North Murray High School’s boys soccer team was worried its loss a week ago to Cartersville ruined all hopes of winning a region championship.
The Mountaineers got a second life and didn’t waste it.
North Murray beat Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe 3-1 Tuesday at Mountaineer Stadium to secure the Region 5-3A title, the Mountaineers’ second consecutive league title. They’re the first program in school history to claim multiple region titles.
Last season, North Murray won the Region 7-2A crown. This year, the Mountaineers entered a new classification with some new opponents.
“I was kind of nervous coming into the season,” Mountaineers coach Matt Chambers said. “We had a new region and new competition. It was definitely harder than last year, but the boys stepped it up and it was great.”
Freddy Urbina scored on a 16th-minute free kick and North Murray (14-3, 13-1) held a 1-0 lead at halftime. Alexis Solorzano scored in the 50th minute thanks to an assist from Ismael Cruz, who then scored in the 77th minute to cap the goals.
Goalkeeper Manuel Gonzalez made two saves.
The Mountaineers lost 1-0 to Cartersville, putting the two schools tied at the top of the standings for first. Chambers figured it would stay that way and come down to a goal-differential tiebreaker.
“Originally, when we lost to Cartersville, we thought we blew our chance,” Chambers said. “Then when they lost to Ringgold, we had a new spurt of energy.
“No. 1, we had to win each game. No. 2, we couldn’t allow any goals. If we lost, then it would come to goal differential. But they won both games, so I’m very proud.”
North Murray next looks toward the Class 3A state playoffs. The Mountaineers will host in the first round and, if they advance, would host in the second.
• Murray County boys 9, Model 1: The Indians have secured a spot in the Class 2A state playoffs, and they have one final regular-season game against Calhoun today in Chatsworth to determine their exact seeding in the tournament.
Murray County (13-3-1, 13-2 Region 7-2A) can finish anywhere from first to third in the region standings dependent on the outcome of today’s game and other action from Tuesday night, Indians coach Marco Burgueno said.
In the win against Model, the Indians led 5-0 at the half and got a hat trick from Jose Ruiz and a pair of goals from Humberto Alvarez.
Alberto Soto, Richard Santa Cruz, Carlos Raymundo and Domingo Bautista also scored for Murray County. Juan Bautista had a pair of assists, while Fernando Arias, Domingo Bautista, Rodrigo Lucas and Alvarez had assists as well.
• Model girls 4, Murray County 1: Paiton Bradford scored the only goal for the Lady Indians (9-8, 9-6 Region 7-2A), while Nayeli Jacobo earned the assist.
The score was 2-1 at halftime.
• Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe girls 3, North Murray 0: Lady Mountaineers goalie Amber Bandy made 12 saves for North Murray (1-12) in its season finale.
• Darlington 8, Christian Heritage 4: The Lions’ hopes of making the Class A private school state playoffs took a hit with just one game left in the regular season.
Christian Heritage will play Sub-region B’s No. 3 seed in a Region 6 crossover game on Friday but whether or not the Lions make the state playoffs is determined by their Georgia High School Association power rating. The top 16 teams in each power rating poll — one for public and another for private — make their respective brackets.
Christian Heritage (12-10, 9-7 Sub-region 6A-A) was 11th in the newest poll, which came out Tuesday.
In the loss to Darlington, Tre Mason was the only Christian Heritage player with multiple hits, going 2-for-3. Jake Stokes had a two-out single in the first inning to drive in a run, while Nich Bartley had the team’s other RBI.
Brady Souther took the loss on the mound, giving up four earned runs in four innings of work.
• Ringgold 10, Coahulla Creek 0: In a must-win situation for any chance at a playoff spot, the Colts committed four errors and had just two hits in the Region 5-3A road loss, which was shortened to five innings by the run rule.
The Tigers scored three runs in the first and didn’t slow down with four in the second and three in the third. Meanwhile, Georgia State signee Austin Parrish held the Colts scoreless in getting the run-rule, complete-game win on the mound.
The loss eliminates Coahulla Creek (8-14, 5-8) from contention for the state playoffs. The Colts earned a spot in the Class 3A bracket in 2012, their first season.
“It was a game we had to win,” coach Michael Bolen said. “It we had won our last two games, we would have had a chance even though we probably would have needed a little help. Now, that keeps us out.”
The Colts end the season at home Thursday against Adairsville in a rescheduled contest from last week.
• Cartersville 14, North Murray 1: Lake Burris had a double and scored the lone run for the Mountaineers (9-12, 6-7 Region 5-3A) on a passed ball. The game was shortened to five innings by the run rule.
Jared Campbell pitched 2/3 of an inning for the Mountaineers, allowing six hits and nine runs, with just one earned.
Alex Viars pitched three innings, allowing three hits and four runs, with three earned.
North Murray plays at Sonoraville at 5:30 p.m. Thursday. Coach Steve Granger said if his Mountaineers win, they will clinch at least fourth place and will earn a spot in the Class 3A state playoffs.
• Southeast Whitfield’s Region 7-4A crossover doubleheader did not finish by The Daily Citizen’s deadline. Murray County did not report results from its scheduled game against Armuchee by The Daily Citizen’s deadline.