Revolver wins back-to-back U.S. Open Championships
Posted: July 7, 2014 01:33 AM
Johnny Bravo may have dominated Revolver to the tune of 15-8 during pool play on Thursday, but that was then and this is now.
Another tournament win for Revolver, this time by way of a 14-12 victory over Bravo in the US Open men’s final.
While Bravo took the first break of the game to go up 3-1, Revolver evened the score at 3-3. On the next point, Bravo turned the disc over five times—a sailing dump pass here, a Revolver block there, some drops and overthrown hucks for good measure— and while Denver managed to score, they were simply not as clean as their San Francisco opponents.
After the teams traded points to 6-6, Revolver rattled off two more breaks to take half. Revolver coach Mike Pane spoke before the game about disrupting Bravo’s pull plays, and many of Denver’s miscues were the result of a Revolver defense that sagged into throwing lanes to take away Bravo’s first huck look before applying heavy pressure on cuts coming back toward the disc. In all, Revolver forced ten turnovers out of Bravo’s offense in the first half alone, and 14 all game.
Revolver’s offense, on the other hand, turned the disc over only five times, the same amount as in Saturday’s stellar performance against Ironside. Payne said that the steady finals wind helped his team avoid the ill-advised hucks that were its downfall during Thursday’s calmer game.
"This wind made us feel like the deep shots were a little bit less of an option," said Payne. "So we committed ourselves to working it harder underneath and laterally. That ended up getting us in the right mood to play ball."
At halftime, Bravo captain Ryan Farrell said players on the offensive line needed to dial it in. "[We need] more discipline about what role we’re filling," said Farrell. "We’ve got five guys who want to be the guy to move the disc in the wind. We need more guys to a pure cutter. Role recognition, deferring."
"There’s good pressure and wind," Farrell continued, "but we need to just look at [stall] two. They’re a great defensive team, but that doesn’t beat great offense."
Revolver received out of half and turned the disc over—it was Robbie Cahill’s second of what would be three turnovers, an uncharacteristically high number for the veteran standout— but Bravo did not convert. Bravo did eventually break to put the score at 10-9 (this came after Cahill’s third turnover), but that was it, and the teams traded out to a 14-12 Revolver victory.
It’s own turnover conversion rate was the one blemish on Revolver’s performance. With so many opportunities, Payne would have liked more than three breaks given there were so many chances— that margins as thin as three breaks to two are not uncommon at this level is all the more reason to want an edge. Payne said Revolver’s defensive offense would focus on its resets in the lead-up to Lecco.
"At the beginning of the year we moved Robbie (Cahill) to the defensive line to move the disc around," said Payne. "Then Ashlin (Joye) got into med school so he’s not going to Worlds, so we had to put Robbie back on offense. It’s an open question of how we’re going to fix that problem for Worlds. We’re going to have to stick with what we have and focus more on dump action. We can’t create a hucker in two weeks."
Bravo star Jimmy Mickle said a personnel shift of its own will make the Denver team better at coming tournaments: Nick Lance, one of the division’s best throwers, was not at the US Open but will be in Italy.
"Adding a player like Nick is always going to help," said Mickle. "He’s got great throws and he moves the disc well. He’s going be big on our offensive and defensive lines."
In mentioning both lines, Mickle noted that Bravo is not as rigid as some of its opponents when it comes to who plays offense and who plays defense: in the final, Brett Matzuka played some defense while both Kurt Gibson and Stanley Peterson played quite a bit of offense.
"I think it stays fluid," said Mickle. "We’ll definitely have a group of five or six people that’ll be able to go both ways, and we’ll practice doing that."
Moving forward, Mickle said Bravo’s focus will be on moving the disc faster.
"We know we’ve got to get better. We’ve got to be better at Worlds than how we played today. It could be windy there, and we’re going to have to learn to move the disc in the wind. We’re not happy we lost, and hopefully it fuels us to get better."
2014 - US Open - Day 4 Highlights - Images by CBMT creative
Images by UltiPhotos
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