The second-seeded Lincolnton Wolves opened up early and never let up in blasting the Forest Hills Yellow Jackets 6-0 in their second round game in the NCHSAA 2A playoffs Thursday evening. The win puts LHS, still unbeaten in 21 games (they've had three ties) into round three. They'll host Lincoln Charter on Monday (Nov. 8th). Coach Brad Bagan told us earlier in the day when the weather was questionable that the field was still in good condition and the team was "chomping at the bit after a good training session last night, so they would play in the fires of Hell tonight before canceling a game if the state would let them."
The Wolves wasted no time in taking a lead they would never relinquish. Bagan observed: "shaky nerves first ten minutes, but then freshman Chuy "Baby Shark" Tellez-Blanco must have smelled blood in the water, because he went on a tear and had a hat trick by the 20- minute mark.
His first was on a 40-yard diagonal ball played over the top by Zander Harrison that just completely unbalanced the defense, and Chuy dropped to the ground four yards in front of him with a touch as soft as a baby's backside.
"His second touch committed the goalkeeper to no man's land and with his third, he slipped it home to the back corner with a Midas touch of class.
"The other two were assisted by senior Silbestre Martinez and Aaron Lail, both through quick build-up through the lines that left the Forest Hills back four looking sloppier than a soup sandwich.
"Senior Zander Harrison added two goals of his own in the second half, one on a penalty kick that was struck so sweetly, the only thing it could do was punch the old onion bag.
"Senior Andre Abernathy-Ocampo added one in-between Harrison's goals off a rebounded shot that fell right to his right foot for a volley.
"Senior Sam Carpenter recorded his 15th shutout in our 18 wins."Carpenter recorded 11 saves in the victory.
Lincoln Charter made a trip to the mountains--not to see the color but to take a second round victory over Owen in Black Mountain by a 6-4 score. The win improves the 23rd seeded Eagles record to 10-11-1. It was their second upset in the playoffs. They had bested Concord Robinson, seeded #10, on Monday. The Owen Warhorses were the 7th seed.
The Wolves and Eagles had only three opponents in common during the regular season. Lincoln Charter beat West Lincoln twice, East Lincoln once, and lost to Newton-Conover. Two of the Wolves' three ties were with East Lincoln and Newton-Conover. They beat both of them in their other meeting and won both games with West Lincoln.
East Lincoln pulled off the biggest upset so far in the playoffs Thursday when the Mustangs, the 16th seed, scored two first half goals and held Hibriten, the #1 seed in the western region in the 3A playoffs, to a single goal in the second half for a 2-1 victory. It was the second loss of the season for the Panthers. For the Mustangs, it was their 13th win, and puts them in round three playing their first home game of the playoffs hosting 24th seeded Enka on Monday. Enka won its 2nd round game Thursday 3-2 over North Buncombe. The Jets have also won 13 games. They are now 13-10-1; the Mustangs are 13-8-2.
In other 3A playoff action Thursday, Stuart Cramer eliminated Fred T. Foard 4-2; Cramer will host Central Academy from Monroe on Monday. North Henderson eliminated Gastonia Forestview 5-1. On Wednesday, Hickory ended St. Stephens' season 2-0. The Red Tornadoes will host North Henderson Monday.
North Lincoln beat North Iredell in a three-overtime game on Wednesday. The Knights will play on the road again on Monday at Concord. CLICK HERE to see the article about North Lincoln's Wednesday win.
Community School of Davidson equaled East Lincoln's upset in their match Thursday. They proved that LHS and not Hendersonville should have been the #1 western region seed in 2A playoff action, as the 16th seeded Spartans downed Hendersonville 2-0. They'll now play in round three at Mooresville's Pine Lake Prep on Monday.
4th seeded Shelby eliminated #13 seed Newton-Conover 5-1. The Golden Lions will host 5th seeded North Forsyth on Monday.
In the 1A playoffs, Highland Tech downed Cornerstone Charter of Greensboro 2-1 and will play at Gray Stone Day in Misenheimer Monday; Thomas Jefferson beat NC Leadership Academy 3-0 and will play at Langtree Charter in Mooresville on Monday.