By Josh Brown
WEST ALEXANDRIA — The Bethel boys soccer team didn’t feel the weight of expectations coming into the season.
Quite the opposite, actually.
“We graduated 11 seniors from last year’s squad, and many people thought this would be a rebuilding year for us,” Bethel coach Bob Hamlin said. “It took some time, but these kids have worked hard, they trust one another and are all about the team. I am very proud of these young men.”
The Bees earned every bit of it, winning the program’s first Cross County Conference championship since 2011 outright by posting a hard-fought 3-0 victory at Twin Valley South Thursday night, finishing the regular season 11-4-1 and 6-0 in CCC play.
“This was a tough game tonight,” Hamlin said. “A much-improved Twin Valley South team playing on a narrow field made the task at hand challenging. But I thought we played good soccer tonight.”
Daniel Ross gave the Bees the lead with an assist from Korry Hamlin, then Luke Moorefield scored an unassisted insurance goal. Hamlin then sealed the win — and the championship — with an assist from Tyler Brueckman.
“Our off-the-ball runs were very good and created numerous chances, but going against a packed defense was a chore,” Hamlin said. “But I was very happy we did not panic and kept attacking — and it finally paid off.”
Bethel opens sectional tournament play Monday at home against National Trail.
Other scores: Milton-Union (5-6-4, 4-2-4 SWBL Buckeye) 1, Preble Shawnee 1. Miami East 3, Newton 2.
* Girls Soccer
Miami East 0
CASSTOWN — Miami East needed a win, while Newton needed anything but a loss.
The Indian girls soccer team got what it needed Thursday night, playing the Vikings to a 0-0 scoreless draw to claim the Cross County Conference championship at Miami East.
Newton, which won its first CCC title ever in 2014, finished the regular season 8-5-2 and 5-0-1 in CCC play. The Vikings entered with one tie in league play already, finishing in second at 4-0-2.
Both teams open sectional tournament play Monday at home, with Newton hosting Middletown Christian and Miami East hosting Cincinnati Christian.
Preble Shawnee 3
CAMDEN — Milton-Union finished the regular season 11-3-2, 6-3-1 in Southwestern Buckeye League Buckeye Division play after battling Preble Shawnee to a 3-3 draw Thursday night.
Danielle McFarland had a goal and an assist, Kristen Dickison and Carrigan Schmil each had a goal and Taylor Jacobs and Mia Morphew each had an assist.
Milton-Union hosts Dixie Tuesday to open sectional tournament play.
Other scores: Lehman (13-1-1, 7-0 WOSL) 2, Lima Central Catholic 0.
Miami East 3,
BRANDT — The Miami East volleyball team finished Cross County Conference play 12-0 once again, sweeping Bethel 25-7, 25-6, 25-15 on the road Thursday night to finish the regular season 17-5 overall.
The Bees simply couldn’t handle Miami East’s serve, as the Vikings had more aces — 27 — than kills on the night with 18. Jonni Parker had 18 aces and seven kills to go with seven assists, while Kyndall Hellyer had five kills, five aces, nine assists and a block.
Jillian Wesco had three kills, a dig and a block, Taylor McCuistion had two kills, Lydia Conley had a kill, Reagan Morrett had a block, Sophie Jacomet had four digs and an ace, Gabrielle Hawkins had two digs and an ace and Kaitlyn Mack and Carly Gump each had an ace.
It was the seventh straight undefeated run through CCC play for the Vikings, who have not lost a league match this decade — in fact, it’s been 2,555 days since their last CCC loss. In that time, they’ve won six sectional and district titles, three regional titles and two state titles.
Miami East opens sectional tournament play Saturday at Brookville against Northridge.
TIPP CITY — Tippecanoe honored its three seniors — Taylor Prall, Emily Shuk and Olivia Raypole — Thursday night by avenging a loss to Butler earlier in the season, defeating the Aviators in four 23-25, 25-16, 25-22, 25-18 on Senior Night.
Prall finished with 13 kills and two aces, Shuk had 11 kills and two blocks, Broke Aselage had eight kills, Cali Stewart had three blocks, Natalie Seeman had two blocks, Isabel Crow had 37 assists, Abby Hughes had 15 digs and Audrey Trick had 11 digs and two aces.
Tippecanoe faces Meadowdale to open sectional tournament play Monday at Tecumseh High School.
Preble Shawnee 1
CAMDEN — The Milton-Union Bulldogs finished the regular season 15-6 and 10-2 in Southwestern Buckeye League Buckeye Division play, defeating Preble Shawnee 23-25, 25-14, 25-23, 25-17 Thursday on the road.
Bri Stone had 13 kills and Lex Davis had nine to lead the Bulldog offense. Lauren Craig dished out 29 assists and Katie Lehman had 23 digs.
“Bri had a great match. Just an example of a senior stepping up to make a difference,” Milton-Union coach Bill Ginn said. “They have a good team with an outstanding player in Elise Walker. But they wore her out by the end of that one (the first set). She must have taken 50 swings.”
Milton-Union begins sectional tournament play Saturday at Brookville against National Trail.
Other scores: Newton 3, Twin Valley South 2. Emmanuel Christian 3, Troy Christian (12-10, 7-3 Metro Buckeye Conference) 0 (25-9, 25-14, 25-10).
Contact Josh Brown at (937) 552-2132, or follow @TroyDailySports on Twitter.