loss to Kettering Alter. The Eagles were determined not to end it the
“It was motivation,” Bellbrook junior Matt Bly said. “In the pregame
speech coach yelled ‘5-0’ at us and we all got the point that that was
an embarrassment and we needed to pick up our game this time.”
The Eagles did put forth a far better effort, but it was Alter that
picked up the win again Thursday. The Knights outlasted their South Suburban
neighbors, 2-1 in double overtime, in a Division II district semifinal
at West Carrollton.
The Knights, ranked No. 5 in the state, trailed 1-0 at half before
tieing the contest on a Nick Royer goal. After a scoreless first OT,
Alter senior Danny McCarthy scored the game winner with 3:52 left off a
carom in front of the net. Screams of “offsides” could be heard from
the Bellbrook faithful.
“I checked and I was on. I made sure,” McCarthy said. “I thought I
was going to finish the first time but I missed it. I saw the ball
laying there and said I have to finish this one.”
Bellbrook finishes its season at 15-3 and lost for the first time in
its last 15 games. The Eagles were attempting to make their first
district final since 2003 but will have to take solace in winning the
school’s 16th straight Southwestern Buckeye League title and program’s
300th game earlier this season.
Alter advances to Saturday’s district final against Cincinnati Indian Hill.
The Knights, which returned just three starters from last year’s
state runner-up team, are unbeaten in their last nine games and
attempting to make the state tournament for the 10th time.
A four-time state champion, Alter won its second straight tournament
game in OT. The Knights beat Hamilton Ross 1-0 on a goal by McCarthy’s
younger brother Tim (sophomore) in the first round.
“I’m really surprised at how well we’ve done (14-2-2),” Alter coach
Bob Ellis said. “You couldn’t have predicted this back in July. It’s
something about our tradition here. Sometimes it’s embarrassing to talk
about it. This is my 18th year as a head coach and 24th overall. We’ve
been to state nine times and people think that’s what you have to do
every year. We’re proud of what we do, though, and hopefully we’ll keep
Bellbrook knows Alter’s mystique all too well. The Eagles lost to
the Knights in the 1993 state semifinals and have had many heated
meetings since. Since beating Alter 2-1 in the 2003 district semis, the
Eagles are 0-5-1 against the Knights.
“Overall (Bellbrook head coach) Charlie (Luse) and I have had some
great games and unfortunately for Charlie I’ve beaten him more than
he’s beat me in these games,” Ellis said. “It’s just one of those
Said Bly, who scored the Eagles lone goal: “It was just a matter of getting lucky there at the end.”