2013 High School Western Championships - Saturday Recap

Posted: June 2, 2013 08:21 AM


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Open Division (Scoreboard)

The morning was warm, with the sun already in the sky by the time the first round started. One could tell it was going to be not only a great day, but a great day for ultimate. With the pools set and the teams warming up, we all began asking ourselves questions. Who would set themselves up to make a run at the title? Will there be a Cinderella?

In the open division, the first round of play hosted only two games, both neck and neck. The battle between Corvallis High School and Atascadero High School was a back and forth game featuring an exciting array of plays, with a hammer taking the game to half time. Atascadero went on a small run out of half that ended up being too much for Corvallis to overcome. On the other field was Fairview High and Nathan Hale, two teams who play very different styles of ultimate. Nathan Hale ran a short and fast handler movement game while Fairview utilized their deep game, hucking whenever there was a good shot. Both proved to be effective, but the more conservative Nathan Hale came out on top.

The start of round two brought in the rest of the teams. Now with six games being played, the buzz started to amp up. South Eugene took the field for their first game against Nathan Hale who already had one win under their belt. The game started with Nathan Hale coming out strong and taking an early lead. It would prove to be not quite enough as South Eugene stormed back to take half 7-6. After a few traded points, the hard cap horn sounded, South calmly called time out and followed up with an inside out flick to win the game. An early surprise came with Berkeley High upsetting Roosevelt High. Berkeley came out with very high energy, working the disc very smoothly down the field. Roosevelt played a strong game, but after taking advantage of some unfortunate errors, Berkeley took the game. A similar story played out for Sheldon High in their win over Garfield to open the day; a very effective huck game and a strong zone ended up pushing them over the edge for the victory.

A different feeling was in the air to begin round three. After a first round that was full of energy, round two was the long stretch where teams began to settle in and play their respective games. Easily the loudest game of the day was between Berkeley and Franklin High. Both teams boasted strong sidelines and very intense play. Franklin, coming out of their off season, had just a little too much rust to knock off, and Berkeley came out on top. Not far away, Monarch and Sheldon were playing a tight game of their own. Sheldon continued to showcase their strong deep game while the Monarchs worked the disc through the zone. The Monarchs tipped the game in their favor with a break coming out of half.

As round four started, we really began to see the team’s conditioning. The round saw a few more turnovers than had been committed earlier in the day, but that didn't stop anyone from playing solid defense. Crescent Valley and Berkeley began their game with both teams tenaciously going after the disc. Unfortunately, Crescent Valley’s smaller roster didn't have the legs to keep up, and Berkeley again came away with the victory. On the other side of the complex, South Eugene was working to take care of business in a close game with Atascadero. In the best game of the round, both teams played calm and collected. South Eugene's defense proved to be a little too much as the horn sounded, and the Axemen came away with the win. Next door, Fairview and Corvallis played a great game. Going into half with the score tight, Fairview found their intensity and came out firing on all cylinders and with a zone defense that forced Corvallis into tough throws. In the end, Fairview tallied the win.

The crossover round featured a battle between Sheldon and Roosevelt for the last spot in the championship bracket. Both teams came out with passion and really wanting the win. In a tight game tied at three all, Roosevelt had a great pull to the back of the end zone; the defense flew down the field and forced Sheldon into a tough throw that was caught for a Callahan. The score was a huge boost for Roosevelt who went on a 4-1 run, putting the game almost out of reach. Continued hard defense from both teams kept the game within striking distance for Sheldon, but Roosevelt's patient offense against a strong zone was the nail in the coffin. Roosevelt came away with a hard-fought 11-10 win and the final spot in Sunday’s championship bracket.

All the teams played hard today, and I was very impressed with the sportsmanship that was shown across the board. I am eager to get back to the fields to see what Sunday brings.   


Girls' Division (Scoreboard)

Saturday’s four rounds of pool play shook up the girls’ division. Colorado’s Monarch High School remained at the top of the field while the remaining five teams jockeyed for spots two through six. Monarch’s organized and up-tempo game allowed only nine points total through the first four games. Roosevelt High School, bringing a host of Seattle talent, played a tough game against Monarch but only managed four points. Roosevelt gained confidence throughout the day as players from other Seattle high schools integrated into the Roosevelt system. The team won its remaining games by increasing margins.

South Eugene played the two most competitive games of the day back-to-back. REBEL lost to Roosevelt in an 11-7 decision; both teams began to utilize their long game before half time and continued to look deep in the second half. Although REBEL forced turnovers, the Rough Rider defense answered. South Eugene followed up the defeat with a tough win against Corvallis Ladies Ultimate (CLU). South opened up the scoring, but CLU fought back to within one just before half time. A dropped pass would have converted a break point for CLU to take half, but South scored on the other end with a layout grab to maintain momentum. The hard cap horn ended CLU’s hopes of tying the game, and South walked away with a hard-earned victory.

Summit and Garfield’s 10-4 result does not reflect the competitive nature of the game. The two teams traded points going into half before Summit ran away with the game.

The four Saturday rounds set up an important fifth round of pool play that will take place early tomorrow morning. South Eugene, who came in as the five seed and ended Saturday in the three spot, can spoil Monarch’s perfect record and complicate bracket seeding. CLU and Summit will be fighting each other for a spot in the championship bracket.

Sunday should start and end with excitement in the girls’ division.

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