By Josh Brown
KETTERING — Nick Honeycutt ‘s hat trick was one of the biggest in Newton boys soccer history.
And in an evenly-matched season series against a conference rival, he made all the difference.
The Newton junior scored all three of the No. 7 Indians’ goals in Tuesday night’s Division III sectional championship game, leading the team past Cross County Conference rival fourth-seeded Bethel 3-1 Tuesday night at Fairmont High School — and into Saturday’s district final round.
Honeycutt, who also scored the Indians’ only goal in a 1-1 tie against the Bees during the regular season, broke Newton’s single-season goals record with 32 of them on the year with the hat trick.
“The last goal, we thought Seth (Courtney) put it in, but it really crossed the goal line before Seth kicked it,” Newton coach Brent Hodges said. “In scoring all three goals, Nick broke the single season goals record, an 11-year-old record held by our softball coach, Mark Gibson.”
Evan Hawthorn actually put the Bees (14-3-1) ahead early on with an unassisted goal, but then Jack Yoder set up the first of Honeycutt’s scores. Honeycutt then scored an unassisted goal to give the Indians the lead, and then he hit a free kick intended for Courtney that inadvertently went in, giving Honeycutt a hat trick — and the Indians some much-needed insurance.
“It was a muddy mess, however both teams had to play through it,” Bethel coach Bob Hamlin said. “We were a little impatient in the first half and tried to force the ball into space that was not there. Then footing just kept getting worse, and it became hard to possess and attack the way we would have liked to have.
“We knew it would be a tough match, and Newton won a hard-fought battle tonight. We had a good season, and I am very proud of my team. The seniors had a great year and led the way for us, and they will definitely be missed.”
Newton (13-3-2) will face top-seeded Greeneview for the district title Saturday at Sidney High School.
FM 2, TC 1
SIDNEY – Early in the second half, the eighth-seeded Eagles had No. 3 Franklin Monroe on the ropes.
But the Jets were able to force overtime and wear the Eagles out, and Nicolas Garcia-Ramos scored in double overtime to lead Franklin Monroe to a 2-1 Division III sectional championship victory over Troy Christian on a rainy Tuesday at Sidney High School.
After a scoreless first half, Andrew Strait scored to put Troy Christian up 1-0 with 31:30 to go in the game.
The Jets tied it up with 16:02 to go, though, as Britt Bowlin evened the score — and the match head to overtime, and then a second overtime, with both defenses playing tough and neither offense being able to find the net.
But Garcia-Ramos scored with 7:44 remaining in the second OT to give Franklin Monroe the win and eliminate the Eagles.
Troy Christian finished the season 11-7-1. Franklin Monroe will face Cincinnati Country Day Saturday at Xenia in the district championship game.
YS 2, ME 1
EATON — Sixth-seeded Miami East did what it could to fight back against No. 5 Yellow Springs Tuesday night, but in the end the Bulldogs ended the Vikings’ season and won the Division III sectional championship, 2-1 at Eaton.
Yellow Springs took a 2-0 lead by halftime, and though the Vikings cut into the lead in the second half, they couldn’t find a way to score the equalizer.
Miami East’s season ended at 15-4. Yellow Springs (12-6-1) will face Summit Country Day Saturday at Centerville in the district title game.
Contact Josh Brown at (937) 552-2132, or follow @TroyDailySports on Twitter.