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SOCCER: Simmons' hat trick leads Anderson past Shelby

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By John Herndon

 It's commonly called a “hat trick.”

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And when David Simmons went to work against Shelby County last Tuesday, there is little doubt his hat was black.

He was the bad guy to Shelby. He was the executioner.

Simmons scored three times over a seven-minute span to power Anderson County to a 5-2 win over its 30th District rival.

Simmons broke a 1-1 tie with three minutes to play in the first half when he connected off a pass from Clayton Barnett directly in front of the net, then repeated at the other end of the field three minutes into the second half. A minute later, Simmons broke free again and fired a rocket past Shelby goalie Luke Dove.

Dove had no chance to stop any of the three scores.

“The late first half goal and the two early goals in second half certainly killed off the game,” Anderson coach Khamisi Campbell said.

With things firmly under control, Campbell substituted freely the rest of the game. Anderson's Dalton Wells scored late before Shelby also tallied late to set the final score.

Anderson can sew up the No. 2 seed in the 30th District Tournament with a win over Spencer County on Oct. 3 at the home field. If the Bearcats win that game, Shelby will be the No. 3 seed in the district tournament, since the Rockets have already beaten Spencer.

If Spencer beats Anderson, it would throw the district race into a 3-way tie-breaker for the 2, 3, and 4 spots. Collins has sewed up the top seed.

Anderson showed early in Tuesday's contest that it has every intention of being that No. 2 seed. The Bearcats dominated from the outset, even if the scoreboard did not show it until the second half.

For that matter, the scoreboard didn't show much of anything as it began to malfunction during the junior varsity game, won by Shelby, 3-1, and was completely turned off for the varsity game. An official kept time on the field.

Anderson attacked as if time was running out, but was not able to finish most of those early chances. Garrett Pritchert took a pass from Hunter Wilson and drove one past Dove in the 16th minute. Pritchert just missed on two other chances in the first half.

Shelby's Cole Meredith got free for a goal to tie things 11 minutes later.

Despite the tight score in the first half, Anderson's dominance was unmistakable as the Bearcats controlled possession for much of the first half.  “We did dominate possession and had majority of the chances as I expected we would. We just didn't do a good enough job of finishing our chances,” Campbell said.

After Simmons' explosion, Campbell started experimenting with his lineup and eventually got freshman goalkeeper Kyle Barnett into a varsity game for the second time this season. Barnett replaced starter Jordan Thompson, who had been playing with an undisclosed injury, about midway through the second half.

“I felt pretty confident the game was won, so I was able to pull several starters and give some JV players some playing time,” Campbell said. “We gave these players important minutes which is vital to their development.”

 

Western Hills 5, Anderson Co. 4

Western Hills scored with only three minutes to play to outlast Anderson County 5-4 last Thursday in Frankfort.
The Wolverines had scored three times in the first half, but Anderson rallied with two goals in three minutes early in the second half. The Bearcats tied it when Dalton Wells delivered on a free kick 10 minutes later.

The teams traded goals with Western Hills scoring on a free kick and Anderson using a strong combination to get a score from Garrett Pritchert.

 

Mercer Co. 5, Anderson Co. 0

Mercer, ranked 22nd in the latest statewide poll, scored four times in the first half, then cruised to an impressive win over the Bearcats Saturday night in Harrodsburg. “We were missing a starting defender and had several fatigued players,” Campbell said, noting the busy week might have taken its toll on the Bearcats. “Mercer was a lot fresher as they had an entire week off before this game and pressed a lot better.

“We didn't play well in or out of possession.”

Campbell noted the Bearcats played better after intermission, but “the damage was already done.”

 

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