Bearcats praise strong defense, aim for first Region Title since 2016

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GRAFTON, W.Va.- Grafton is set to play in the AA Region I final against Herbert Hoover on Tuesday evening.

The Bearcats haven’t won a regional title since 2016, which means they haven’t been to the state tournament since that year as well.

Grafton won its first sectional crown since ’16 over Robert C. Byrd on Saturday.

The Eagles and Bearcats took the game into double-overtime before Cody Abraham scored to break the tie.

Bearcats head coach Arthur Knight said his team is used to playing in low-scoring contests.

“It’s just the way we play. When we’re successful, we defend and it’s usually a low scoring game so if it gets past two or three goals, it’s probably not our game to win in the first place. It was setting up to be the style we like to play, we just wear teams down in the midfield and so as the game went on it did get a little bit too close for comfort but that’s typically how we play and one goal is usually, hopefully all we need,” Knight said.

Bearcats junior forward Layne England praised his defense and said the unit is what kept them in the game.

“Our defense mainly, they were locking them down. The midfield was good at connecting out to the wings, to me up top, and just the midfield was working the wings mainly. That’s what helped the most,” England said.

The Bearcats also touched on Herbert Hoover and how they have a strong player in every phase of the game.

Grafton will look to use that strong defense Tuesday night as they kickoff against the Huskies at 5 p.m. at Philip Barbour High School.

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