Casey Duff described the Black Hills Wolves’ opening-round game of the 2A District IV boys soccer tournament as having a different feel to it.
An early-afternoon start as temperature’s soared, a three-striker look from their opponent — the R.A. Long Lumberjacks — and a quick two-goal deficit in the game’s first 11 minutes.
No excuses, Duff said.
“Ultimately, we didn’t have it today,” the senior forward said after the Wolves’ 4-1 loss. “I still believe we’re a better team than we showed today.
“We have to make sure we have it on Tuesday.”
It was a tough day not only for Black Hills, the regular-season champion of the 2A Evergreen Conference, but for the rest of the conference on the opening day of the district tournament.
All four semifinal teams in Tuesday’s winner-to-state games are from the Greater St. Helens League: R.A. Long vs. Hockinson and Ridgefield vs. Washougal. Tuesday’s consolation games will be a doubleheader at Tumwater District Stadium: Tumwater vs. Aberdeen at 5 p.m. followed by Black Hills vs. Centralia at 7 p.m.
R.A. Long (7-7-2), the fourth seed out of the GSHL, had a 3-0 halftime lead on the top-seeded Wolves (6-7-3) behind two goals in the first 11 minutes from Julio Magana-Huerta (third minute) and Jose Alvarenga (11th). Manny Cabrera’s goal in the 25th minute made it a 3-0 game. With the Lumberjacks’ 3-4-3 formation used for most of the game, Duff said the Wolves had difficulties adjusting.
“They were good at switching, and we didn’t do a good job at responding to that,” Duff said.
Duff, the 2A EvCo’s leading scorer, got Black Hills on the scoreboard in the 43rd minute with his 26th goal of the season on a penalty kick when R.A. Long was whistled for a handball in the box.
Washougal 4, Tumwater 0:T-Birds coach Brett Bartlett said his team played “fantastic” in the first half in trailing by a goal to a bigger Panthers team.
But then came the first 15 minutes of the second half, in which the third-seeded Panthers (11-5-1) scored three goals to put the game out of reach.
Senior Sam Razumovskiy had a hat trick (30th, 44th, 53rd minutes) and Nicholas Boylen scored the final goal in the 55th minute.
Bartlett, who doesn’t have any seniors up front and started four underclassmen, said he hoped Tumwater (4-12-1) would use spacing, speed and the ability to pass and attack on the outside to counter Washougal’s size.
“And we just didn’t,” he said. “We just didn’t stretch them as much as we could have.”
Meg Wochnick: 360-754-5473