WHITLEY COUNTY — The Corbin Redhounds have been named 49th District Champions after a big first half helped the Redhounds to seal a 5-1 win over the South Laurel Cardinals on Thursday night.

“The most important thing tonight (Thursday) was that we were able to move the ball well,” said Corbin Coach Armando Cima. “We came out strong from the start and really controlled the game for the first half. We kind of backed off after the third goal but then we picked back up control in the second half and that’s the most important part for us. I think starting on the front foot, that was a very important key to tonight (Thursday).”

“I think we were a step slow,” said South Laurel Coach Joey Marcum. “We played a very physical match last night (Wednesday) and no break in between, with them (Corbin) having a break, a day off, I think they just had a little more energy than we did in the first half.

The Redhounds got scoring going early with a quick goal by Brendon Barajas in the three-minute mark to give Corbin an early 1-0 lead.

The Redhounds added two more goals before the Cardinals came back with an answer in the 31-minute mark with a goal by South Laurel's Quinn Rison, 3-1.

With eight seconds left, Jose Torres found the Redhounds fourth goal to give Corbin a 4-1 lead just before halftime.

In the second half, Aden Cima scored a goal on a penalty kick to give Corbin the 5-1 lead and the win.

“In the first half, we gave up a couple we shouldn’t have and they got momentum,” Marcum said. “In the second half, we got a little fired up, a little mad and got a little back into it, at least a little dignity back. In the second half, we played with a lot more passion, a lot more energy. We didn’t do as well on the scoring end of the field but we controlled the ball better and trying to get to the ball and not just setting back and letting them shoot.”

Cima said it was important that that his team found a good rhythm in the first half that allowed them to take the early lead.

Both teams will be heading into next week’s 13th Region Boys Soccer Tournament.

“We’ve got three days now to rest and heal,” Marcum said. “I think we’ll be in much better shape both mentally and physically. We hope we get an opportunity to play two times next week.”

“The most important thing is for us to be able to walk into that game and take control of it early like we did in this one,” Cima said. “I think the first thing is we’ve just kind of got to reset and get our minds straight. One of the biggest things is to try and keep a rhythm going. It’s not who we play but how we play.”

Offensive MVP: Jose Torres (Corbin)

Defensive MVP: Peyton Buckles (South Laurel)

49th District All-Tournament Team: Jon Lebanion, Cade Moore, Brendon Barajas, Gabriel Cima (Corbin); Quinn Rison, Clayton Stacy, Zack Smart, Peyton Buckles (South Laurel); Jayden Watson, Cody Crawford (Whitley County); Sochi Onouha, Hamilton Toropo (Oneida Baptist Institute); John Votolato (North Laurel).

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