Northwest Whitfield High School’s boys soccer team was one play away from drawing even.
One play was all Dalton’s Andres Barragan needed to turn the Bruins’ hope into despair.
Barragan’s shot in the 70th minute of Thursday’s game became the insurance goal the Catamounts wanted, and it gave Dalton the 3-1 win it needed in what was essentially the Sub-region 7B-4A championship match on Northwest’s home field.
Ramiro Huitanda’s goal in the 50th minute gave the Cats (12-0, 5-0) a 2-0 lead and put the Bruins (9-2, 4-1) in a position where they had to do something no other team has done this season — score twice against Dalton.
Additionally, Northwest hadn’t created much offense to that point, taking just four shots.
“Our defenders were doing a good job heading it back up field,” Cats coach Matt Cheaves said.
In the 59th minute, the Bruins’ Bryan Villa was fouled by Eder Mora and the center referee ruled it happened just inside the penalty box. Christian Perez converted the penalty kick and half of Northwest’s task was complete. But Dalton won possession in the midfield, Barragan received a pass and dribbled to just outside the goalie box. His low strike hit inside the left post and found the net.
“It does deflate you,” Bruins coach Ryan Scoggins said. “Our guys didn’t mail it in. They were playing hard. But when it’s 3-1 with 10 minutes left, you’ll really need some breaks to happen.”
Dalton beat Northwest 6-1 when they faced off in a non-league match at Harmon Field earlier this season, and both teams could play at least two more times this season. The first would be in the championship round of the eight-team Region 7-4A tournament — set to begin April 16 — and the second potential matchup would be in the state tournament.
Dalton owns the sub-region’s No. 1 seed for the region tournament bracket, while Northwest has a No. 2 seed and Southeast is in the No. 3 slot. Winners in the first round earn a state berth.
“These (rivalry) games are always physical,” Barragan said. “We’ve known these guys since we were little. We’ve played against them and with them. It’s very intense.”
The Bruins only had eight shots in the match, while the Cats had 18. Dalton also had 23 set plays — free kicks, corner kicks or deep throw-ins — and scored the game’s first goal off one in the fourth minute. Pepe Gardea’s long throw-in toward the goal wasn’t cleared on the first and second try, and Ryan Czyz was fortunate enough to get a strike on the ball and into the net.
“They’re going to earn goals, but they’re also going to take advantage of any mistakes you make,” Scoggins said.
Northwest’s two best chances in the first half were from David Perez’s 18th-minute shot that hit the crossbar and Christian Perez’s 33rd-minute shot on a free kick that Dalton goalkeeper Raymundo Bahena tipped over the goal.
Bahena made four saves, while Northwest’s Miguel Deanda had five.
• Northwest girls 1, Dalton 0: Juliana Gomez’s cross in the 62nd minute found Nancy Paz’s foot right in front of the goal and gave the Lady Bruins (7-1, 4-1 Sub-region 7B-4A) the game’s only score.
The Lady Cats outshot their opponents 13-9. In the 51st minute, Dalton (4-5, 2-3) had its best chance to score as a shot got past goalkeeper Gracie Holmes, but defender Paige Smyth cleared the ball just before it crossed the line.
“That saved me from a heart attack,” said Northwest coach Anna Stutts, whose team finishes second in the sub-region after beating local rivals Dalton and Southeast. “We’re trying to get in their heads that you are good soccer players. People look at records, but I try to tell them that they have skill.”
Holmes made six saves, while Lady Cats keeper Maria Medina made five.
“I can’t be disappointed,” Dalton coach Tony Carlson said. “Their effort the whole game, but particularly in the second half, kept Northwest very off balance in defense.”
• North Murray boys 2, Sonoraville 2 (5-4): Mountaineers goalie Manuel Gonzalez scored the clinching penalty kick in the shootout and had eight saves to keep North Murray undefeated in Region 5-3A play.
Alexis Solorzano scored in the first half off of an assist from Tony Maldonaldo to tie the game 1-all, and Ismael Cruz scored in the second half to take the lead. But Sonoraville knotted it by converting a penalty kick after a handball in the box to send the game into overtime.
After a scoreless overtime, Sonoraville missed its first penalty kick in the shootout, while North Murray (9-1, 9-0) converted all five of its shots.
• North Murray girls 6, Sonoraville 2: The Lady Mountaineers won their first game of the year as Jessica Rangel led the way with a pair of goals.
Keeper Amber Bandy went out with an injury near the end of the first half with her team trailing 2-1, and coach Justin Frazier said his team rallied for the injured player. Valeria Lazo took over in goal and had eight saves in the second half.
Megan Pittman and Olivia Diaz each had a goal and two assists, while Jesinia Gaspar added a goal for North Murray (1-8, 1-8 Region 5-3A).
• Morris Innovative boys 1, Chattooga 0: Luis Perez scored the game’s only goal, with Felipe Barrientos getting the assist as the Tigers (6-6, 5-6 Region 7-2A) won at Harmon Field.
• Chattoga girls 4, Morris Innovative 1: The Lady Tigers (0-12, 0-11) got their lone goal from Alejandra Hernandez.
• Results from Murray County’s boys and girls games against Model were not reported by The Daily Citizen’s deadline.
• Dalton 10, Ridgeland 0: Brandon Dale pitched a five-inning no-hitter and contributed at the plate as the Cats (5-6) rolled to their fourth straight win to start the Sub-region 7B-4A schedule.
Dale, a senior, struck out seven and walked three; he also went 2-for-4 with a double and two RBIs in the home victory.
“What we saw today is what we’ve been seeing all year,” Dalton coach Shane Ramsey said. “Our defense relaxes when he’s on the mound, and offensively we relax when he’s on the mound, because he’s going to give us a chance to win every time.”
Dale’s gem was the second no-hitter for the Cats in two weeks.
Will Erwin kept Southeast Whitfield’s bats in check during a 10-0 five-inning win on March 20.
Against the Panthers on Thursday, Grant Sane was 2-for-2 with two RBIs, while Jake Roberts and Matt Wells each went 2-for-3 with two RBIs and Caleb Hill had a hit and drove in a run. Dalton collected 11 hits while making just one error in the field.
• Southeast 9, LaFayette 5: Southeast junior Blake Foster was a terror at the plate, and a lot more Raiders had a hot day as well.
Foster blasted a pair of home runs as part of a 4-for-4, five-RBI performance. He now has three homers in as many games after homering against Dalton last week.
“He is really getting into a groove with his swing,” Southeast coach Brad Lofton said. “We came out swinging the bats, and (pitcher) Tyler (Hale) did a good job battling tonight.”
Hale earned the complete-game win, allowing four earned runs on six hits and five walks with six strikeouts, giving the Raiders their first Sub-region 7B-4A victory of the season.
Joining Foster at the plate was Devin Gentry, who was 4-for-4 with a double and two RBIs. Abram Stanley, Jose Vargas and Austin Pratt all had two hits for the Raiders (4-9, 1-4).
Southeast lost 9-8 on Tuesday to the Ramblers, with the two teams meeting today in the rubber game of the sub-region series.
• Northwest Whitfield 5, Heritage-Catoosa 3: Wade Terrell pitched a complete game and allowed just one earned run, while Andy Whisenant’s two-run single in the sixth broke a 3-3 tie and capped the comeback win for the Bruins in a Sub-region 7B-4A meeting.
Down 3-1 going into the bottom of the sixth, Northwest scored a pair of runs on fielder’s choices and Whisenant ended the game with three RBIs.
Terrell gave up four hits and a pair of walks while striking out four.
“He just goes about his business,” Bruins coach Todd Middleton said. “He gets ground balls, and we struggled a couple of times behind him and it hurt us. We could have been out of a couple of innings.”
Brady Middleton was 2-for-2 for Northwest (10-3, 5-0).
• North Murray 3, Coahulla Creek 0: Jared Goswick gave up just two hits in a complete-game effort to lead the Mountaineers (5-7, 2-1 Region 5-3A) to their second straight victory on the road.
Goswick struck out six and walked two, and he helped himself with a double at the plate. Jared Campbell was 2-for-3 with a triple and a RBI, while Cole Vaughn doubled and drove in a run and Aaron Granger also collected an RBI for North Murray, which scored one run each in the second, third and seventh innings.
“I hope we’re getting in a little groove, but I told the kids we haven’t done anything yet and it takes three games to get on a winning streak,” North Murray coach Steve Granger said.
Braiden Jacobs worked all seven innings on the mound for Coahulla Creek (4-9, 1-3) — he allowed two earned runs on six hits with three strikeouts and no walks — and reached base on an infield single.
• Results from Murray County’s game at Armuchee and Christian Heritage’s game at Mount Paran Christian were not reported by The Daily Citizen’s deadline.
• Heritage’s Rachel Rebae shot a 6-over-par 42 to earn medalist honors and lead the Lady Generals — who shot a 150 — to victory against Northwest (158) and Southeast (159) in a nine-hole match at Indian Trace.
Northwest’s counting rounds came from Marlee Bingham (49), Dallas Coker (57) and Emilee McKinney (52), while Southeast’s score was compiled by Megan Collins (44), Tori Bailey (57) and Bethany Reddix (58).
• North Murray’s boys and girls traveled to Ringgold’s Windstone Golf Course, and the Mountaineers lost 195-180 to the Tigers, while the Lady Mountaineers won by forfeit as Ringgold didn’t have enough scorers.
For the girls, Jocelyn Blair shot a 2-over-par 38, while Tillie Hughes (47) and Hali Sheram (55) also competed.
Colby Hipp took medalist honors for the boys with a 42, while Luke Bearden and Zach Sanford each shot 50 and Colton Peters had a 53.
• Results from Coahulla Creek’s match with Gordon Central were not reported by The Daily Citizen’s deadline.
• Northwest girls 5, Southeast 0: The Lady Bruins (5-4, 3-2 Sub-region 7B-4A) rolled at Edwards Park in Varnell behind singles wins from No. 1 Emma Jones, 6-0, 6-0, No. 2 Gracie Cansler, 6-2, 6-0, No. 3 Sara Richards, 6-1, 6-2, plus doubles wins from No. 1 Sydney Wagner and Alli Wagner, 6-0, 6-0, and No. 2 Valerie White and Halle Henderson, 6-0, 6-1. In an exhibition doubles match, Mary Kate Jones and Meghan Richards won 8-2.
The Lady Raiders dropped to 0-5 overall and in sub-region play.
• Southeast boys 3, Northwest 2: The Raiders (2-3, 2-3 Sub-region 7B-4A) beat their intracounty rivals at Edwards Park to clinch the fourth spot in the sub-region and an invitation to next month’s region tournament.
Southeast got singles wins from No. 1 Darshan Patel, 1-6, 6-0, 6-3, and No. 2 Ben Lopez, 6-0, 6-3, plus a doubles win from No. 1 Fernando Beccera and Reuben Figueroa, 7-5, 6-4.
Winners for Northwest (8-2, 3-1) were No. 3 Lane Watson, 6-4, 5-7, 6-4, and No. 2 Cody Bourff and Israel Uriquiza, 7-5, 6-4.
• Mount Paran School girls 3, Christian Heritage 2: The Lady Lions (3-3, 1-3 Sub-region 6A-A) lost but got doubles wins from No. 1 Kacie Griggs and Erin Grace White, 2-6, 7-6 (10-8), 10-8, and No. 2 Autumn Cress and Mallory Sanford, 6-2, 6-4.
• Mount Paran School boys 4, Christian Heritage 1: The lone victory for the Lions (2-4, 0-4 Sub-region 6A-A) was in doubles as No. 1 Samuel Pippin and Brian Pierce won 4-6, 6-3, 10-8.
• Pepperell girls 3, Murray County 2: The Lady Indians (7-5, 3-3) got a singles win from No. 2 Allison Jones, 6-2, 6-2, and a doubles win from No. 2 Chloe Brown and Kailey Webb, 6-4, 6-4, in matches played at Rome’s Georgia Highlands College.
• Pepperell boys 5, Murray County 0: The Indians fell to 3-9 overall and 1-5 in Region 7-2A.
Track and field
• Southeast’s girls finished first overall and the boys were second by a single point to their hosts at the seven-team Gordon Lee Invitation-al.
Aaron Thomas won both the 1n600-meter run (5 minutes, 6 seconds) and the 800 (2:16) and was on a second-place relay team to claim the most valuable runner award.
The Lady Raiders scored 117 points, led by wins from Kayleen Mullins with a leap of 30 feet, 10-1/4 inches in the long jump, Isabel Salinas in the 1600 (5:45), Kara Felts in the 200 (29.4) and Anissa Sosebee in the 100 hurdles (17.47).
Other winners for the Raiders were Cody Ensley in the discus (118-1/4) and the 4x400 relay team of Corey Barnes, D.J. Johnson, Josh Tucker and Chaz Payne, who had a time of 3:48.
Coahulla Creek was also scheduled to compete in the meet, but results were not reported by The Daily Citizen’s deadline.
n Results from North Murray’s boys and girls meet at Gilmer were not available Thursday, but will be published at a later date.