High School Westerns - Day 1 Recap – Boys’ Division
Posted: June 5, 2016 02:23 AM
While other top seeds had a rough day of pool play, Roosevelt got the job done comfortably. Both Corvallis and Gunn were able to play exciting and strong points early on, but Roosevelt eventually pulled away from each opponent with their incessant attacks to the break side. Kai Marcus in particular was able to open up the field for Roosevelt, with quick, precise break throws. Gunn held their second spot in the pool, beating Corvallis in their first game of the day.
Pool B was exhilarating, as it was full of upsets and high-octane games. It started off with the biggest upset of the day, as Cleveland took down second-seeded Lakewood. Cleveland came out with a zone that, at times, completely froze Lakewood’s offense. When Lakewood got any movement through the zone though, they cruised to the end zone. For Lakewood, Mason Kiefer proved to be a force both downfield and with the disc. With height, good field sense and solid throws, Kiefer made the big and small plays alike. Lakewood was taller all around, but this didn’t seem to factor into the game very much as many Cleveland players demonstrated impressive athleticism. Cleveland was very athletic as a team, and every player was willing to put their body on the line. A testament to Cleveland’s depth, no players stood out much. Every point was full of several different players making big plays. These big plays led to Cleveland forcing double-game point after being down a point when hard cap went off. Their depth showed, as Amanze Oleru and Ronnie Estoque both made crucial defensive plays for their team. Cleveland called a timeout near the end zone and set up an isolation play in which Hai Trang laid out for the win. The upset trend continued in the other game, with Ingraham overcoming South Eugene. Lakewood would fall to each team they played, unable to recover from the heartbreaking first-game loss. At the end of pool play, Cleveland and Ingraham battled for the top spot. This one proved just as exciting as the first one as Ingraham forced double-game point. In this game, Amanze Oleru shined, making lots of big plays and eventually getting a huge sky and huck to finish out Cleveland’s undefeated day.
Similar to Pool A, Pool C held to seed. But unlike Pool A, Berkeley’s triumph was anything but comfortable. The pool’s first game had Crescent Valley come out hot against Nathan Hale. They were able to rattle off a few breaks and seemed poised for an early upset. However, Nathan Hale responded, stopping their opponent’s momentum and going on an extended run to take half 8-4. Crescent Valley tried to claw their way back, but couldn’t close the gap before hard cap went off. Berkeley then soundly beat Crescent Valley. It seemed as if Crescent Valley was already looking toward their crossover game, and so Berkeley had an easy go of things. That meant that when Nathan Hale and Berkeley met in the final game of the pool, they were able to play with high intensity. The game started close and gritty and stayed that way throughout. Points went back and forth, and the game was tied at 7-7 before Nathan Hale took half. Hard cap was looming as the teams took the field for the second half. The horn went off during the point, and Berkeley managed to score and force double-game point. Both teams fought their hardest as the sun scorched above. Eventually, Berkeley was able to convert a turn by working it up the field and slotting a throw just past a defender to a diving Nat Evans.
The final pool set up a fantastic showdown between Summit and Monarch. Garfield played close games against both Summit and Monarch, but fell short both times (including a loss on double-game point to Summit). Summit and Monarch both won easily over Sheldon, setting up the game between them as a battle for first in the pool, and therefore, a bye through the crossover round. It started out close, and both teams were playing very hard. The intensity of the game got too high, however, and a spirit timeout was called to talk things over. After the timeout, the game kept the intensity, but there were no more apparent spirit issues. Summit finished out the game by scoring in hard cap.
Due to heat, the crossover games were pushed back to 6:45 p.m., so players could rest. The delay made the games no less exciting. Berkeley and Roosevelt played one of the best games of the day. The first half only saw one break, and it came from Berkeley. Roosevelt seemed a little complacent in the early points, and Berkeley used it to their advantage to take half. Roosevelt came out of halftime strong and got their break back and then some. Kai Marcus seemed to be the source of almost every Roosevelt goal. Roosevelt took a lead early in the second half and held it until hard cap. Ingraham seemed to be mentally drained by their double-game point loss and went down early to Garfield, which proved to be an insurmountable lead as the game went on. Similarly, Nathan Hale went up in the first half and held on to win their game. The other two crossovers, however, were close the entire way. With two tickets to the championship bracket on the line, South Eugene played Monarch, and Crescent Valley played Gunn. Both games were back and forth through their entireties and ended up going to double-game point. Crescent Valley’s Nick Hartwig made a massive layout grab to force double-game point. Crescent Valley then finished the game with a connection between their two playmakers, Drew Peterschmidt and Quinn Buermeyer. The double-game point between South Eugene and Monarch went on for a long time, with both teams getting opportunities near the goal line. At the end of the day, Simon Sjostrom of South Eugene threw a beautiful cross-field, inside-out flick to win the game.
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