East Hamilton played with hustle and toughness to secure the Region 4-AA girls' soccer championship Thursday evening with a 2-1 home win over Sequatchie County.
Defense continued to be the calling card for the Lady Hurricanes as they held the potent Sequatchie attack scoreless except for a penalty kick in the second half.
A solid mix of talents worked together to avenge a one-score loss in the region final last year, as coach Carrie Hill's players hustled to deny opportunities and made it tough to get past them in the midfield.
"The girls are thrilled to bring home the region title," Hill said. "It's a great testament to their ability to grind it out against a tough Sequatchie County team that is very athletic and offensive minded. At this point in the season, every game is tight, so we have to minimize our mistakes and focus on what got us this far."
Eighth-grade defender Mia Moore showed gutsiness with clean slide tackles to knock the ball away, while Alaina Fortune repeatedly cleared the ball ahead along with Jessica Dunavant on the back line.
East Hamilton goalkeeper Darci Zeh made a diving save to her left on a shot from Jamie Rollins.
The Lady Hurricanes (10-8-2) scored both of their goals in the first half as they took advantage of bouncing balls for close-in shots by Bailey Kilpatrick and Zoey Burgner. Burgner made it 2-0 in the 20th minute with the help of Kilpatrick, who sent a high, bouncing pass into the box.
Malia Drumeller was also a steady force on the attacking end.
Sequatchie County (12-2) fought to come back, but Channing Barker's PK to the top right of the net in the 50th minute provided her team's lone score.
The Lady Indians will have to travel Saturday in the sectional round to Cumberland County, which won its region over Livingston Academy. Livingston will play at East Hamilton.