TAMPA — Second-half scoring from Will Hunt and Matt Carbone propelled Wharton into a Class 5A, District 8 final against Freedom, as the Wildcats topped Newsome 2-0 and the Patriots knocked out King with a 6-0 victory.
Neither the Wildcats (15-6-3) nor the Wolves could find the net in the first half Wednesday, but Hunt drove home a header three minutes into the second half to put Wharton ahead.
"Will got his ups, beat his mark, like any good midfielder would, and put it in the back of the net," Wharton coach Scott Ware said. "That was crucial, to get us that edge early in the second (half)."
Newsome's best challenge came in the 74th minute when the team was awarded a penalty kick for a handball in the box. Newsome (16-6-1) was unable to capitalize, as Ian Connelly's shot bounced off the crossbar.
"I think they're very confident," Ware said. "I remember last year, and we have 15 guys returning, each and every game we got more and more confident."
Fourth-seeded Freedom (11-2-5) opened the scoring in the 16th minute on a header by Doug Yablun. Eliot Toledo sprinted past his defender in the 32nd minute to extend the lead, and again scored in the 42nd minute.
Manny Martes, Taylor Nalls and John Beauplan had goals in the second half. Top-seeded King (11-4-3) managed just two shots in the match.
"We've always been rivals with Freedom, being so close," Ware said about the upcoming match. "There's a lot of emotion between these two teams."