High School Sports

St. Stanislaus heads back to Class 4A championship game

JOHN FITZHUGH/SUN HERALD 
 St. Stanislaus' West Zimmerman shields the ball from Clinton's Grant Hudson in the second half of their game at Milner Stadium in Gulfport on Jan. 9. On Monday night, Zimmerman scored a late goal to lift the Rockachas past Bay High 2-1. With the win, SSC advanced to their third straight Class 4A state championship game.
JOHN FITZHUGH/SUN HERALD St. Stanislaus' West Zimmerman shields the ball from Clinton's Grant Hudson in the second half of their game at Milner Stadium in Gulfport on Jan. 9. On Monday night, Zimmerman scored a late goal to lift the Rockachas past Bay High 2-1. With the win, SSC advanced to their third straight Class 4A state championship game. SUN HERALD

BAY ST. LOUIS -- West Zimmerman worked his way past defenders to find an opening in the left corner of the net to give the Rockachaws a 2-1 win over Bay High in the Class 4A South State Championship Game on Monday night. The go-ahead goal came at the 3:15 mark of the second half, and the Rocks held off three Tigers throw-ins and three more long attempts at goal the rest of the way to secure the win.

"I think that whole entire game came down to heart and effort," said Rockachaws coach Ryan Joiner. "Both teams left it all on the field. It wasn't the game plan that we drew up, but the result was in our favor tonight. We had planned to actually let them have the ball a little bit more on key possessions and counter attack them, but they took it to us.

"We're actually really fortunate tonight to advance. I think we got outplayed for 60 of the 80 minutes."

Austin Miller scored the Rock's first goal on the night with 27:52 remaining in the first period. Ethan Loftin answered with a Tigers goal at the 18:44 mark of the period.

The two teams went back and forth, up and down the field in the second half with neither team showing any real advantage. Both teams attempted good shots at goal; both teams also made the necessary stops.

The Tigers lost their starting goalie, Connor Sutherlin, to injury as he attempted to catch a goal attempt near the 24-minute mark of the second period.

"I am proud of the way our kids fought to the end," said Tigers coach Kelly Ross.

St. Stanislaus (22-3-1; 8-0, district) will be playing for their third consecutive State Championship on Saturday at Madison Central High School. They will play the winner of the Florence-Amory match.

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