Great Crossing weathered a variety of storms Thursday night to trip up another 11th Region opponent and stay undefeated in boys' soccer.
A lightning delay, a late goal by Madison Southern and a chippy style of play all could have thrown the Warhawks off their game, but they persisted and pulled out a 2-1 win in Berea.
“It was a tough match,” GC coach Nick Maxwell said. “Defensively, we have to be better, and we have to be able to maintain our style of play regardless of what the other team is doing.”
The Warhawks (3-0) added another brick to their rapidly building reputation as road warriors. Thanks to a washout earlier this week, their home opener won't take place until Tuesday against Frederick Douglass.
Brayden Ward's fourth goal of the young season put Great Crossing on top before the thunderstorms intervened.
“In the first half we dictated the pace, and we were the stronger team,” Maxwell said. “Just before the weather break we scored. We came back and had numerous opportunities around the 18 (yard line) but just couldn't find the back of the net.”
GC did cash in an important look for insurance purposes when Keagan Morrin capitalized on a set-up by Bradyn Johnson.
That became especially crucial when Madison Southern (1-3) cut the margin in half on a goal by Francisco Aguilar, courtesy of Parker Coyle.
“We controlled tempo for about 10 or 15 minutes after scoring the second goal,” Maxwell said. “After that we got comfortable and let them hang around.”
Madison Southern's goal changed the tenor of play dramatically. Six yellow cards were issued in the second half.
Senior goalie Isaac Sullivan faced his most meaningful barrage of the season to date.
“He had three stellar saves to keep the lead, and we saw out the clock in the final five minutes.” Maxwell said.
Great Crossing had a shutout streak of more than 200 minutes prior to the Aguilar strike, so in some ways it was a welcome challenge.
“It was good for the boys to battle out a win against a physical, fast team,” Maxwell said. “We will look to keep it going next week.”
Volleyball wins district debut
The opening-week itinerary of Great Crossing High School volleyball history served as a handy, dandy checklist.
First match, a region test at Lexington Christian Academy? That was checked off Tuesday evening, with a one-game deficit and a few early butterflies proving no object.
'X' marked another spot Thursday evening, when the Lady Warhawks stayed undefeated and broke the ice in the 41st District with a 3-0 (25-17, 25-17, 25-18) victory at Western Hills.
“The girls rose to the occasion,” GC coach Adam Ivetic said. “Western Hills is a really well-coached team with a lot of heart. It's so hard to get kills against them, because they're so scrappy.”
With that challenge met, box number three was the home opener and inaugural “Battle of the Birds” late Friday afternoon against Scott County. That result was incomplete at press time.
“Our hitters got dug a lot (Thursday), but I was really proud of their perseverance,” Ivetic said. “They battled, got down deep in their tool box and found ways to earn points.”
Annie Pearson set up the offense consistently from start to finish with 27 assists.
Points at the net were well distributed, led by Ryann Thomas with 13 kills. Reagan McLean (seven), Grace Brooker (six) and Alora Wilson (five) also put away their share.
“Some of those kills belong to our hardest working and least appreciated players,” Ivetic xaid. “It's such a blue-collar job where you get all of the sweat and soreness and none of the glory.”
Ivetic also credited defensive specialists Taylor Carwile, Kirstynn Yarber and Morgan Caba for steady performance on both ends of the service game.
“Our middles were the unsung heroes of the night,” the coach said. “They were running different plays and moving Western Hills around a lot. This opened up a ton of opportunities for our pin hitters.”
Great Crossing goes to Bourbon County on Tuesday.
Sayre, Shelby slip past SC in boys' golf
Scott County boys' golf produced some sizzling scores on its home course at Cherry Blossom, but Sayre and Shelby County took home the victories in recent action on the links.
Sayre's margin of victory in CKBC conference action, 160-161, couldn't have been much closer, but ultimately the Cardinals saw their three-year winning streak in dual matches come to an end.
It wasn't without a sensational effort from the top three, led by Alex Bennett's red number of 34. Kyle VanValkenburg chipped in 39, followed by Ethan Flanders with 40.
Shelby County made the eastern swing on Interstate 64 with a top-10 ranking in the state under its belt, and the Rockets showed that was no fluke with a 146-173 triumph.
The Rockets registered scores of 33, 35, 37 and a pair of 41s in the impressive performance.
Flanders showed the way for Scott County with 38. Bennett (43), Liam Spurlock (45), Caden Less (47) and VanValkenburg (48) rounded out the scoring.
SC goes to Laurel Oaks for an invitational tournament in Mason County on Saturday.
Kal Oakes can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.