Bearcats’ strong effort not enough at Shelby, district play begins

-A A +A
By John Herndon

 SHELBYVILLE — Small mistakes cost Anderson County in a big way Thursday as the Bearcats dropped a 4-2 decision to host Shelby County in 30th District boys’ soccer action. 


The loss guaranteed the Bearcats will be the No. 4 seed in the district tournament, opening Monday night at the Shelby County complex. The Bearcats will take on top-seeded Collins in the first round. 

Shelby County’s Nathan Mays scored twice and controlled much of the action with his speed and adept ball handling.  

Mays scored 16 minutes into the contest to give Shelby a lead it never relinquished. 

“I was real proud of the effort from the team tonight,” Anderson coach Jeff Pritchett said. “Shelby is a solid team with one of the top players, Mays, we have encountered.”

Mays got free on a breakaway, then five minutes later, Shelby got another goal when the Bearcat defenders slipped on the wet field.  

Anderson got on the board in the final two minutes of the first half when Axel Nave stayed with a loose ball and put it home to pull The Bearcats within 2-1. 

Mays got free for another goal midway through the second half but Shelby put things away with about 10 minutes to play. Anderson’s Colin Kays had pulled the Bearcats within 3-2 at the 13:18 mark with a goal reminiscent of Nave’s first half score. 

“Our goals were a result of determination and want-to,” Pritchett said. “Taking advantage of opportunities is what this game is about and we had a lot of people following shots in tonight and helping create those chances.”

Anderson hopes the intensity and effort that marked the Shelby match translates to better results in next week’s district tournament.

“Unfortunately, solid play and effort has not resulted in wins recently,” Pritchett said, “however improvements have progressed all season. A simple mistake here or there has caused us to play from behind more than we would like this season. We are working hard on cutting those mental errors out.”

Thursday’s match was a night when the strong effort was not enough on the scoreboard. “Shelby is a veteran team with a lot of speed and that did cause some issues for us,” Pritchett said. “However we matched their speed with effort and were able to make it a extremely competitive game. 

“I was extremely proud of the character my team displayed tonight because there was a time or two when physical play was extremely intense. We look forward to the final week of the regular season and preparation for the district tournament. Hopefully, we will gain full strength heading down the homestretch.”

Lincoln match canceled

A match with Lincoln County, scheduled for Saturday on the Anderson pitch, was canceled due to wet grounds and unplayable field conditions. 


Regular season to end

The Bearcats were scheduled to play Paris Tuesday after press deadlines and are to host Boyle County in the regular season finale Thursday.


District tournament to open

The Bearcats will open 30th District Tournament play next week at Shelby County Athletic Complex. The Bearcats will play Collins and Shelby County will take on Spencer County in the first round games. Tournament times had not been announced at press time.