ELKIN - The Buckin’ Elks’ run through the 1A state playoff bracket came up two rounds shy of the championship game at Dail Soccer Field on the campus of North Carolina State University.
Top-seeded and 1A Mountain Valley Conference champion Elkin was upended in the West Regional Semifinals by a determined and veteran wild card squad in Hendersonsville, 3-2, Saturday at Grissom Stadium.
The Elks were unable to slow down Joel Zamudio and the Bearcats Saturday, as Zamudio recorded a hat-trick to power Hendersonville into the Final Four.
Hendersonville is no stranger to the Regional Finals, punching its fourth-straight ticket to the Final Four matchup. The Bearcats have played for the 1A state title the last four years, capturing the championship in 2009 and 2010.
At 14-7-4, Hendersonville will travel to Lake Norman Charter in the Final Four Tuesday night.
While falling short of reaching its ultimate goal of winning a state title, head coach Joe McCulloch and Elkin finished the year at 14-6, and remained a mainstay in the top 15 of the 1A state rankings.
The Elks also boast the distinction of being the final MVAC team standing in the 1A or 2A postseason, which featured heavyweights Forbush, Ashe County and Starmount.
Reach Matthew Gorry at 835-1513 or firstname.lastname@example.org.