2010 Westerns Saturday Pool Play - Open Division

Posted: May 8, 2010 09:00 PM

What a difference a year makes! UPA Westerns and Mother Nature are back on good terms! Few would believe the change from Day 1 a year ago when tournament directors came to the fields to find port-a-potties knocked over by hurricane-type winds. The start of the first day of Westerns this year was filled with copious amounts of sunshine and very soft breezes. Although the wind did pick up after the third round - it was nothing compared to a year ago.

14 Open Teams descended upon Burlington, WA with the same goal. In Hopkins' case - they wanted to repeat. The other 13 teams came to Burlington with the hope to unseat the reigning champions.

Round 1
Gunn HS of the Bay Area is new to the Westerns scene and still came in with a 12th seed. What should've been a happy occasion was cut short by 2nd ranked South Eugene HS. South Eugene HS is led by it's two junior worlds players Dyland Freechild and Aaron Honn. Although Gunn lacked a Team USA player, they did get some stellar leadership and handling from Nathan White and David Hwang. Unfortunately that was not enough as South Eugene cruised to a 13-5 win.

In the third game of Round 1 we saw Seattle Academy roll to a 13-6 win over Bellevue HS. SAAS was led by the deft play of junior John Raynolds and sophomore Justin Lim.

In the last game of Round 1 we saw another new team in #14 ranked Garfield HS of Seattle, WA as they faced the 5th ranked Cathedral Crusaders. The experience of Cathedral's 9 seniors helped them win their game with a score of 12-9.


Round 2
8th ranked Churchill HS became the first upset victim of the day when they ran into the strong play of 11th ranked Lakeside HS. Even with the loss of two junior worlds players, the Big Cats of Lakeside were able to defeat the higher-ranked Churchill team by a score of 12-9 on the strong play of junior Ross Smith and senior Remi Schneider.

Upsets were definitely the theme of the second round as Roosevelt HS fell to the lower ranked Alameda team. Although Roosevelt lost one of the most dynamic youth players in Sockeye's Matt Rehder - they still employed the very strong services of the the Featherston twins: Andrew and Colin. Unfortunately they ran into the precise Alameda offense led by Team USA player Elijah Kerns. Final score:  15-9.

De Smet Jesuit HS is another fresh face on the Westerns team. The 10th ranked team played #4 Nathan Hale very closely throughout the game. Nathan Hale was able to drawn on the inspired leadership of Casey Bateman and Julian Peterson to defeat the athletically gifted De Smet team. Freshman Natan Lee-Engel provided Justin and Casey constant open looks under while playing tenacious man defense. De Smet's #13 Andrew Ladage showed serious wheels on both O and D but it was not enough as Hale pulled out a 13-10 win.

Round 3
In the third round Lakeside HS once again proved that their low ranking may have been a mistake as they put up 8 points against the top seeded Hopkins Hurt team. Final score: 13-8.

In the B Pool - South Eugene took care of business by rolling Bellevue HS by a score of 13-1.

The Northwest School is a perennial powerhouse team. After more-or-less trading points with Alameda HS they put on a run towards the end by tightening up their offense and letting their defense loose. Northwest may have the deepest team in the tournament as multiple players contributed on both sides of the disc. Sensational sophomores Khalif El-Salaam and Jesse Boltan fortified the leadership of Cooper Schumacher in the win.
Nathan Hale finished the day with their third straight win over 5th ranked Cathedral HS. Cathedral used some big throws to stay in the game but in the end Hale's strong zone defense sealed the deal and the Raiders went on to a 12-8 win.

Round 4
The wind picked up in Round 3 and by Round 4 most teams were throwing zone. Hopkins ran a constricting zone and used it to suffocate Churchill HS 15-2.
South Eugene HS improved on it's earlier 13-1 win over Bellevue but shutting out Seattle Academy 13-0. The wind definitely started separating the top four teams from the rest of the crowd.
The Northwest School continued this run of top seeded teams by running over cross-town rival Roosevelt HS 15-4. Louis Cohen and Killian Marsh showed poise with great throws from the handler positions.

De Smet Jesuit lost two close games but seemed to get stronger as the day continued. Unfortunately for Garfield HS - they seemed to hit their peak in the 4th round and ran over the Bulldogs by a score of 13-1.

Round 5
Cross-over games are always interesting and The Northwest School definitely made a statement in their game against defending champions Hopkins. NWS used a combination of man and zone defenses to jump out to an early lead over Hopkins. HURT composed themselves and made some impressive bids to stay in the game but it was too late as the defending champions fell to NWS 13-8.

Lakeside HS finished the day with a close win over cross-town rival Roosevelt HS 12-10 and also advanced to quarter-finals.

De Smet faced Seattle Academy HS and it was obvious that SAAS rebounded from it's shut out loss to South Eugene in the previous game. This was one of the most exciting games in Day 1 and in the end SAAS pulled out a close 12-11 win over the speedy De Smet team. SAAS will face The Northwest School in quarters on Sunday.

Cathedral HS threw a very strong zone vs Gunn's Team Rocket. After running off the first 4 points - it seemed that Cathedral would run away with the game but Gunn was not done. Their handlers started to figure out the Cathedral zone and attacked it with buttery break-mark throws and hammers over the cup. Unfortunately it was too little, too late and Cathedral finished the day with a 13-6 win. They will face in-state rival Hopkins Hurt in quarterfinals tomorrow.

Alameda HS played two strong games but came into the 5th round with a 1-1 record. With the pressure of quarterfinals looming over them - they stepped up their game to the next level and took out Churchill HS 13-7.