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State Preview: Hopewell

Region: 6

 

League: Beaver County, postseason champions


Record: 24-2

 

No team in the state has stormed onto the scene as quickly as Hopewell has.  Western Pennsylvania’s top team throughout the year, they have the gaudiest record of any team left in the state.  Hopewell jumped out to the quickest of starts in their first game against one of Allegheny County’s representatives, Upper St. Clair.  They showed early, and often, that they would be the team to beat at the tournament, thrashing their opponent 21-3.

 

Fayette County’s top team, Colonial, was no match for Hopewell in the second round of the tournament.   Another double digit barrage led to a 16-4 win, and a date in the winners bracket final. Shaler, another team from Allegheny County, was able to slow them down just a tad, though they eventually succumbed to Hopewell’s stellar offense.  This time the margin of victory was just three, but that still good enough to send the team into the championship round.

 

The throw away game was far from that for Hopewell, who sealed their position as lone unbeaten, topping Elizabeth Forward 14-4.  Shaler made their way back through the loser’sbracket and got another shot at Hopewell in game fourteen.  For the first time in a long time, Hopewell’s offensive attack was stymied, as Shaler cruised to a 7-1 victory.  The result forced a decisive game fifteen,and pushed one of the state’s top teams just a mere loss away from elimination.

 

That was exactly the wake-up call that Hopewell needed.  With a trip to the 2010 PA State Tournament, and a regional championship, on the line, Hopewell rebounded for another big victory.  This time, it was by a ten run margin, 10-0. 

 

Hopewell will certainly enter the state tournament as one of the favorites to not only claim a national regional title berth, but to also bring the state title back to Western Pennsylvania.  The area has not enjoyed much success in the way of state titles in the last decade or so, but Hopewell will certainly be their top hope in a long time.  It will be interesting to see if anybody can slow down a team that seems to have it all, both on the offensive and defensive sides.

 

By luck of the draw, they appear to have somewhat of an easier contest in round one than some of their fellow competitors.  Upper Dauphin awaits them in the second game of the first day of the tournament, a game slated for around 12:30pm.  If they should be able to defeat them, they’ll head into a second day match-up with either State College or Boyertown.  Only time will tell if Hopewell can sustain their postseason success, but if they can do so by going through this side ofthe bracket, it will be an extremely impressive accomplishment.

 


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