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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

5A Semi-Finals Feature Huge Rematches!


The 5A Semi-Finals are both rematch games in which the regular season meeting was settled by one goal, so both of these games should be extremely competitive:

-- Pope (9-11) @ Northview (19-1) - This should be a very interesting rematch... Northview was pushed to OT when they topped Pope 8-7 on March 1st. The enigmatic Pope Greyhounds entered the playoffs having lost 5 straight, but they seem to have righted the ship with wins over HIES 16-6 and Decatur 11-8 in the first two rounds. The Northview Titans have cruised through the playoffs so far... they handled Benedictine 19-8 and Toona 15-5 on Saturday.

It will be interesting to see how Pope's D performs tonight against a potent Northview offense. The Titans have only been held below double digit goals twice this year... in the earlier meeting against Pope and their one goal win over Westy. It doesn't bode well for Pope that they gave up 15 goals to Westy and 21 goals to Centennial in their final two regular season games

-- Westminster (18-2) @ Lovett (17-3) - The Battle of Buckhead version 2.0 should be epic... two very well coached and balanced teams who are friends and rivals. Westy won the first meeting 7-6 on the road in early April, but it is never easy beating a home team twice in one season.

The Wildcats have battled injuries all season long, but they got their playoff run off to a good start with a 16-6 win over Pace Academy and handled GAC 11-4 in the Quarters. Since falling to Northview 6-7 on March 29, Westy has won 9 in a row, including wins over Decatur, Lovett, Walton, Toona and Pope.

The Lovett Lions breezed past Riverwood 17-3 and Marist 13-4 in the first two rounds. They have won 7 in a row since their OT loss to Milton in mid-April, but the bulk of those wins were against relatively weak Area 1 competition. Their best wins were over Hooch, Lambert and Pope earlier in the season.

Both teams are well balanced and feature strong goaltenders, so it will be interesting to see which Defense can assert themselves and make the difference.

13 comments:

  1. It's Gonna Be a Cat FightMay 14, 2014 at 1:02 PM

    If the Westy / Lovett re-match boils down to defense then I give Westy the edge. Souza's assistant ,Hudson, has coached the defense and goalies over there for 7 years and 3 state championships. Should be low scoring on both sides, so offense determines the outcome.

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    1. the final of the lovett westminster game was actually 8-5 lovett

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  2. Lovett made Westminster look out of shape the whole game with their style of play. Lovett's D was very strong and Westminster got SHOWED UP the whole game (Lovett was tied or leading the whole game)

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  3. congrats to all the playoff team.

    Good luck in the finals

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  4. Pope and Northview move up next season leaving powerhouses Lovett and Westminster with guaranteed post-season lax rematches for the 5A state championship. If they wanted to compete for a legit state title, they'd petition the GHSA to move up, too. Akin to Johns Hopkins on the college level.

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    1. It doesn't work that way. They would have to move up to 6A in all sports - not happening. Everybody else is going to have to step it up. Potential challengers to Westminster/Lovett dominance:
      Private - BT, SPX, Marist, Whitefield, GAC, HIES, Pace, Woodward, Fellowship, etc
      Public - Decatur, Allatoona, McIntosh, Starrs Mill, Riverwood, Cambridge (until they move up with the big boys), etc
      All you need is players and coaches.

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    2. And a good feeder program of some sort.

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    3. Right. That's what I meant by players. Should have said GOOD players!

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  5. MAYLA championship four years ago - Roswell vs Northview. Good high school coaches are important but no good unless you have a good junior program. This years final four all have great junior programs.

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  6. agree, Lovett dominated every aspect of the game.

    Westy offense just cannot consistently produce without Davis...

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    Replies
    1. Not only was Davis out, but Wray could barely move (bum hammy) and Devereaux only played a few series.

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  7. I know I'm late, but here are my thoughts on the game (I'm neither a student nor parent at either school).

    Westminster: Offense was lethargic; Davis did not play, Wray (according to parents I talked to) was playing on a bad hamstring and definitely looked like his mobility was severely restricted. Devereaux was also limited by injury, only playing a small amount. The onus was thus on the middies to provide the bulk of the offense and they could not rise to the task. I was, however, a little surprised by the mental errors and 1v1 losses on defense, usually the two are few and far between on Wildcat teams. Finally, the clear game was poor (though the rain absolutely was a factor).

    Lovett: Very impressive performance. The defense was stellar; Westminster was kept on the perimeter for pretty much the entire game. Andrew Wilson stood out and middie D was similarly excellent. Offensively, the Garr Bros, Moffet, and Russ all had fine nights, beating their men off the dodge and creating goals in transition and unsettled situations. Most importantly, Matthews DOMINATED the faceoff X; Lovett won all but 3 or 4 faceoffs the entire night. All in all a fine showing by the Lions; they seemed to feed off the energy of their home field, which bodes well for the championship game.


    I still think that a full strength Westminster team would have pulled this out (offense looked NOTHING like the last time I saw them, at Centennial, with all starters), but it's important to remember that health is as big of a part of postseason runs as anything. The team Westminster managed to put on the field could not hang with the one Lovett did, and that's all that really mattered. Lovett sensed weakness and pounced on it, while Westminster did not do well enough in other areas of the game-defense, clearing, faceoffs-to make up for their (admittedly substantial) lost firepower.

    Prediction for Championship:

    Lovett 8, Northview 6.

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  8. What are the new 5A and 6A regions going to be? Or what are the rumors I guess?

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