By ZACH GREENWELL
The Daily News
On Saturday, it was the heat that interrupted the Purples Classic.
Sunday’s gift from Mother Nature was different, but it may have kept the Bowling Green boys’ soccer team from claiming an outright championship.
The Purples (8-0-2) had the title game of their host tournament declared final at halftime because of lightning delays, tied at 1-1 with Bethlehem at the Bowling Green High School Soccer Complex.
Both teams were named co-champions of the event.
“We played really well,” Bowling Green coach Craig Widener said. “I’ve got to give kudos to their keeper. He made three or four outstanding saves and kept them in the half. We really wanted to play the second half, but it just couldn’t happen.”
The Purples made it to the finals of the tournament by finishing 2-0-1 in pool play Friday and Saturday.
They actually started play with a 2-1 win over Bethlehem, and it looked like they might be on their way to a repeat when junior Riley Phelps scored on an assist from junior Ben Mujic about four minutes into Sunday’s match.
But despite outshooting Bethlehem 12-4 in the first half, the Eagles knotted the match with a penalty-kick goal around the 30th minute of play.
“I was really pleased with the guys,” Widener said. “They came out fresh and alive and ready to play in the championship of their own tournament, so that’s really all we can ask.”
The girls’ bracket was won by North Oldham, which beat Graves County, 3-2, on Sunday.
Several games beginning at noon Saturday were also declared final at halftime, as officials determined the heat index was too high to continue play.
But despite the few glitches, Widener said the tournament was a success.
“It was administrated extremely well,” he said. “The best interest of the kids was kept in mind the whole time. That’s why we had to make the decisions we did. But as far as how it’s run and the facilities and the competition, it’s one of the best tournaments around.”
The Purples host South Warren at 7 p.m. Thursday.