Roosevelt Wins Their Second Straight Westerns Boys' Title
Posted: June 5, 2016 05:23 PM
Day two started out just as exciting as day one. In the first set of quarterfinals, top-seeded Roosevelt faced off against Garfield. Garfield had a rough day of pool play yesterday, but turned things up in the crossover game to make it to the quarterfinals. They put up one of the better games against Roosevelt, but the top seed ended up prevailing. Garfield had a chance to tie just before half, but couldn’t convert. In the second half, Roosevelt protected their lead until hard cap and advanced to play the winner of Summit and Nathan Hale. Summit swept their pool but couldn’t contend with Nathan Hale today, who ran away with the game. On the other side of the bracket, every point between Berkeley and South Eugene felt close as each team continuously made athletic plays. But Berkeley had a multi-point lead going into half and held onto it for the win.
The real excitement from the quarterfinals came from the last game, where once again, Cleveland High School was involved in a thrilling game. Cleveland came out hot and forced a turn with their zone on the very first point, converting it for the break. Crescent Valley responded, going on a run and establishing a lead of a few points. By then, Cleveland didn’t have the same energy that propelled them to their wins the day before. The day before, they were, without a doubt, the most energized team, always cheering and rushing the field after big plays. But once Crescent Valley got rolling, Cleveland lost their energy. They kept making big plays, but the enthusiasm wasn’t there. Still, they hung close to Crescent Valley – close enough to claw their way back into the game and tie it at 8s. Now the energy was flowing, and the teams traded a few points back and forth. Cleveland got the lead 10-9, with hard cap on. A big layout grab by Quinn Buermeyer saved possession in the next point, which Crescent Valley scored to force double-game point. Crescent Valley pulled to Cleveland and brought tough man defense. An errant throw from Cleveland gave Crescent Valley a chance. They worked it up the field with smooth offense and punched it into the end zone. Cleveland’s streak of double-game point wins ended, and Crescent Valley moved on to face Berkeley in the semifinals.
The Berkeley v. Crescent Valley game was Berkeley’s from the start. They got a first half lead, and despite Crescent Valley’s best attempts, Berkeley solidified their spot in the finals. The other semifinal was up for grabs. Roosevelt broke for the very first point of the game, and it seemed as if this would be another comfortable victory for them. Nathan Hale responded well though, with fluid offense ending in a wonderful huck from Sam Huston. The teams traded back and forth. Hale played strong fundamental offense, working in-cuts down the field. Conversely, Roosevelt often scored off of two or three throws, centering the disc to Kai Marcus who would put up full-field hucks to cutters streaking deep. The first half was very clean, with few turnovers. The difference in the first half was Roosevelt’s ability to score with their defense. Nathan Hale had chances to break but were unable to convert turnovers into points – that was until an excellent pull pinned Roosevelt deep in their own end zone. A handler miscue gave Hale the disc on the goal line, and they got their first break back, cutting the lead to two points when Roosevelt took half. Hale got another break in the second half, bringing them even closer. Then Hale went on a three-point run to go up 11-10 before hard cap. Their second break of the run was generated by a handblock from Will McDonald and a subsequent huck from Sam Huston again. Roosevelt faced their toughest test of the tournament. Down one with the hard cap blown, they needed to score. They proved to be up to the test, and held their offensive point to force double-game point. Having proven their offense, now they needed to prove their defense. Roosevelt eventually did get the turn and started to work the disc up the field. Near the end zone, a travel was called and play stopped. As soon as the disc was put back in play, Connor Ryan streaked to the open side, and Kai Marcus put up an easy throw for the Roosevelt win.
The finals saw a rematch from the crossover round between Roosevelt and Berkeley. The game started out with a calm offensive point from Roosevelt. Berkeley’s first point wasn’t quite as collected. Tough handler defense from Roosevelt caused a few shaky resets between the handlers. Once they got a downfield throw though, all the nerves were shaken off. Throughout the game, once Berkeley got the disc moving, they were unstoppable. Their wickedly quick handlers ran throw and goes all game, torching defenders up-line. Colby Chuck and Jeremy Dolezal-Ng were especially dangerous, as was evidenced in one point where they ran it down the field, passing it back and forth as their defenders desperately tried to catch up before they finished with a clever scoober into the end zone. The two handlers have more than just speed and quick throws, and both made big plays. Chuck had an enormous layout to save an overthrown huck, and Dolezal-Ng made a vital layout D near the end of the game. Downfield for Berkeley, Jonah Taylor, Emmet Holton and Dylan Villaneuve cut with speed and power to provide the other half of the offense. Berkeley, as a team, proved to be very deep, and they bounced the disc from player to player for smooth offense.
On the other side, Roosevelt’s offense was run through the throwing/cutting combo of Kai Marcus and Connor Ryan. Ryan’s speed made him unguardable, and Marcus’ ability to huck the disc from any place on the field led to a lot of Roosevelt’s points. Another star was undoubtedly Glenn Wysen. While he wasn’t a dominant force throughout the entire game, he made two important plays. Roosevelt led by a few points late in the game, but Berkeley was picking up momentum and looked like they could make a comeback. Wysen had two big handblocks, one that stopped a break opportunity and another to give Roosevelt their own. As hard cap approached, Berkeley was down by two with Roosevelt on game point. Berkeley needed to break quickly to have a chance at forcing double-game point. Roosevelt moved the disc to half-field, and Marcus put up an outside-in backhand to the end zone. Joshua Kutz elevated for the sky, ending the game in punctual fashion. Despite the intensity of the game and many travel calls, spirit was abundant from both teams as they high-fived each other. At the end of the day, Roosevelt’s offense proved too strong to overcome, and their ability to convert turnovers was the difference maker.
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