At Blackfoot, the 4A District 6 boys soccer tournament got underway on Monday under cloudy skies and blustery winds that made play difficult for Blackfoot and Shelley.
With the wind at their backs in the first half, the Broncos needed to make sure to establish a lead that would force the Russets to a more aggressive style in the second half to try and catch up.
Coach Liam Pope could only stress the importance of a good start and to play the wind smart in the first half.
“Boys, we have to keep the ball low, below the waist, to have a chance to score the ball,” Pope said to his players. “If we play the ball up, we won't be able to control the ball and get good shots.”
The players heeded Pope's advice, keeping the ball lower than normal and the end result was a pair of goals off the foot of senior Dominic Sanchez in the first half and the Broncos would sail to a 3-0 win and advanced to the finals of the tournament on Wednesday.
Blackfoot (13-1) hosts Hillcrest at 4 p.m. Wednesday with the winner earning the conference's berth to the state tournament.
The Broncos definitely worked as a team on Monday, using their short passing game to perfection at times in order to get decent shots on goal and they made the two first-half goals stand up to the Shelley pressure that came at them in the second half.
The second half was a whole different strategy from both teams.
Shelley went for the long pass down field, hoping to break a player free for a breakaway shot on the Blackfoot goal. When they did get a chance at a shot, Blackfoot goalkeeper Gavin Cornell stood tall in goal and saved every chance that Shelley had.
"The wind made it an ugly game," Pope said, adding, "Shelley made life difficult for us ... I'm happy we got the win."
-Fred Davis/Bingham News Chronicle
HILLCREST 2, SKYLINE 1, OT: At Hillcrest, the Knights moved on to the 4A District 6 championship match as Benson Bateman put a free kick into the upper left corner of the goal for the game-winner in overtime.
Both teams battled the wind, with Skyline taking a 1-0 advantage into the half. Corbin Lewis tied it up off an assist from Thomas Endsley 20 minutes into the second half.
"It was a tale of two halves," Hillcrest coach Ryan Ellis said, noting the windy conditions. "I'm proud of the boys. They came out the second half and played hard."
The Knights (8-5-2) play at Blackfoot on Wednesday.
BONNEVILLE 9, SHELLEY 0: At Bonneville, Ali Ellsworth scored a hat trick and Brooklyn Pett and Alyssa Harris each scored twice as the Bees pulled away in the second half with seven goals.
Jazmin Barrientos had eight saves in goal to earn the shutout.
Top-seeded Bonneville (13-2-2-) takes on the winner of Monday night's Skyline vs. Hillcrest match in Wednesday's district championship game.
3A District 6 soccer
Sugar-Salem 4, Firth 2
Sugar-Salem 4, Firth 0
Teton 6, South Fremont 1