For the first time this season, temperatures were in the 80s.
"When you don't have a very deep bench, this heat is not your friend," West Deptford boys' lacrosse coach Mike Yarusso said.
It was the kind of weather that generally isn't kind to any small school this late in the season - not that West Deptford appeared the least bit fazed.
The Eagles were a 15-5 winner at home Thursday afternoon over Woodstown in the opening round of the South Jersey Group 1 playoffs.
"Because of the heat, we were running guys in who don't normally get time, but they were stepping up, getting ground balls, and doing a good job for us," said senior attack Mike Reardon, who led all players with five goals.
"I thought that we came out and played the way that we should have."
West Deptford (15-4) is the No. 4 seed in the first sectional Group 1 tournament in boys' lacrosse. The Eagles will play the winner of No. 5 Middle Township and No. 12 Delaware Valley, guaranteeing them a second home playoff game.
That's something the team knows will be its only luxury this postseason.
As in most South Jersey brackets, Group 1 is stacked with Central Jersey powers. The top three seeds in Group 1 are out-of-area teams: No. 1 Rumson, No. 2 Bernards, and New Providence.
"But we prefer to have those teams in there," Yarusso said. "It allows us to match up with quality teams and really fight for a championship."
Thursday, West Deptford jumped out to a 2-0 first-quarter lead and never looked back against 13th-seeded Woodstown (7-11).
The Eagles' offense, as is its trademark, was polished and dynamic. And goalie Nick D'Ottavi turned in a strong performance, recording 15 saves and ensuring the Eagles' lead was comfortable throughout the game.
The heat might have put the team's thin bench in the spotlight. But it also illustrated its resiliency.
West Deptford has long been one of the most competitive boys' lacrosse programs in South Jersey - and regardless of whom the team is playing, it expects to win.
"We really want it this year," Reardon said. "We think we're playing really well right now, we're hungry, and we're ready to go."
Woodstown 1 1 2 1 - 5
West Deptford 2 5 5 3 - 15
Goals: W-Colton Jocobucci, Cody Jocobucci 2, Greg Mitchell, Julian Chismar; WD-Joe Diaco 2, Justin Widener, Pasquale Gismonde 2, Mike Reardon 5, Jeff Todd 2, Zach Kaestner, Connor Smith, Brendan Persicketti.
Saves: W-Jack Weber 10; WD-Nick D'Ottavi 15.