Dreher secured fifth place in the Nike Palmetto Cup on Thursday, defeating Lexington 3-1 at Brookland-Cayce.
“To get fifth place in this tournament, it’s a big boost for us going into the latter part of the region season,” Dreher coach Clark McCarthy said. “We were definitely in a tough bracket, so to come out of that in fifth, it’s just a credit to my guys.”
In less than a minute of second half play, Dreher’s offense had pushed forward, and junior Athan Platanis got a wide angle on Lexington keeper Cody Cook to put a goal in the back of the net and lift the Blue Devils into the lead.
Winter Sharpe’s unassisted goal off an indirect kick from the corner of the box gave Dreher a two-goal advantage with 13 minutes left to play.
The unranked Class 3A Blue Devils never trailed against the Class 4A No. 5-ranked Wildcats.
Dreher’s Aaron Brady sent an assist to Darian McKnight, who hit the back left post to put the Blue Devils on the board in the 13th minute.
Luigi Malpartida tied the game in the 29th minute and the teams rolled into halftime at 1-1.
Lexington coach Will Gettys said, “We should have been more competitive than that. But we learned that we can’t just show up expecting to win.”
The Blue Devils (10-7) beat Blythewood and Gaffney during pool play, and finished the tournament 3-1.
“My team toughed it out and made things happen, and that’s what great teams do,” McCarthy said.
Although the Wildcats finished 1-2-1, Gettys said the spring-break tournament challenge should lead to more victories for his team.
“After this tournament, I feel like we can pretty much play with anybody,” Gettys said. “We were right there with Farragut (Knoxville, Tenn.), 1-0 until the last five minutes. And they’re as good as any team we’re going to see in the playoffs, so we can feel good about that.”