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Bees Big Shooters Sting Wildcats, Put Box Elder in Championship

box-elder-woods-crossThe second Class C semifinal game on Thursday saw the Woods Cross Wildcats and Box Elder Bees battle it out for a chance to take on Bountiful in the championship game. Despite a great game from Woods Cross’ Brayden Hudson (5 goals, 1 assist), the Bees’ steady stream of big outside shots and fundamental defense helped them jump out front early and maintain a comfortable lead throughout the contest. Box Elder was fueled by big performances from Blake Chase who had six goals on the evening and Justin Price who dominated at the faceoff-X, contributing mightily to the final 20-8 score.
“It’s really kind of overwhelming and surprising,” remarked Box Elder head coach DJ Bott of making it to the championship, “I don’t think anybody saw us here.”
Given the final score, the game started somewhat slowly with both teams feeling each other out and trying to get into a rhythm. Box Elder scored first on a low-to-low shot from the top of the box, but Woods Cross responded with a Brayden Lott catch-and-finish on a fast break and looking like the contest was going to be a close one. The Bees then opened up a five-goal run when an errant shot deflected into the cage followed by a Chase hat-trick, and then another high heat shot from the top of the box. The quarter looked like it would end that way, but the Wildcats pushed back and Brayden Hudson curled from X and scored just as time expired, the Bees leading 6-2 after the first.
The second quarter started with another run for Box Elder when Chase dodged right from the top of the box and buried a jumpshot in the bottom corner, setting off goals from Justin Price and Isaac Houghtalen to extend the Bee lead. But a push call put Box Elder a man down, and Woods Cross took advantage with a Hudson spin dodge to score. The teams would each net one more before the break, going into the half with Box Elder up 10-4.
In the third quarter, Box Elder really focused on their ride, making it difficult for the Wildcats to clear the ball and get offensive possessions. This led to a pair of Bee goals to further swell the lead. Woods Cross was finally able to get a good offensive set and Lott again hit paydirt with a high-to-high rocket with 7:13 to go in the quarter. But the Bees again responded with a three-goal run, using big shots from the top of the box to add to the advantage. Another Hudson goal near the end of the quarter inched the Wildcats closer, but they still found themselves trailing at the break, 15-6.
Woods Cross came into the fourth quarter playing physical and trying to claw their way back into the contest, but another big offensive run from Box Elder put things out of reach. Four Bee goals including a big faceoff fast-break put things out of reach. With a comfortable lead, Box Elder was able to drain time off the clock, and two more Wildcat goals came as too little, too late, and a final Box Elder goal with just over a minute remaining wrapped things up, giving the Bees the 20-8 victory.
“We’ll just hit the basics,” said Coach Bott of preparing for Saturday, “if we hit the basics, if we can catch our passes, if we can get the ground balls and pressure and slide on defense, it’s gonna be a great game.”
That great game will find the Bees taking on the Bountiful Braves this Saturday, May 16, at Corner Canyon High School at 2 pm.

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