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Sunday, November 19, 2006 - Page updated at 12:01 AM

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2B/1B boys soccer | Bear Creek comes a long way for crown

Special to The Seattle Times

UNIVERSITY PLACE — As a freshman, Alex Higinbotham didn't think he would get to experience the state playoffs. As a senior, Higinbotham and his Bear Creek teammates are champions.

The Bear Creek Grizzlies won a penalty-kick shootout 4-2 in a 1-0 victory over Northwest Christian to win the state 2B/1B soccer championship at Curtis High School.

Higinbotham, along with Michael Castle, Payum Abtahi and Chris Strandin, scored in the shootout for Bear Creek (15-3-1).

The state title completes a turnaround from Higinbotham's freshman year of 2003, when Bear Creek went 0-15.

He was one of six seniors who went through that winless season.

"It feels awesome," said Higinbotham, the Sea-Tac League MVP this season. "I never thought we would get here. I never could ask for anything more."

Both Bear Creek and Northwest Christian (13-4-1) battled through regulation and two overtimes before settling the championship in the shootout. It was the first shootout of the season for the Crusaders from Colbert of Eastern Washington.

"I told them the only thing they could do is play hard," said Bear Creek coach Chad Pohlman. "They played like champions today and became champions as a result of it."

Consolation

Moses Lake Christian 4, Tacoma Baptist 1

Kameron Firouzi and Philip Friehe scored two goals each as the Lions (20-1) beat the Crusaders (11-7-1) for third place.

Copyright © 2006 The Seattle Times Company

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