Zion-Benton clinches tourney titleVernon Hills Thursday 08.25.11. Grayslake Central's Philip Longenecker (right) (10) battles Zion-Benton's Marco Vara (left) (2) during their game on Thursday at Vernon Hills High School. | Buzz Orr~Sun-Times Media
Updated: August 25, 2011 10:27PM
Zion-Benton defeated Grayslake Central 5-1 on Thursday to clinch the championship in the four-team, round-robin boys soccer tournament hosted by Vernon Hills.
The Zee-Bees are 2-0 in the tourney and can claim bragging rights in Grayslake by virtue of beating both of that town’s teams in this tourney. On Tuesday, Z-B edged Grayslake North 3-2.
Thursday’s win was keyed by sophomore Bryan Montoya, who scored the game’s first two goals.
Zion led 2-0 at the break and after Grayslake’s Diego Gomez made it 2-1 in the 41st minute, the Bees wrapped up the win with goals from Brett Degler (61st minute), Byron Ramirez (73rd) and Ivan Martinez (PK in the 76th).
“So far, so good this season,” said Zion coach Cliff Pontillo. “It was another quality win.
“We only have five returning players and 17 new ones. We’ve jelled together nicely.”
Montoya didn’t start against Grayslake North, but was on the pitch from the start on Thursday and delivered.
“He played great up front,” said Pontillo. “He had two nice goals for us.”
On the other side of the pitch, Rams coach Mike McCaulou saw some positives in defeat.
“We played well up until the last 20 minutes of the game,” the coach said. “I was pleased with how well we moved the ball. We just need to capitalize on our scoring chances better.”
For the game, Zion had 11 shots on goal compared to Grayslake’s five. Zion’s keeper was Josue Bueno and he was sharp.