It was only fitting on the night Elkins High School honored its seniors, old rival Buckhannon-Upshur was the opponent.
The Big 10 Conference foes played two tightly-contested matches on Tuesday night, as the girls battled to a 1-1 draw and the fifth-rated B-U boys held on for a 2-1 win to clinch the top seed for next week's sectional tourney.
In the girls' game, Elkins scored first at the 4:00 mark when Isabella Nieves powered a penalty kick past the Buc goalkeeper. The Bucs tied the score just before halftime when Ashley Barlow scored on a deflection off the crossbar. Neither team could find the net in the second half.
The Inter-Mountain photos by Joey Kittle
From left, Elkins High School’s John Henson, Charlie George and Kayla Gainer were among a group of senior players honored during Tuesday night’s matches against Buckhannon-Upshur at EHS. Each senior player received a large keepsake photo.
"I have to give credit to Buckhannon for the way they outpowered us in the first half," Elkins coach Scott Cutright said. "Our game plan didn't work as well as it should have. We came out flat and Buckhannon just pushed and pushed a lot. We played better in the second half, but we just couldn't find a quality shot."
The teams will meet again at 8 p.m. Monday in Elkins in sectional semifinal play.
"We are going to have to come out and play a different game on Monday - that's when it really counts," Cutright said. "It's a rivalry game and we want to get the win."
Elkins (11-3-3) will conclude the regular season at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at Robert C. Byrd.
B-U will host Bridgeport at 6 p.m. on the same day.
Dylan Hall scored two goals to power B-U to the victory in the boys' contest.
Mason Schoonover opened the scoring for the Tigers in the 32nd minute on a ball from Kollin Hopwood.
Hall answered with his first score just 2 minutes later off an assist by Marty Elliott to tie the game.
Hall scored the eventual game winner at the 56th minute with Josh Tenney providing the assists.
The Bucs held a 6-4 advantage on shots on goal and a 3-1 edge on corner kicks. Tyler Gray had four saves in goal for the hosts. Chris Orwig had three stops for winners.
"Both teams came out to win the game and threw punches to knock the other guy down," Elkins coach Andy Montgomery said. "Both teams played like gentlemen but competed very hard.
"B-U came out ahead on the scoreboard but we both left everything out on the field. This was a great game to be a part of (and Buckhannon) is very talented and deserves its top five ranking.
"But we really showed a lot of heart and played with them tonight."
B-U coach Mike Donato added, "This was another physical B-U versus Elkins game," he said. "We were able to maintain possession for a big portion of the game, but we got caught taking excessive touches and making bad passes, especially in our attacking third.
"In the second half we did a much better job attacking to the outsides, forcing them to let up some of their pressure in the middle. That gave us a lot of chances going over the top the defense and opportunities for through balls
Elkins (9-8-2) will travel to RCB at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, while the Bucs (16-2) will entertain Bridgeport at 8 p.m. on the same evening for a key Big 10 encounter.