2010 Westerns Sunday Championship Play - Open Division

Posted: May 9, 2010 08:46 PM

Northwest School vs Seattle Academy
Seattle Academy won a close game vs De Smet yesterday to get into the championship bracket. The momentum from the day before was clearly still in effect as Seattle Academy gave Northwest a fight.
SAAS started with a zone defense that transitioned to man after a set number of throws. Although the defense was strong – the turnovers by NWS were mostly self-inflicted. While SAAS harnessed the momentum from the day before, NWS had a hard time generating much offense in the beginning of the game.
Justin Lim, Peter Sprugel, and Eli Mauksch spearheaded Seattle Academy with strong play on both sides of the disc but it wasn’t enough as

NWS woke up from it’s doldrums and pulled out a 13-8 victory on the backs of Max Sutton’s downfield cutting and the handling of Killian Marsh and Louis Cohen.

Lakeside vs Nathan Hale
In another Seattle quarterfinal we saw Lakeside match up against Nathan Hale HS. Lakeside built on the great work they started on Day 1 and executed well during this game. Matthew Pigott provided great D’s while Ross Smith and Remi Schneider provided offensive firepower.
On the other side – Destin Kawaka was jumping out of the roof on both offensive catches and D blocks. He provided the Raiders a great deep deep safety cushion which allowed D line stalwarts Casey Bateman and Isaac Stockdale lots of opportunities to cause havoc.
Julian Peterson and Mike Cavanaugh provided great offensive balance and in the end Lakeside could not keep up and fell by a score of 8-13.

South Eugene vs Alameda
Having one Junior Worlds player on the roster is a huge benefit. Having two seems almost unfair. This game saw 3 current Team USA players leading their respective teams in battle. If this was a mathematical equation, Aaron Honn of South Eugene canceled out Alameda’s Elijah Kerns. Unfortunately for Alameda, South Eugene also employed the services of senior Dylan Freechiild. That was too much and Alameda fell to the Axemen by a score of 6-13.

Hopkins vs Cathedral
This was the battle for bragging rights in the state of Minnesota. Hopkins hailed from Minnetonka while Cathedral was representing St. Cloud. Hopkins entered the tournament as the Number 1 seed overall but lost that seeding in yesterday’s game vs Northwest. Cathedral went 3-1 on Saturday and looked fired up for this game versus their cross-state rival.

Cathedral employed a strong zone to harass Hopkins. This led to a number of turnovers and quick strike opportunities for Cathedral. Things went back and forth between the two teams but Cathedral rolled off a few in a row towards the end to take the game 13-10.

Nihal Bhakta of Hopkins was a force to be reckoned with throughout the day. He was joined by Josh Klane (Team USA) and provided lots of sparks in their game vs Cathedral. Although Cathedral did not have a junior worlds player they did get that level of play from both Josh Johnson and Jackson Roeder. Both players made a number of dynamic plays that eventually won them bragging rights for the state of MN. That is until these two teams meet again in MN State Championships in early June.

Northwest vs Nathan Hale
This was the Battle of Seattle and pitted two teams who were very familiar with each other. Nathan Hale started on D and pulled to NWS. Hale sets up in a man D and NWS gets into the horizontal stack. Max Sutton gets up for a score for the first point. The teams begin to trade points with Nathan Hale getting great plays from Destin, Natan, Casey, Cavanaugh, Zhi Chen and Julian. NWS had great contributions from it’s regular cast of stars. Cooper, Louis, Killian, Jesse, Khalif, Kristoff, and Max Sutton. Diego Najera had a sweet layout catch to keep possession!

In the end NWS has a few more playmakers than Nathan Hale and finishes a closes game with 13-11 victory.

South Eugene vs Cathedral
The story of the game for Cathedral was their inability to march the disc against South Eugene’s zone defense. The Cathedral handlers worked hard during each possession but eventually either a great D by South Eugene or a miscue by Cathedral ended their chances.

South Eugene marched to a huge lead and never gave Cathedral a chance. Aaron Honn and Dylan Freechild were clearly the two best players on the field. It seems that Cathedral peaked in their quarterfinals game vs in-state rival Hopkins and had nothing left in the tank for the juggernaut that is South Eugene.

The Axeman ended their game quickly with a 13-3 win and got a chance to rest while scouting the NWS vs Nathan Hale game.

Northwest School vs. South Eugene
The weather for the 2010 Westerns Open Finals was absolutely perfect. Sunny, a little bit of wind, warm but not hot and lots of spectators. South Eugene came into finals with a fairly easy game vs Cathedral while the Northwest School scratched and clawed for every point in a street fight with Nathan Hale.

I won’t bore you with the play by play details and minutiae of every point. Overall it seemed like NWS didn’t have enough to answer the amazing play of Aaron Honn and Dylan Freechild. Dylan was definitely the star of the show and was unstoppable for the Axemen. NWS tried all the options they had in their attempts to contain Dylan. They sent Cooper Schumacher, Jesse Bolton, Christophe, and Khalif against Dylan. Dylan still scored or threw the assist for the majority of South Eugene’s scores.

NWS was able to run with South Eugene in spurts. But they just could not sustain a high performance. They would make a great play and then overthrow an open receiver. Or they’d throw it into a poached defender. They started to make small errors and South Eugene seemed to capitalize every time. At halftime the score was 7-5 South Eugene.

But to NWS’s credit – they never gave up. Towards the end of the game - the NWS coach Alex Wells pleaded for his team to leave everything they had on the fields. Win or lose. No one denies the effort the NWS players gave that day. In the end it wasn’t enough but every player on both teams should be proud. South Eugene wins 13-8.

Congratulations to South Eugene HS. The Axemen are your 2010 UPA HS Westerns champions!