2012 Club Championships: Friday Masters Recap

Posted: October 27, 2012 01:03 AM

Friday recaps:

Masters Scoreboard

As Tropical Storm Sandy swirled off the eastern coast of Florida, her outer edges shifted to a steadier, stronger breeze from the north. Teams that had adjusted well to the inconsistent crosswind Thursday faced an implacable eighth man when trying to score upwind. As a result, teams like Surly and Boneyard made easy work of their early respective matchups with Burnside and Crawl, getting vital rest before the finish of pool play. Tejas, on the other hand, had a bit more work to do in winning their game against Chesapeaked, mixing in more O-line handlers on upwind points to get the couple breaks needed to win 15-11. In the later rounds, Surly started their game with Chesapeaked in a similar vein, getting an upwinder immediately and then resting their top lines for the quarters, while Boneyard pulled away from Tejas through their usual relentless pressure, breaking the Texan’s backs with a Ray Parrish to Mike Denardis upwinder late. This left Burnside to face Crawl. A Burnside win would get them into the fourth spot, while a loss would possibly leave it to point differential. But a more relaxed, confident Burnside took an early lead and built on it slowly to finish out pool A.

On the other side, pool B remained inscrutable. As Wasted Talent’s Johnny Hock put it, "It’s still a crap shoot." This was nearly proved prophetic, as the Chicago side raced out to an early, wind-aided 8-3 lead over this year’s cardiac kids, Reckon. This would not stand, however, and even the addition of Ron Kubalanza, released from his duties coaching Nemesis to play, could not stem the second half momentum. After Steve Dugan found Aaron Moredock for the upwinder that made it 15-14, the end seemed not in doubt. Johnny Encore and No Country, meanwhile, set themselves up for a last round showdown with wins over the Canadian contingent (Glum and Fig Jam, respectively). Johnny Encore’s Scotty Bennett put their success down to "better D in the later part of the game, and just grinding to set up upwind shots." Their last round game would prove to be not as tight, however, as Encore withstood an early three point run to push past No Country, and an Eric Albright to Jeff Gonder upwind break at 9-7 started the final run to push Johnny Encore to the top of the pool. Reckon, after beating Fig Jam, would take the second spot, and No Country the third. Fourth, of course, came down to the matchup between Glum and Wasted Talent. All game long, the two teams traded points and short runs, with each break answered. With the disc on the upwind line and down 14-12, Wasted Talent could not seal the deal, and Glum would capitalize to take the last spot in the quarters. 
2012Club D2 M LeClaire
[Photo Credit: Kevin Leclaire, UltiPhotos.com]
The elimination round gave us several interesting matchups, with teams getting fired up to try to use the wind as their eighth man. Johnny Encore’s Wes Williams said, "We’re just working… Turtle (Eric Albright) and our handlers were working on how we can play with the wind, make ourselves some space to work in and make the right throws." In practice, their game with Burnside went anything but to script. Burnside, interestingly, looked better going up wind than down at times. Still, after a long stretch where neither team could beat the wind, Encore scored the break with a Turtle to Carl Edwards score. Burnside left their response late, but answered through a 30 yard out from Jeff Flynn. After working the disc all the way to the upwind line on 15-15, however, the Portland side could not seal the deal, and Encore scored swiftly downwind to set themselves up to receive going downwind on 16s. Their opponents for tomorrow will be Surly, who weathered an early No Country upwinder to answer with several of their own, and ran away with the game in the second half. 
Boneyard and Glum started in much the same way, with Boneyard putting in the first break. However, unlike Surly, Glum would not answer, and Boneyard rode their break to a comfortable win. The field over, Tejas and Reckon were reprising their game from 2011. Actually, given the Tejas win in Regionals poolplay and Reckon win in Regional finals, they were repeating the whole experience. This game was hard fought and scrappy the whole way, with both teams managing to score upwind in the early going. Still, unlike 2012, Reckon would not need a Tejas Greatest to wake up and win, taking control with another couple upwinders to grind out the win and reach the semis yet again. In the words of Ryan Balch in the post-game huddle, "We came here for the games tomorrow, boys!" 
With the semis set, the action resumes Friday at the highly civilized hour of 10:30. To what extent the outskirts of Sandy will be joining us is anyone’s guess.
2012Club D2 M2 LeClaire
[Photo Credit: Kevin Leclaire, UltiPhotos.com]
Other observations: 

  • Who says old dogs can’t learn, um, the new rules? In Thursday’s Crawl/Tejas game, a delay of game and a contact call were made in the same point. Well done, gentlemen.
  • Ben "Jammin" Cohen, on the Surly sideline during the semis: "Best about a long point: not being in."

  • Throw of the day, among several awesome throws, was a 40+ yard upwind hammer completed from Mark "Paco" Enright to Dave Boardman. 

  • All day long, pulls featured heavily in the success of teams. Keeping pulls in bounds and getting them past half field up wind were both crucial to keeping defensive momentum. Not surprisingly, the teams that managed the pull the best are our semifinalists.