The heroes from yesterday's Class 1A-2A West region finals are nicknamed "Iggy" and "Pee Wee," and it hasn't been an uncommon thing this season at Oakland Mills.
Iggy Levelev scored four straight times in the first quarter and goalie Jason "Pee Wee" Berlin had visiting Liberty blanked well into the second quarter to lead the top-seeded Scorpions to a 12-4 win in Columbia.
It's the third straight region title for Oakland Mills, which begins its quest for a state title this weekend at UMBC.
The second-seeded Lions, who made their first appearance in the region finals, closed out their season at 8-6.
Levelev and Berlin dominated their respective ends early to help give the Scorpions more than enough cushion to get past a Liberty team that played a much stronger second half.
After continually seeing double-teams throughout the season, Levelev found himself in a lot of one-on-one situations in the first quarter and made the most of his opportunities -- scoring his 73rd, 74th, 75th and 76th goals of the season in a little more than five minutes.
His last goal, coming with 2:30 left in the quarter, gave the Scorpions a 5-0 lead.
"A big lead is always good, [Liberty] had a little comeback so it's nice to fall back on," Levelev said. "I was expecting to get double-teamed coming up the right side, but they didn't double until the second and third quarters. The first three I got were beating my man one-on-one."
Trailing 7-0, Liberty finally got one past Berlin with under a minute left in the second quarter when Tony Berarducci found some rare space all alone in front. Berlin turned back the Lions' first eights shots before the goal and he finished the day with 12.
"You can't play like that in the first half and expect to win," said Liberty coach Troy Barnes. "It's hard to spot a team at their level a seven-goal lead. We weren't able to execute. It became a situation where you're down three goals, four goals, five goals, and the kids get down and it becomes a psychological hole."
Liberty stayed even with Oakland Mills for most of the second half and, after Chris Frantz scored back-to-back goals, got within five at 9-4 early in the fourth quarter. But the Scorpions scored the final three goals of the game with a couple more saves from Berlin mixed in.
Oakland Mills coach Ken Hovet, whose Scorpions beat Liberty, 10-2, in the season opener, said the quick goals made all the difference. Denny Cole opened the scoring with a goal 1:15 into the game and Levelev had his first two just over a minute later.
"We came out really strong and moved the ball around well and got some nice shots," Hovet said. "[Liberty] has a good team, we just happen to match up with them pretty well."