MARIETTA — Harrison and Walton both had strong performances Tuesday in the 13th annual Lutzie 7-on-7 Tournament at Lassiter.
After going undefeated in three pool-play games, Harrison was the fifth seed in the 24-team, double-elimination tournament and earned a first-round bye. The Hoyas won thgeir first tournament game against River Ridge 27-24, then were knocked out of the winners’ bracket with a 22-19 loss to Cherokee.
Harrison beat Cass 8-6 before being eliminated with a 21-11 loss to No. 1 seed Centennial in the semifinals of the losers’ bracket.
First-year Harrison coach Josh Cassidy said he was encouraged by the level of play of his team, even though the Hoyas were a last-second addition to the tournament.
“The McEachern 7-on-7 was canceled because of bad weather, and we were searching for some competition. I called up Lassiter and asked if they had any open spots, and they had one open,” said Cassidy, previously the defensive coordinator under longtime Hoyas coach Matt Dickmann. “I said, ‘Give me an hour.’ I got the team on a Zoom, asked them what they wanted to do. Next day, here we are.”
Walton had two teams compete in the tournament. Its “A” team went 1-1-1 in pool play and advanced to the second round of the winners’ bracket due to a team no-show.
After an impressive 21-10 win against Cass, the Raiders fell 19-10 to North Cobb by a score and a turnover on downs in the winners’ bracket quarterfinals.
In the losers’ bracket, Walton beat River Ridge 23-18, then lost 25-24 to Lithia Springs to end the tournament.
Walton coach Daniel Brunner said he learned a lot about his team, and he was excited for another opportunity to perfect their schemes.
“Our plan was to get better and compete. We did just that,” Brunner said, “I would like to see our consistency improve, especially on the defensive end. Other than that, I am proud of our team.”
Two teams who caught fire during the tournament were North Cobb and Campbell.
North Cobb went 2-0-1 during pool play, earned a first-round bye and then had wins against North Gwinnett and Walton’s “A” team, putting the Warriors in position to play Campbell in the winners’ bracket.
Campbell went 0-3 in pool play, but it responded with three straight wins to open the tournament, including defensive-minded wins against Decatur (12-10) and Sequoyah (17-8).
The winner of the North Cobb-Campbell game was supposed to advance to the winners’ bracket final, but a fight broke out during the game. Both sidelines emptied, punches were thrown and both teams were disqualified.
Alpharetta was the beneficiary and advanced to the championship game due to being the last team without a loss, and the Raiders ultimately ended up being crowned champions by beating Cherokee in the finals.
Pope was the highest-ranked Cobb County participant in the tournament after going undefeated in pool play.
After a first-round bye, the second-seeded Greyhounds lost 17-16 to Sequoyah and found themselves in the losers’ bracket. After wins against Lambert (31-23) and Decatur (20-15), they lost 25-18 to Centennial in the quarterfinals.
Lassiter and Walton’s “B” team both went 1-2 during pool play, and both lost in the second round of the losers’ bracket after early exits in the winners’ bracket.