By Bob Sutton
Special to The Alamance News
Western Alamance cranked out a productive stretch early in the second half to score twice in a 2-1 victory against visiting Williams in the first round of the Class 3-A state playoffs Monday night.
Lucas Dumayne and Luis Guerrero had the Western goals in the first 10½ minutes after halftime. Boston Cornell assisted on both goals.
“We went into the second half like a new game and a fresh (attitude),” Dumayne said. “And got the atmosphere up.”
No. 10 seed Western (15-5-3) plays in Thursday night’s second round at No. 7 seed Lee County (18-6), a 3-0 first-round winner against No. 26 seed Orange.
Dumayne said every playoff game is going to have a heightened level of intensity. That was on display with the Bulldogs showing up for the first round.
“Great atmosphere,” Williams coach Jeremy Krist said. “This is what you want. Just not that result.”
Western coach Camden Brooks said the Bulldogs altered their formations to try to confuse the Warriors, who won both regular-season meetings between the two teams.
“They were trying to get after us,” Brooks said. “At halftime, I was trying to calm (our players) down and reset.”
Dumayne scored first, getting position low in the box.
“Flicked it in,” he said.
Then it was Guerrero’s turn. He converted off a free kick from Cornell.
“When they needed it, they had some kids step up,” Krist said.
With slightly less than 20 minutes remaining, Williams freshman Aurelio Figueroa was off the mark on a penalty kick. But the Bulldogs weren’t done.
Jonathan Yorke, after receiving a pass from Ethan Massai, made a splendid move down the left side and delivered a goal with 12:47 remaining to close within 2-1. About three minutes later, the Bulldogs were threatening with a corner kick, but there was no more scoring.
“I thought we were very good for 55, 60 minutes,” Krist said. “We struggled a bit in front of the net.”
Western goalkeeper Eamon Hipps was charted with seven saves. Goalkeeper Ian Kirk of Williams made six saves.
Oddly, the first-round matchup fell into place partly because Williams did Western a favor late in the regular season. In the Central 3-A Conference, third-place Williams knocked off Cedar Ridge 1-0 on October 18, leaving an opening for Western to move alone into first place and claim the league regular-season championship.
Krist was hoping for a better thank-you for that deed.
“Cam could have done me a solid, and he didn’t,” Krist said.
Greenville Rose 2, Southern Alamance 1, OT: At Greenville, both teams scored second-half goals before second-seeded Greenville Rose (19-2-1) notched the winner.
No. 31 seed Southern Alamance finished with a 10-10-2 record.
Eastern Alamance (5-13-1) didn’t qualify for states.
At Washington, visiting Southeast Alamance lost 5-3 to No. 16 seed Washington (15-5).
The No. 17 seed Stallions (15-7), who reached the postseason in the school’s first year, were the second-place team in the Mid-Carolina Conference behind champion Jordan-Matthews.
Graham (10-13), hurt by a three-game losing streak against the top three teams in the Mid-Carolina Conference to close the season, and Cummings (3-10-1) didn’t make the states.
Central Tar Heel 1-A Conference champion River Mill, which is the No. 2 seed in the East Region, began the state playoffs by topping No. 31 seed Henderson Collegiate 10-1, with all the scoring in the first half.
Diego Gonzalez scored five goals and Colton Risen posted three goals. Braydon Gregory and Isaac Gonzalez each had one goal. Risen and Isaac Gonazlez were both credited with three assists, while Diego Gonzalez had two assists.
The Jaguars (20-2) take a 17-game winning streak into the second round against No. 15 seed Eno River (11-8-2) for Thursday’s game. Eno River, which defeated No. 18 seed Falls Lake (7-11-2) by 2-1 in the first round, and River Mill split two non-conference results in a pair of August meetings. Henderson College finished 2-14-1.
Sixth-seeded Lejeune (11-4-1) defeated No. 27 seed Clover Garden 2-0. The Grizzlies finished 6-13-1.