Local Sports

March 7, 2014

Prep Roundup: A little bit of momentum

Dalton wins fourth straight on diamond



• Morris Innovative boys 6, Pepperell 1:
One defensive shift by Morris Innovative stole all of the momentum away from visiting Pepperell at Harmon Field and led to an avalanche of goals for the Tigers.

The teams had matched each other defensively through much of the first half, with Sergio Mendiola’s putaway off of a David Salis corner kick the lone goal of the opening half. But to start the second half, the Dragons controlled the pace, keeping the Tigers on their heels and making the Morris Innovative offense nonexistent.

That was before coach Ernie Dempsey made a shift for the Tigers.

“We made a subtle defensive adjustment and were able to take the momentum away from them,” Dempsey said. “They were getting too many balls at the top of the final third of the field. So we added another midfielder to give us a little more possession help, and by controlling the ball, we were able to break our forwards out top.

“It basically just filled a gap in our defense, and adding some support helped out a lot.”

After making the adjustment, the Tigers (4-4, 4-3 Region 7-2A) scored five goals in the next 15 minutes of play.

Marco Espinoza had a pair of goals, and other scores came from Carlos Beltran, Jonathan Herrera and Salis.

Luis Perez anchored the defensive effort, Dempsey said.

• Pepperell girls 4, Morris Innovative 1: Bernice Hernandez tied the game 1-1 early in the second half, but Pepperell won the Region 7-2A match at Harmon Field going away.

Brianda Martinez had the assist for Morris Innovative (0-7, 0-7).

• North Murray boys 3, Cartersville 1 (OT): Arturo Garcia scored with 13 minutes left to send the game into overtime, and the Mountaineers remained unbeaten — they’re 4-0 overall and in Region 5-3A — after scoring in both periods of overtime.

Neto Rodriguez scored on what coach Matt Chambers called a “picture-perfect” volley from 15 yards in front of the goal on a cross from Umberto Orozco in the first period of overtime, and Victor Iturbero closed the scoring with a goal off an Orozco assist.

Cartersville’s only goal came on a first-half penalty kick. North Murray keeper Manuel Gonzalez had four saves.

• Cartersville girls 3, North Murray 1: Amber Bandy finished with 15 saves in goal for North Murray, and the Lady Mountaineers became the first team in Region 5-3A to score on Cartersville, which is undefeated through four games overall and three in region play.

The Lady Hurricanes led 2-0 at the end of the first half. Alonda Bennett scored on an unassisted goal early in the second half for North Murray (1-3, 1-3).

• Northwest Whitfield boys 10, LaFayette 0: Miguel Villa notched his third hat trick of the year, but little brother Bryan Villa finished the night as the winner in the family feud.

Bryan finished with four goals and each of the Villa brothers had an assist as Northwest rolled in the mercy-rule shortened game on the road.

David Franco added two goals for the Bruins (3-1, 2-1 Sub-region 7B-4A), with the other score coming from Kevin Centeno.

Centeno, Edward Infante, Brandon Jimenez and Ivan Valezquez all had assists for Northwest, which dominated the game with 24 shots on goal without allowing LaFayette a single scoring opportunity.

• Northwest girls 2, LaFayette 1 (OT): Juliana Gomez set up one goal and scored the decisive one as the Lady Bruins remained undefeated with a road victory on a cold, wet evening.

Northwest (6-0, 3-0 Sub-region 7B-4A) went up 1-0 in the opening five minutes when Vanessa Lara turned a pass from Gomez into a goal, but LaFayette responded and it was 1-1 at halftime.

Gomez scored in the first of the two five-minute periods of overtime and Northwest’s defense made the lead stick. Lady Bruins coach Melissa Torbett noted the defensive play of Courtney Pendergrass as well as keeper Gracie Holmes, who made four saves, including a crucial one in overtime.

The Lady Bruins outshot LaFayette 15-11.

Northwest will host an alumni night for former players tonight as part of its boys-girls doubleheader versus visiting Coahulla Creek. All former Northwest soccer players are encouraged to attend to be recognized at halftime of the games.

• Dalton junior varsity boys 3, Northwest Whitfield 0: Jose Boyzo had a pair of goals, while Junior Perez finished with a goal and an assist as the Cats remained undefeated through five matches with the win in Tunnel Hill.

Esli Diaz and Cristian Saldano each had assists, while Gabriel Arriola and Luis Torres combined for the shutout in goal.

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