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Adapted Floor Hockey: Thunderbolts advance to state tournament

Tyler Tinucci (3) and Elizabeth Schmidt (7) of the South Washington County Thunderbolts celebrate a 13-2 win over visiting North/Tartan Wednesday, a win which sent the Thunderbolts back to the adapted floor hockey state tournament. (Photo by John Molene)1 / 3
South Washington County's Bryce Smith (4) and Greta Klinga battle for the puck on the sidelines against a North/Tartan opponent Wednesday in adapted floor hockey. (Photo by John Molene)2 / 3
Tyler Tinucci watches his shot head toward the North/Tartan goal Wednesday in a section game at East Ridge. Tinucci scored four goals and had four assists for the Thunderbolts. (Photo by John Molene)3 / 3

An undefeated South Washington County team advanced to the adapted floor hockey state tournament with an easy section win Wednesday.

The South Washington County Thunderbolts dropped visiting North/Tartan 13-2 to punch their ticket to the annual state tournament.

Junior Nick Jones scored six goals to lead the Thunderbolts (13-0) in the game played at East Ridge High School. Tyler Tinucci had four goals and four assists, while Bryce Smith had three goals and three assists for the Thunderbolts.

South Washington County got stronger as the match progressed. The Thunderbolts led 4-0 after one period, 6-1 after two then outscored North/Tartan 7-1 in the third period.

“It took us a while to warm up,” Thunderbolts head coach Jeff Figlmiller said. “It seemed like it took us about to the third period to really get things warmed up and get going. But overall good. Our defense keeps us in.

“Defense is going to make us or break us,” Figlmiller added. “I know we’ve got the shooters, so we’ve just got to keep it going right now.”

Eighth grader Nathan Ponder keyed the defense and Carson Rinnels was solid in goal for the Thunderbolts.

The Thunderbolts were relentless on offense, firing 41 shots against the North/Tartan goalie.

Figlmiller said the Thunderbolts still have some refining to do on offense, however.

“We’ve got to make sure our shots are higher on net,” Figlmiller said. “Goalies are getting bigger. They’re dropping down on us, and we’ve got to have high shots.”

The adapted hockey state tournament will be held March 17 and 18 at Bloomington Jefferson High School. South Washington won the consolation title last season.

As the No. 1 team from the south, South Washington County will play the No. 4 team from the north in its tournament opener at 8 p.m. Friday, March 17.