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Lions edge Wildcats in semifinal

It was a goalkeeper's nightmare. Penalty kick situation, big stop rekick.

How many 12-yard shots can a sophomore be expected to stop anyway? If you're King's Sanel Boric, the answer was at least one more.

Boric turned away Wharton's James Sleeper not once but twice, helping the Lions to a penalty kick victory in the Wildcat Invitational on Thursday.

The victory moved King into the final at 4 p.m. Saturday against Brandon, a 6-0 winner against Sickles. It will mark the third time King and Brandon, which are in the same district, have met this season.

Boric's play was symbolic of King's work all night. It displayed mental toughness and bounced back when things seemed to be going the Wildcats' way.

"I think mentally we are very strong," King coach Vaclav Duda said. "I tell them when things are wrong to come back and correct them, and they did that. Brilliantly."

Never was that more apparent than when Sleeper stepped to the line to take Wharton's fourth penalty kick. Boric stopped the shot but was whistled for leaving his line too early.

That gave Sleeper another chance. It was another chance for Boric to shine.

"I knew he was going to go to the same side," Boric said.

He went right _ like before _ and Boric deflected the shot.

Joel Magdovitz and James Toohey converted to give King (7-2-4) the victory.

In the other semifinal, Brandon (12-2-4) got a hat trick from Derek Goforth. Sickles (6-7-1) was outmanned from the beginning, missing four starters to injury.

There will be three games Saturday, capping the four-day tournament. Other than the final, Wharton plays Plant City at 2 p.m. and Sickles takes on Durant at noon.