Better Charger effort falls short of title
Posted: Friday, May 18, 2012 12:00 pm
By KEVIN WEAKS
Westview was nearly good enough to be the Region 7A-AA champion but couldn’t take the title from Dyersburg.
The Trojans successfully defended their regional title with a 2-1 win over Westview in the tournament championship game Tuesday night at Dyersburg Middle School.
Both teams continue on in the postseason with sectional games on Saturday. Their opponents will come out of Region 8A-AA, where Lexington and Memphis Kingsbury will face off tonight in Lexington.
With a spot in the state tournament on the line, Westview (12-4-2) will travel to play the 8A-AA champion, while Dyersburg (16-2-3) will host the runner-up. The Chargers were in the same position last season, too, losing to a Kingsbury team that eventually finished as the state runner-up.
“I was proud of the way we fought and competed against the best team in West Tennessee,” Westview head coach Dan Scates said. “We’re still playing right now. We’re one of 16 teams left. I’m proud of the way we competed, and I think we have a great shot wherever we go Saturday.”
The Chargers certainly had a shot against Dyersburg.
While the outcome was ultimately the same, the match itself was vastly different from the two teams’ earlier meeting, a 9-1 Dyersburg win the regular season.
All three goals were scored in the first half, the game-winner coming in the 39th minutes when Nic Berry took a cross pass from Will Fowlkes and hit a shot off the right post that ricocheted past keeper Scout Edwards and just across the goal line on the left side.
“Championship games usually come down to one or two plays — which team makes one more play — and they made a good play right before halftime. Berry, probably one of the better players in our region, just knocked one in off the post. Scout was in good position, but it headed in at just such an angle that there wasn’t much we could do about it.”
That capped a first half that saw Dyersburg keep Westview backed up much of the first half only to be thwarted time and again by Edwards and the Chargers’ defenders.
“Scout had another great game,” Scates said. “I think Collins Alexander did a great job of stopping some advances. Abraham (Haddad) was there to help clean up. Miles Gearin was really solid. I didn’t know how well he’d do back there because he aggravated a foot injury last week, but he probably had one of his better games of the season by stopping the balls in the corner and getting it back up to our midfielders.”
Edwards finished with eight keeper saves.
Dyersburg finally penetrated Westview’s defense with a well-executed play in the 19th minute as Josh Matthews took a cross from Berry, positioned on the right edge of the pitch, and sent the ball past Edwards in one motion for a 1-0 lead.
Westview then stopped two more shots and played great defense off a Trojan corner kick to keep it a one-goal game. The Chargers cashed in at the other end when Adam Reinhard got the ball from Sumner Gilliam on an attack and hit the back of the net past Evan Walden to tie the match in the 26th minute.
“I feel good about our chances, if we can take advantage of our opportunities,” Scates said. “We didn’t get that many tonight, which you’re not against a good defense, but I like the fact that when we got that opportunity early we able to cash in. We made it an 80-minute game.”
The second half was a battle of wills, both defenses winning out. While Edwards and the Chargers’ back line were halting numerous Trojan advances on one end, Dyersburg’s midfielders were stopping the Chargers before they could start an attack the other way.
“We did a better job playing the midfield than we did the last time,” Scates said. “But, when they won balls in the midfield, they stopped scoring threats or advances by us. You have to give them credit for that. We had a couple of chances, but you just have to finish. I’ve said this many times: Region championship games, sub-state, state tournament games, they’re all 2-1, 1-0 type of games.”
The A-AA state tournament will be played at Siegel Park and Soccer Complex next week as part of the TSSAA Spring Fling in Murfreesboro. Published in The WCP 5.17.12