Brian Fernandez (Eastern Alamance) dodged from the right side and calmly scored on a 10-yard bounce shot on the first possession of overtime to give the Hammers a stunning 5-4 win over the undefeated and top-seeded Pachyderms in tonight’s High School HOTT Lax playoffs at Ivey Redmon Athletic Complex.
After falling behind 3-1 at halftime, the Hammers used the faceoff play of Jac Patterson (Southern Alamance), a stingy defense, and a patient offense to claw back into the game. The Hammers took the lead, 4-3, in the game’s waning moments and then snuffed out multiple last-minute offensive advances by the Pachyderms. With 15 seconds remaining, however, the ‘Derms’ Ramiro Ponce (East Forsyth) ripped a bounce shot to send the game into overtime. The Hammers then won the first faceoff of overtime and moved the ball around to give Fernandez, the league scoring leader, a chance to work his magic from the left side. The game winner was Fernandez’s third goal in the title game.
The Hammers reached the final with a convincing 6-1 victory over Category 5 in the semifinals, while the ‘Derms advanced with a workmanlike 7-4 win over the Crease Monkeys in the other semifinal.
The Hammers upset in the final ended the quest of Pachyderm coach Sam Newland to achieve an historic title three-peat.
Congratulations to Coach Tyler Haines and the Hammers!