's 15-12 loss to the four-time Group 4 champion. That is the last setback suffered by the Quakers (14-7).
"The driving force behind this was they beat us during the regular season," said Lefferts, who had two goals and three assists. "There's nothing like getting another shot at a team during the playoffs."
Moorestown made the most of that shot, jumping to leads of 5-0 and 6-1 before the Red Devils (18-4) began their patented comeback. Hunterdon Central trailed by 4-0 in the Group 4 semifinals and by 8-4 heading into the final quarter of the finals before rallying to win both games.
It looked like more of the same as the Red Devils closed from 9-4 to 9-7 and from 10-7 to 10-9 with 10 minutes, 54 seconds remaining.
Mike Diehl just missed tying it when his shot flew over the goal, but the Quakers' Dominic Sebastiani responded with a huge effort. The senior midfielder did a 360 spin, split two defenders, and scored to make it 11-9.
"You talk about momentum shifts," Lefferts said. "Our team has been playing like that all year. It's highs and lows, but you've got to ride the waves. And that score right there was crucial. It lifted a lot of weight off our shoulders.
"The kid lifts the team in practice. The kid lifts the team in games. He leads by example. He's a great captain."
John Marcelli added a man-up goal with 8:51 left to make it 12-9, and Moorestown allowed one goal the rest of the way, thanks in part to two big saves by goalie Tom Lynam.
Shane Collier, Mark Burns, Sebastiani and Marcelli each scored two goals, while the Quakers held Diehl, Garrett Thul and Anthony Terranova to seven after they had combined for 153 this year.
Next up is top-seeded Mountain Lakes tomorrow night at 7 at Kean College.
"Hey, someone's got to lose," Lefferts said. "But I don't think it's going to be us."
Moorestown 6 2 2 2 - 12
Hunterdon Central 1 2 5 2 - 10
Goals: MMark Burns 2, Shane Collier 2, Jon Lefferts 2, Jon Marcelli 2, Dominic Sebastiani 2, Andrew Berry, Jeff Petrillo. HCAnthony Terranova 4, Garrett Thul 3, Pat O'Brien 2, Anthony Toresco.
Saves: MTom Lynam 7. HCWade Winebrenner 9.