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Friday, Apr. 29, 2016

Tiger Cubs in sectional final after win over Cascade 5-0

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Greencastle senior Mitchell Ball battles Cascade's Patrick Jaggers in the opening game of the Class A No. 50 Bethesda Christian sectional Wednesday.
Greencastle's boys' soccer team kicked off their postseason run in fine fashion Wednesday evening at the IHSAA Class A Sectional No. 50.

Having beaten their opponents 11-1 one week ago, the No. 8 ranked Tiger Cubs replicated the result with a 5-0 win over Cascade at Bethesda Christian High School.

Sonny Basham keyed the Greencastle attack and wasted little time before scoring. A cross from the left came to Basham, who let it bounce before rifling it past Cascade goalkeeper Avery Franklin to give the Tiger Cubs an early 1-0 lead.

Basham and Franklin would be locked in their own personal duel throughout the first half as the keeper often had to race off his line to smother shots or long balls sent into Basham.

Franklin could do nothing twenty-four minutes in when Evan Smith burst through the middle of the Cadet defense and teed up Basham, who slid the ball into the left side of the net for a 2-0 Greencastle lead.

Four minutes later, Basham was in again after Smith started a counterattack and again put Basham through on goal, with Basham rounding Franklin before slamming it in from a yard out for a 3-0 lead.

Basham then capped the first half scoring after a play came down the Greencastle right side. The ball was centered in for Basham, who fired into the top corner to make the score 4-0.

The score line could have been far wider as Basham was denied by the goal frame three separate times. A chip over Franklin hit the wrong side of the post halfway through the first half, while the bar denied him twice in the final five minutes.

Basham slammed the first shot off the underside of the bar but watched as it went straight down and spun away from goal. The other came off a fine set-up where Basham took a cross from the right, bounced it off his leg and fired towards goal, only to see it crash off the bar and away.

With a large lead to work with, Greencastle relaxed the attack while keeping Cascade from mounting any offense at all. Several saves from Franklin kept the score down, while Basham had a header cleared off the line by Cascade midfielder Julian Povinelli.

Mitchell Ball would get the final goal with thirteen minutes remaining. Having missed wide and having another shot saved by Franklin, Ball finally powered a shot from twenty yards away past the Cadet keeper for the final goal of the game.

Even as subs continued to pour in throughout the second half, the Greencastle defense proved a challenge far too great for the Cadets. Cascade did not get a single shot on goal over the eighty minutes, helping to ensure Greencastle kept a clean sheet during their sectional opening win.

Greencastle head coach Dave Lilly said the game went exactly as he hoped it would.

"Their keeper, Avery Franklin, is solid. He doesn't give up a lot of goals, though we did torch him senior night, but that's a different scenario with the emotion involved," Lilly said.

"We did what we wanted to do in the first half. We wanted to come and get maybe a three, four goal lead and then in the second half kind of take it easy. We didn't want to show the guys we might play next a whole lot.

"I told the guys we didn't need to blow them out. A 3-0, 4-0 is pretty good in soccer and we just wanted to seal the deal and take care of business in the second half," Lilly added.

"There are a lot of good schools in the Class A tournament. If we advance to the regional, we could have a matchup of either Speedway or Covenant Christian, whom we used to play."

Before those matchups can be seen, though, Greencastle will have to win the sectional final, where they will play hosts Bethesda Christian, who defeated Tri-West 1-0. Lilly was optimistic about his side's chances.

"We don't know much about Bethesda Christian, who are about to play. I watched them myself, and we'll watch a little bit here. When they played before, they played to a 1-1 tie," Lilly Said.

"For me, it doesn't really matter. We didn't play them, so we'll play someone we haven't played since I've been coaching," Lilly added.

"I feel comfortable that if we play like we've been playing the last four weeks, we'll be able to play with anyone in our class. We're playing with confidence, we're scoring a lot of goals, and we kept a clean sheet tonight. All those little things are important to us."

At Bethesda Christian

IHSAA Class A Sectional No. 50

Cascade 0 0 -- 0

Greencastle 4 1 -- 5

First Half

G -- 33:16 Basham (1-0)

G -- 16:50 Basham (2-0)

G -- 12:28 Basham (3-0)

G -- 3:01 Basham (4-0)

Second Half

G -- 13:14 Ball (5-0)

Next game -- Greencastle will play in the IHSAA Sectional No. 50 final Saturday at 7 p.m.