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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Is the Third Time the Charm?

On the heels of Saturday's win, Valley heads to Omaha on Friday night for the league's semifinal games. There will be two games Friday night to determine which teams will compete for the league championship on Saturday.

The first game of the night (6:00 pm) pits #3 Millard West against #4 Lincoln. Both teams finished 11-2 in league play and split their series this season: 8-4MW, 13-4L. West lost to Valley 13-10 in the second week and beat Creighton Prep 10-7 on April 21. Lincoln beat Valley 7-6 on April 11 and fell to Prep 3-6 on May 4.

Official prediction: Lincoln will win by three to become the first team outside of Omaha to play in the state championship. This will be just the second time in the league's history that Millard West will not play in the championship.

Friday's second game (8:30 pm) pits #1 Creighton Prep against #4 Valley. Prep's only loss in league play came at the hands of Millard West. In addition to the aforementioned loss to Lincoln, Valley fell to Prep in both of their previous meetings: 13-7, 10-7.

Valley was missing key players in both games; everyone is expected to be on the field Friday night. This may or may not be enough to overcome the Junior Jays, but at least we know we will finally be giving them everything we have. With a spot the state championship game on the line, the Tigers should easily build upon the intensity of the May 8 game. Although the final score showed a three goal differential, the play was much closer.

Official Prediction: This will be a tight, back-and-forth game. Both teams will struggle to keep their emotions in check. Whichever squad does a better job of keeping its players in control, will have the advantage. Cockiness is not foreign to either team; with the two earlier losses, the Tigers definitely are more humble. This works in their favor. Valley will win by two to become the first Iowa team in the Nebraska state championships. This will be the first time ever that Prep fails to make the final game.

The consolation game will be held at 6:00 pm Saturday. The state championship will be held at 8:00 pm. All four games will be held at Tranquility Park in Omaha.
Championship Prediction: The winner of the North Division/Semifinal 2 (Valley vs Prep) will win the state championship by three goals.

Tribe 7