2012 Grand Masters Championship - Sunday Recap

Posted: September 3, 2012 07:24 AM

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Waking up for the second day of action at Grandmasters Championships, it felt strange to still have pool games on the table. Still, as the teams filtered in and started warming up in fits and starts; it was excellent to see such a long lineage of Ultimate preparing to do battle once again. 

While many of the pool play games were formalities with little at stake, several interesting developments gave the morning a bit of spice and urgency. None of the teams in Pool A moved from Saturday’s results, and the defending champs seemed to go into pre-quarters on cruise control, using defensive pressure and good break mark throws to get by a game Old Line side, while Le Grande Tigre rode the play of Chris Fontes, among others, to a comfortable win over Sick Hammers.

Similarly, the matchup of DoG and Old Milwaukee offered little drama, other than the continued strong play of Old Milwaukee’s Bradley Strahan. Pool D’s other game, between T-Rex and Iron City, however, was a barn burner, remaining tight for the duration until a short Iron City turn gave T-Rex a clear look into the end zone to take the game at cap. David Kaminski for T-Rex and Iron City’s Carmon Rinehart both provided more than their share of offense in this game. 

Surly shook off a slower start to continue their solid start, putting away Moscow State, despite the defensive efforts of Peter Konigsberg, among others. Georgetown Brewing, meanwhile, had their hands full with a resurgent Age Against the Machine. While up a break early on, Georgetown fought to keep it against a tough effort from Age, led by Dave Mancino. The loss put Age into fifth, owing to point differential between the three teams finishing 1 and 3.
The pool where things got really interesting was B, as predicted, where Boulder Gun Club’s efficient win over Man Down and Brooklyn’s win over Ozark Hillbillys created a three-way tie for the pool. According to Ozark, Brooklyn’s D and ability to hold their breaks overcame solid play by Mike Jaris and Jon Bitler as the game finished out. Point differential gave Man Down the advantage, with Brooklyn next and Ozark coming in at fourth. 
As the pre-quarters began, the tournament began to hold overall seed. Most of the games were fairly one-sided affairs, though the strengthening wind proved bothersome to every team’s overall flow. In the matchup between T-Rex and Old Line, a tight back and forth game featured several long throws and corresponding big D. With cap on, Old Line could not punch the ticket, and T-Rex won the right to face local boys Surly in the quarterfinal. Old Line’s Bill Dristy and T-Rex’s Ed Fox were frequently the origins of the long throws sailing to their long cutters. The other tight pre-quarter pitted Iron City against Moscow State. Reversing their earlier capped loss, Iron City pulled out the win with solid performances by Brad Moser and Mark Davies, despite a strong showing from Tim Sultan and Sam Lee for Moscow State. 
With the quarters set up, Boulder Gun Club, Surly and Scrapple all pushed forward comfortably, with each team rotating their lines and looks to keep key players fresh for Monday. Though their respective opponents put together moments of solid play, the overall depth and adaptability of these teams was too much to overcome for the opposition. And then there was DoG and Georgetown Brewing. With Georgetown working in an upwind point off the bat, the signal was sent that this quarter would not go gently to plan. Georgetown pushed the score to 8-5 at half, only to see DoG rally to get back within one after a 3-1 run. While the lads of DoG were solid as ever on the handler movement, the pressure that Georgetown was able to bring left DoG out of sorts and out of ideas. One player who really put together a solid game here for Georgetown was Alex Blanton, who came off the bench and parleyed his chances into several points and a D or two. 


2012GM Kotvis Sun
PHOTO CREDIT: Steve Kotvis (f/go)
As the field prepared for Monday’s semifinal matches, a few things stood out as important going forward:
  • Matthew Shaff of Le Grande Tigre came one hand block shy of five during Sunday play. One more and he would have gotten ‘the Glove,’ according to teammates.
  • The oldest roster (average, not median) at the tournament is actually Sick Hammers, who beat out Old Milwaukee by .2 years, 47.2 to 47 even.
  • The youngest roster at the tournament is Boulder Gun Club, coming in at a very low 42.13, beating out Le Grande Tigre, second youngest at 43.158 years.
  • Oldest player on the field, Greg Williams of Surly, caught the game-winning score in the quarterfinal against T-Rex.
The consolation bracket did indeed have another round after quarters, but this reporter admits that he needed to head home for a shower and dinner before catching some of the gathering at Surly Brewery. Heading into tomorrow’s semifinals, the action looks to get even more intense. Hope to see you at the fields or right here as Grandmasters Championships 2012 finishes up on Monday!