2014 HS Central Championships - Boys Saturday Recap

Posted: May 17, 2014 10:56 PM
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Ultimate teams from across the Midwest gathered in Ames, Iowa, today to kick off the first day of the 2014 High School Central Championships. With playing fields located right across the street from Iowa State University’s Jack Trice football stadium, spectators were able to experience the full college-town feel of Ames.

The first game started at 9 a.m., and the weather only improved as the day went on; sunny and mid-60s, which was surely appreciated! Players, coaches and fans alike were excited for an ‘ultimate-filled’ weekend. The following are some highlights from the first day.


Round 1

Pool A had a bye.

B1 Hopkins vs. B3 Geneva

Hopkins pulled away steadily, largely due to their disciplined control of the disc and well-placed passes. Matt Nelson, #10, influenced a lot of the plays made by Geneva, hucking and then hustling back to play defense. Geneva never got down on themselves, as exemplified by Alex King’s celebration flips after a score. Final score: 13-6 Hopkins.

B2 Cathedral vs. B4 Naperville Central

Cathedral’s Charlie Schuweiler, #5, proved to be the playmaker for the Griffin today. His strong disc-handling skills and good eye for open space helped his team get the win. Although Naperville Central didn’t come out on top, #00 Danny Drinkard gets the nod for spot-on throws. Final score: 13-6 Cathedral.

C1 Center Grove vs. C3 Ames

Ames battled hard, but Center Grove just seemed a notch better at every aspect of the game. Donovan Triplett made noise in the end zone – throwing it there or catching goals; Levi Jacobs was another impressive receiver for Center Grove. Ames’ handling crew generally performed well, and they ran classic, sharp cuts, but Center Grove’s defense shut down all but the best or most creative of throws. Final score: 15-8 Center Grove.

D2 Edina vs. D4 Pritzker

Edina had a height advantage over many of the Pritzker players, although both had good defense and ran their zones well. Pritzker had excellent handler movement, but the very athletic Edina team made it tough to move the disc up-field.  Final score: 13-3 Edina.

D1 Neuqua Valley-A vs. D3 James Madison Memorial

Neuqua Valley, the team everyone wanted to face off against, showed stronger throwing discipline compared to Memorial Ultimate. In particular, Jack Shanahan had an arsenal of throws that he used to great success. Memorial’s Adrian Godfrey, #26, and #73 Sam Brooks were notable players during the game. Final score: 13-5 Neuqua Valley.

Round 2

A1 Holy Family Catholic vs. A3 Robbinsdale Armstrong

HFC Revolution had a number of very strong players, notably Jordan Monnin, #30. The Revolution played very clean and had very few turnovers. Armstrong’s #20, Marty Adams, was a key player for the Falcon Punch. He and his teammates were very vocal on the field but appeared to not make very good passing decisions. Final score: 13-4 Holy Family Catholic.

A2 St. Paul Charter vs. A4 Neuqua Valley-B

For a B team, Neuqua Valley really impressed. Their disc skills are well developed, and their handlers worked the disc very well. Michael Nally nabbed a Callahan early in the game. St. Paul played a zone and waited for the inevitable mistake, putting a ton of pressure on all the throws and getting some sneaky turns on swing passes. Jonah Malenfant had a creative arsenal of throws and made it into the end zone himself a number of times for the Stars. Final score: 13-5 St. Paul Charter.

C2 Minneapolis South vs. C3 Ames

South slowed the pace down with a looser zone, forcing Ames to make a lot of passes with few up-field shots. Ames rose to the challenge, up 8-5 at half. On person-to-person defense, the teams played a similar fast-paced style, not wanting to hold the disc much and bouncing it around quickly. The home team pulled off the upset in the end. Final score 9-6 Ames.

D1 Neuqua Valley-A vs. D4 Pritzker

Neuqua Valley-A had good disc control and tight man-to-man defense which ultimately helped them achieve a strong win this afternoon. Pritzker, although trailing for much of the game, appeared patient, looking for plays instead of hucking the disc without steady intentions. They had good handler movement and seemed to regroup after taking a timeout, which helped them score one of their points. Final score: 13-2 Neuqua Valley A.

D2 Edina vs. D3 James Madison Memorial

Cullen Raasch, #71, and Nick Stastny, #99, were the key players in this game, taking responsibility for many of Edina’s assists and goals scored during the game. Memorial’s Nate Swanson, #42, threw several of his team’s assists. Although Memorial was quite athletic, Edina had more skill with the disc, ultimately resulting in another Green Lantern win. Final score: 13-4 Edina.

Round 3

A1 Holy Family Catholic vs. A4 Neuqua Valley-B

Jordan Monnin again proved to be an outstanding "go-getter" player for HFC Revolution. His strong defense and no-fear bids made him stand out. Dom Schuster, #22, also played well. Neuqua Valley-B really brought the heat for a B team, especially given that they were playing the strong and experienced HFC Revolution. Players on the sidelines often yelled "Stay chilly!" to teammates on the field. Final score: 13-3 Holy Family Catholic.

A2 St. Paul Charter vs. A3 Armstrong

Armstrong went up 4-0 to start the game and was ahead 6-1 before St. Paul started chipping away. St. Paul didn’t get too far and had considerable trouble against their opponent’s zone. Armstrong stayed focused in the second half to close it out. Final score: 13-8 Armstrong.

B2 Cathedral vs. B3 Geneva

This was a pretty evenly matched game with a lot of bids from both teams. The Cathedral Griffin showed their experience on the field though, ultimately winning the game convincingly. Final score: 13-7 Cathedral.

B1 Hopkins vs. B4 Naperville Central

Hopkins HUrt played strong all day, showing disciplined disc control and good passing. Naperville, whose program has been around for almost 15 years, just couldn’t get past the HUrt. Final score: 13-3 Hopkins.

C1 Central Grove vs C2 Minneapolis South

Center Grove’s Connor Halloran put up some sweet hammers, and Levi Jacobs had some nasty throws, putting the disc to creative space in this game. South played tough defense, but Center Grove’s throwers and receivers just worked too well together. Final score: 15-5 Center Grove.

Round 4

D1 Neuqua Valley-A vs D2 Edina

This was a barn burner, with big, athletic plays and huge hucks ripped by both teams. Edina went up 5-3, but Neuqua Valley’s defense was relentless. They pulled ahead, and with the time cap closing in, Edina made a few crucial mistakes under the pressure, allowing Neuqua Valley to close it out. Final score: 12-9 Neuqua Valley.

D3 James Madison Memorial vs D4 Pritzker

Pritzker had some solid handling, but Madison had a deeper squad and harried the Pritzker cutters, creating turnovers and then capitalizing on them quickly. The Pritzker defense shut down a number of the under cuts, but the Madison boys could really create room deep and loved to put the disc out to space. Final score: 13-2 James Madison Memorial.

A3 Armstrong vs A4 Neuqua Valley-B

Armstrong dominated this game, putting on a tough zone. The Neuqua Valley-By handlers did well, but the zone didn’t allow many up-field shots. The few that went up often ended up in the hands of the more athletic Armstrong players. Matt Grennstein put up some really pretty hucks for Armstrong, ripping them past the Neuqua Valley defense. Final score: 13-2 Armstrong.

B1 Hopkins vs. B2 Cathedral

Cathedral’s Charlie Schuweiler was quite the impressive player. Schuweiler, a senior, kept the game close, resulting in a neck-and-neck score in the end, although it was Hopkins’ strong play on both offense and defense that ultimately earned them the win. Final score: 10-8 Hopkins.

A1 Holy Family Catholic vs. A2 St. Paul Charter

The St. Paul Stars were in good spirits and fought hard for the entire game, although the strong and aggressive HFC Revolution proved to be more experienced. Key standout players for the Revolution again were Dom Schuster and Jordan Monnin. Final score: 13-4 Holy Family Catholic.

B3 Geneva vs B4 Naperville Central

Geneva took care of business in the final round of pool play, never really allowing Naperville Central a foothold. Final score: 13-6 Geneva.

Round 5 (Crossover Games)

A1 Holy Family Catholic vs. C1 Center Grove

This game was the true definition of a nail-biter. The talented and experienced HFC Revolution played aggressively, but Center Grover came prepared which made for a very tough match-up. Final score: 13-10 Holy Family Catholic.

A3 Armstrong vs. C2 Minneapolis South

This was another tight crossover game with both teams giving their all. There were big plays on both sides, and it came down to hard cap, but Armstrong pulled it out in the end, sending Minneapolis South to the lower pool on Sunday. Final score: 10-9 Armstrong.

B2 Cathedral vs. D3 James Madison Memorial

Cathedral barely held on over a tenacious Madison team. Final score: 8-7 Cathedral.

B1 Hopkins vs D1 Neuqua Valley-A

This one was neck-and-neck the whole game, with the first break coming from Hopkins at 4-3, but the battle continued to be a one-point game, with every throw contested and high stall counts due to shut-down defense. One has to wonder if this game would have had a different outcome, had the final round of pool play not been quite so close for Neuqua Valley-A. The deep shot is Neuqua Valley’s bread and butter, but they are disciplined. So if it wasn’t a good look, they continued to work the disc under, but the Hopkins defense was everywhere. Final score: 11-9 Hopkins.

C2 Ames vs A3 St Paul Charter

Ames came out hard yet calm, using lots of clean passes and well-set-up cuts to dominate St. Paul’s defense. Jack Swanson was everywhere on defense for the hometown team, with big bids and quick hands then ripping the disc deep on offense. St. Paul played a similar quick-moving style, but it was not quite as clean. Leo Sovell-Fernandez was a tireless cutter for the Stars, frequently bailing out his teammates on high stall counts. Final score 13-5 Ames.

D2 Edina vs B3 Geneva

Edina was really just a cut above in both disc skills and athleticism. Geneva came up with some crafty defensive stops against the more athletic team, using a combination of a poachy zone and switches to keep the Edina cutters in check. Geneva’s Matt Nelson chucked it deep and threw some inverted passes to spice things up, but Edina took care of Geneva handily. Final score: 13-5 Edina.

Sunday Outlook

Championship Bracket

Some really tight crossover games, particularly between the number one seeds, mean that despite intra-pool dominance by each of these teams, it could still be anyone’s game. Holy Family starts the day against the eight seed, Cathedral, who kept it fairly tight with Hopkins but was challenged by James Madison Memorial. On the other side of the bracket, Hopkins faces Armstrong. Hopkins had two close ones on Saturday, staying calm in tight spots and maintaining their discipline against tough defense.  Armstrong already broke seed but also showed some grit and toughness in their one-point victory against Minneapolis South in the crossover round, so Hopkins won’t be able to take it easy in their first game of the day. Cedar Grove challenged Holy Family today and is hungry for another shot at them in the finals, but Edina’s height and athleticism are tough to match. Neuqua Valley-A and Ames are sitting in the 4/5 spots: on one side, some big stars and a boatload of experience; on the other, steady hands and a little more height. Neuqua is probably the more consistent team when it comes to throwing, but Ames has strong fundamentals that give them a shot at making semis in their first Centrals appearance. Both teams play tight defense with plenty of bids.

9-12 Bracket

Minneapolis South and Madison Memorial find themselves just two points away from the top bracket and looking to earn the nine spot. Geneva and St. Paul Charter will have something to say about that. For Madison or Geneva, it would still mean breaking seed. South and Geneva match up at 8:30 a.m., and St. Paul meets James Madison Memorial.

13-15 Round Robin

Neuqua Valley-B, Naperville Central and Pritzker Prep are all hungry for their first win of the tournament. Naperville Central scored the most points against the higher seeds today, but Pritzker and Neuqua Valley-B both had excellent handler movement and sound fundamentals. Naperville Central and Pritzker Prep meet up at 8:30 a.m., while Neuqua Valley-B starts a bit later.

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