Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Spokane-Plus HS Boys Weekly Report - May 12

Central Valley and Lewis & Clark battled hard for the 4A District title 
It's playoff time. A season of games were put behind them for most of the area schools as they took to District playoffs to determine who advanced to regionals and beyond. In the Greater Spokane League and the Mid-Columbia Conference, set to face one another in regionals, things played out according to seeding but saw some interesting contests.

LEAGUE PLAY :: May 5 - 9  

Greater Spokane League - Things kicked off Tuesday with first round district games for both classifications. Second-seeded Mt Spokane downed Shadle Park 2-0 in 3A action while fourth-seeded Ferris came from behind in the second half to knock off University, seeded fifth in the 4A group.

The 4A playoffs continued on Thursday with Gonzaga Prep (3) facing Lewis & Clark (2) another big showdown between Ferris (4) and unbeaten Central Valley (1), who met with first place in the league on the line just a couple weeks ago.

In the first game, Ferris jumped in front of the Bears with the opening goal on a restart. A deep throw from Eric Hollenbaugh found the head of Callan Martin inside the six, nodding it nearly straight down. There to collect it was Jacob Bloomfeldt, who took a touch before turning and blasting it home from about eight yards. But Central Valley again proved to be too potent of a team offensively to keep off the board. Four minutes into the second half Chase Reidt tied it up on a ball from Noah Whitman. Then in the 74th minute a corner from Evan Kern gave the Bears the win again. He found a rising Mark McClain, whose initial header went straight down, but he collected himself and popped back up to turn and fire it into the back of the net for the win.

In the second half of the doubleheader, the game went nearly identical to the first with the lower seeded Bullpups taking the early lead on a restart. In the 12th minute Spencer Ceballos chased a ball down in the box and tackled it off a defender, popped up and sent a shot from the corner of the six that was knocked wide. The resulting corner led to a second that bore fruit for Prep as it was deflected down to Dillon Sandiver, who lofted a shot from 30 yards from the left side to the back far corner of the goal out of the keeper's reach.

A fantastic play from another restart just inside the half-hour mark sent the match to the break even. A free kick from beyond half was flicked on by Henry Smaldon (pictured above, middle). At the far post Jared Mehaffey was there to knock it into the empty net with the keeper having sprawled out to try and stop the redirection from Smaldon.

With eight minutes remaining, the Tigers snared the victory on another nice play. Smaldon took the ball up the left side, beating the outside back and driving into the area, where he sent a ball across the area that was headed inside the right post by a diving Alex McNeill.

The results set up Saturday's regional seeding matches. First up was the loser-out contest between Gonzaga Prep and Ferris. The Saxons avenged a 2-0 early season defeat with a convincing 4-0 win, and started early. Five minutes into the match Barrett Freshler scored from inside the area on a ball from Hollenbaugh. Five minutes before intermission, the Saxons doubled the advantage when Andrew Fruci battled Richard Cloutier in the left corner and was able to send a ball into the area that was partially deflected, looping it over the keeper toward the far post where Seth Buller finished with a diving header just off the line.

Freshler turned provider in the 57th minute when the ball popped out from the top of the area to him at the right edge of the box all alone. He made a quick cut and fired across the six past the goalkeeper guarding the post and Terry Cox rushed in for the empty-netter. Freshler made it two goals on the day with four minutes remaining off a rebound.

"We felt good about our performance in all three games. That includes the loss to CV," Ferris head coach Robin Crain said of their recent matches against the GSL contenders. "Obviously the 4-0 win against Prep showed that the players are confident and together as a group. This week will be tough but not impossible, if we can take it one game at a time we will have momentum going into each contest."

The showdown for the top spot out of the district was another dramatic affair. Once again, Central Valley found themselves behind on the scoreboard. Again, it was a restart. Twelve minutes into the match a long throw from Smaldon was headed in the box twice on the way to the far post before it came to Jared Mehaffey, who was able to punch it in past a defender and the keeper.

The Tigers looked like they were heading to the break in front, but that all changed with a minute remaining when a corner was eventually knocked out of the box, where Reidt collected it 30 yards out and off the bounce volleyed it inside the right post out of the keeper's reach.

Just a minute on the other side of the break, the complexion changed again - this time in favor of the unbeaten Bears. Less than a minute into the period a free kick from Braden Corigliano was delivered from about 45 yards out, rebounding to JD Hauenstein, who dropped down to knock it in at the left post from about three yards.

"It was a battle, it was definitely a battle. We didn't play very well in the first half, and we talked about putting the first half behind us, playing our style. In the second half it showed," said Central Valley head coach Andres Monrroy after the game. "Of course, LC gave us everything they had too and it was a great battle. We felt like we played good enough to win this game today.

"We've been there before and the game is played 80 minutes after all. It's not a half-game, it's an 80-minute game and we talk about that," he said of having to rally once again. "There's some things we need to improve in the first half like giving up early goals. Resilience, something about this team. It has a great attitude, this team."

Just before the match turned an hour old, CV pushed the lead to two when a ball in the area led to several attempts on goal before McClain connected with Whitman, who delivered a medium-paced effort toward the left post that the keeper didn't even make an effort for.

The goal proved critical, holding as the winner because two minutes later the Tigers answered in an effort to steal the district's top spot from the Bears. A Chandler Goff throw-in from the right soared into the box and found the head of Jackson Moore, who sent a looper over the keeper into the far side netting. The Tigers nearly tied the contest up with under five minutes to go when a CV free kick was cleared out and then played over the top of the defense, putting three Tigers behind the back line only to see CV recover and keeper Andrew Enzler make a fantastic save to preserve the victory.

"Saturday's district final really took its toll on both teams," LC head coach Mica Lamb told INWsoccernews Monday. "[There were] lots of significant injuries for both sides that may limit CV [Tuesday] and LC Thursday."

Lamb added that the really unfortunate thing is that "there's only two state berths for 4A teams" from the region the GSL and MCC comprise, and that "CV, LC, Pasco and Ferris are four of the top 12 teams in the state."

The 3A Classification in the GSL, meanwhile, was settled the night before. For the second time in less than two weeks, Mt Spokane (2) posted a convincing win against top-seeded North Central. Following up on their 3-0 victory in the season finale, the Wildcats scored two in the first half with Jake Morse getting on board in the 13th and Tanner McNamee tallying 10 minutes later. Morse made it a hat-trick on the day with goals in the 53rd and 65th to put the game out of reach. North Central rebounded with Drew Williams finding Aidan Chapparo in the 72nd and tallying himself two minutes later. An own goal in the 75th for Mt Spokane.

"We have played them before. We played them last year in the regional championship and we won at CV," Monrroy said of MCC Champion and regional tournament foe Pasco. "This time, we have to travel there on Tuesday and we'll be ready for them."

Tuesday - 3A Districts Rd 1 - Shadle Park 0 :: 2 Mt Spokane
Tuesday - 4A Districts Rd 1 - University 1 :: 2 Ferris
Thursday - 4A Districts Semifinals - Ferris 1 :: 2 Central Valley
Thursday - 4A Districts Semifinals - Gonzaga Prep 1 :: 2 Lewis & Clark
Friday - 3A District Final - Mt Spokane 5 :: 2 North Central
Saturday - 4A District Third Place - Ferris 4 :: 0 Gonzaga Prep
Saturday - 4A District Final - Lewis & Clark 2 :: 3 Central Valley

Regional Tournament Schedules (subject to change)

4A Classification
Tuesday - Regional Final - Central Valley @ Pasco
Tuesday - Regional Playoff Rd 1 - Ferris @ Chiawana
Thursday - Regional Playoff Rd 2 - Lewis & Clark v Rd 1 winner
Saturday - Regional Playoff Rd 3 - Rd 2 winner v Regional Final loser
3A Classification
Tuesday - Regional Final - Kennewick @ Mt Spokane
Tuesday - Regional Playoff Rd 1 - Kamiakin @ North Central
Saturday - Regional Playoff Rd 2 - Rd 1 winner v Regional Final loser

Great Northern League - The District playoffs went, more or less, as expected. The opening games Thursday saw Cheney cruise past winless Clarkston 3-0 and East Valley take care of business against nearby rival West Valley, 3-1. On Saturday, things got a little bit more interesting in Cheney as the Knights forced the game to overtime before Kelby Holland scored on a fantastic long volley four minutes into extra time.

Cheney and Pullman will square off for the District title Tuesday, though both teams will advance to the state tournament. The two sides have already met three times this year with Cheney winning the preseason contest 2-1 and their first regular season meeting by the same score. Pullman took the most recent game, 1-0, for a split in the two league meetings.

Thursday - District Rd 1 - Clarkston 0 :: 3 Cheney
Thursday - District Rd 1 - West Valley 1 :: 3 East Valley
Saturday - District Rd 2 - East Valley 1 :: OT :: 2 Cheney

District Tournament Schedule (subject to change)
Tuesday - District Final - Cheney @ Pullman

Northeast A League - In the final week of league play, Tuesday saw a showdown for second place with Colville visiting Lakeside. The Indians grabbed the lead in the 16th minute on a goal from Chris Benson and were able to keep the hosts off the board, handing the Eagles their first shutout of the season. The other two games were lopsided affairs against the bottom teams in the league.

On Thursday, the top four sides played one another with the bottom two canceling their meeting with nothing at stake. Colville beat league-leader Medical Lake by a surprising 5-1 scoreline with three goals from Alberto Cisneros and pushed the lead out to five before giving up a penalty. The result created a tie with the Indians leaping over Medical Lake on tiebreakers.

Meanwhile, in Newport the same scenario played out Thursday with fourth-place Newport pulling even with Lakeside in the table and taking the third seed based on tiebreakers. Johnny Quandt set up both goals, connecting with Matthias Loft and Rodrigo Ribanderia while Matt Solis registered the shutout.

Tuesday - Newport 6 :: 1 Deer Park
Tuesday - Colville 1 :: 0 Lakeside
Tuesday - Riverside 0 :: 5 Medical Lake
Thursday - Medical Lake 1 :: 5 Colville
Thursday - Lakeside 0 :: 2 Newport
Thursday - Riverside @ Deer Park - Not Played

District Tournament Schedule (subject to change)

Tuesday - District Semifinal - Lakeside @ Colville
Tuesday - District Semifinal - Newport @ Medical Lake
Thursday - District Final - Semifinal winners


Thursday - Gonzaga Prep v Lewis & Clark - coming soon
Thursday - Ferris v Central Valley
Saturday - Ferris v Gonzaga Prep
Saturday - Lewis & Clark v Central Valley

FIVE STARS - Top performers of the Week

Alberto Cisneros (Colville) :: He was key on the week in locking up the top seed in the NEA for the postseason. He set up the winning goal in a 1-0 decision at Lakeside Tuesday in a battle for second place and then scored the opening three goals of the game against league-leading Medical Lake in a 5-1 victory that pulled them even in the table and put them number one based on tiebreakers.

Barrett Freshler (Ferris) :: Facing a must-win scenario against Gonzaga Prep Saturday to keep the postseason going for the Saxons, Freshler scored the opening goal five minutes into the game and went on to add a goal and an assist en route to a commanding 4-0 victory.

Jake Morse (Mt Spokane) :: For the second consecutive week, Morse was a nightmare for  North Central, tallying another hat-trick. This time, the three-goal outing came in the District Final as the Wildcats dominated en route to a 5-2 victory. He also had an assist earlier in the week on the team's second goal in a 2-0 win against Shadle Park.  

Jared Mehaffey (Lewis & Clark) :: Scored the equalizer in the Tiger's 2-1 comeback win Thursday against Gonzaga Prep to advance to the District Final and then gave the Tigers the initial lead in a narrow 3-2 loss against unbeaten Central Valley Saturday.

Noah Whitman (Central Valley) :: He scored the team's equalizer Thursday in a 2-1 comeback win against Ferris and then went on to score what proved to later become the game-winning strike in a 3-2 victory against Lewis & Clark in the District Final Saturday.


Jacob Bloomfeldt (Ferris) :: The striker helped lead the Saxons to a 2-1 win over University in the opening round of districts Tuesday with the assist on the game-winner, and then scored the opening goal in what ended up a 2-1 loss against unbeaten Central Valley in the semifinals.

Tristan Gresch (East Valley) :: In the must-win opening round of the GNL playoffs, Gresch scored the opening goal and added an assist on the insurance tally as the Knights topped rival West Valley 3-1. He went on to score the equalizer in the second round Saturday in Cheney only to see the hosts prevail four minutes into the extra session and knock them out.

Johnny Quandt (Newport) :: He set up both goals in the Grizzlies' 2-0 victory over Lakeside in a battle for third place in the NEA in the final game of the season. He also scored a goal in the team's easy 6-1 win at Deer Park earlier in the week.

STANDINGS & STATS (league games only)