HUBER HEIGHTS — In a postseason rematch, the Kettering Alter boys defeated Bellbrook in the Division II sectional final, Tuesday night at Wayne High School, 2-0.
Parker Simms had both goals for the Knights (15-2-1), both in the second half. With 35:56 left to play in the match, Croft Hagerty’s free kick found Simms who deflected the ball into the net. Just over five minutes later, an Adam Sweeney header at midfield took a fortunate bounce for Alter leading to a breakaway goal for Simms.
The teams played even to a 0-0 tie in the first half. Bellbrook (15-4) outshot Alter eight shots to two, but the Knights did a good job of contesting. There was a series of plays with 27 minutes left to play where the Golden Eagles had three corner kicks in a row, but Alter stopped any looks Bellbrook had.
Bellbrook coach Kevin Terrell said he was concerned after his team didn’t score any goals despite controlling the pace in the first half.
“We had our chances in the first half. We should have put one or two in. First half, I thought we dominated the game and we didn’t put one away. When you play good teams and you don’t execute when you have opportunities, this is what happens,” he said.
Alter coach Bob Ellis said he was happy to have the wind in the second half.
“I wanted the wind in my face so we could weather it. I lost the toss, but they took the wind to their backs, so I got what I wanted. The first half was in their favor, and we weathered it. Once we did that, I told them let’s get out there and do our thing,” he said.
With 20:42 left to play in the game, Shane Niemeier put a long ball in play in front of the Alter goal that bounced up in front of keeper Jack Mounts. Bellbrook junior Dylan Robinson appeared to get to the ball and kick it in, but the referees called off the goal due to a high kick penalty.
The Golden Eagles had beaten Alter in the playoffs the previous four years. The Knights won a regular season matchup back in September, 2-1. They play Cincinnati New Richmond at 7 p.m. Saturday at Clayton Northmont High School.
Ellis said it felt nice to finally get over the hump and beat Bellbrook.
“It’s the first time in five years. They’ve beat us four years in the same game. It’s just one of those things. You’ve got them, Carroll and Tipp all in the same bracket and it’s a bear.”
Bellbrook graduates nine seniors: Dan Yokajty, Mark Lynch, Tony Ulring, Nick Martin, Kevin Ricker, Josh Lawson, Brandon Druffner, Spencer Powlette and Brady Tincher.
“They came to work every day. That’s all you can say of them, put it on the field and you get 110 percent whether it’s for five minutes or 80 minutes,” said Terrell. “That’s a big reason they had a four-year run unlike anybody else in Bellbrook soccer.”
BEAVERCREEK 3, HUBER HEIGHTS WAYNE 0: The Beavers won Tuesday night at Clayton Northmont. They’ll now play Cincinnati Sycamore on Saturday at 3 p.m. at Lakota West High School in West Chester for the District championship. No statistics were reported from this game before presstime.
Reach Zach Gregory at (937) 372-4444, Ext. 2124.