2014 Westerns Championships - Boys Sunday Recap

Posted: June 2, 2014 11:48 AM

Corvallis, Ore. (June 1, 2014) – Sunday of the 2014 HS Western Championships proved to be just as electric and exciting as Saturday.

The quarterfinal games, which were arguably the most exciting games of the tournament, all went down to the wire, with the exception of the Northwest School v. Nathan Hale match up.  Northwest came out explosively, scoring quickly with their now-expected and still seemingly unstoppable deep shots from Alex Olson to the streaking Sam Cook. The pair would connect for numerous goals. Nathan Hale fought back with strong handler movement centered around Adrian Eldridge and gritty defense. They pulled within three at 6-9, but that was as close as it got. Whenever a Nathan Hale cutter broke free, it seemed like there were two more Northwest defenders closing in to pick up the slack. After trading points the rest of the way, Northwest took the quarterfinals 12-9. Nathan Hale would drop down and lose a placement game for fifth against their cross-town rival, the Franklin High School Quakers 13-11 to hold seed, and finish the weekend tied for seventh overall.

Another cross-town rivalry being played out in the quarters was the Ballard High School Buff versus the Franklin High School Quakers. After Ballard went up 2-1 with a break to start the game, the teams traded points before Franklin was able to tie it at 6-6. They were off to the races from there. Ballard's Daniel Lorigan piloted the distribution end of disc, leading his team in assists for the game. Mahki Sanders led Franklin in goals, while Ivan Lee, Cy Yuman and Earl Le all racked up three assists a piece. Despite trading for most of the first half, Ballard would go back by up two breaks early in the second. Franklin earned back one of those breaks off a huge D from Eugene Ruff, who would end up leaving the field on an injury as a result of the play. Franklin went on to score and bring it back within one. With hard cap on and the score sitting at 11-10  in Ballard's favor, Franklin would get an opportunity to force double-point off a clutch point block by Sam Herman. But not to be outdone, Ballard's Daniel Lorigan answered back with a point block of his own on the very next throw. Ballard would march the disc down the field and punch it in to end the game 13-11 and stave off double-game point. Ballard moved on to the semifinals, and Franklin was set to play for fifth.

In the third quarterfinal, we saw two of the three non-Washington schools left in the quarters duke it out for a shot in semis. The Berkeley High Coup faced off against the Crescent Valley Raiders on their home turf. Crescent Valley went up early, firing off two breaks, both off of hucks from Aaron Peterschmidt to Nick Hartwig to go up 4-2. Crescent Valley’s 2-4-1 zone look provided Berkeley with something to think about while athletic plays from Peterschmidt carried Crescent Valley to a halftime score of 7-6. Berkeley was far from out of it, down only one goal, and kept plugging away with physical defense and some huge plays of their own, including two spectacular layout blocks from senior Dylan Owens. Their second-half intensity and a lack of focus from Crescent Valley allowed a Berkeley 3-0 run out of half that put them up 9-6. Crescent Valley battled back and scored one break off a point block from Drew Peterschmidt, but it wasn’t enough. Berkeley maintained their lead and closed out the game with a final score of 13-11. Berkeley advanced to face the winner of the last quarterfinal match up between Summit Storm, the surprise team of the tournament, and the Roosevelt Rough Riders who narrowly eked out a quarterfinal spot by defeating the Oregon State champion Sheldon Irish on double-game point on Saturday afternoon.

Like the crossover game win that kept Roosevelt in Sunday's championship bracket, their quarterfinal match up against Summit would also be decided on double-game point. Roosevelt went up early, 4-2, showing more depth than they had earlier in the tournament. Roosevelt's Noah Kregenow saved a possession with a huge layout grab before finding Max Mayer for the goal. But Summit didn’t get into the quarters by accident, and despite some hotly contested calls and points, they managed to battle back with remarkable tenacity. Summit simply seemed to out-hustle Roosevelt for second-chance opportunities, saving broken plays. After back-to-back unforced errors by Roosevelt, Summit tied the game at 8-8 and broke to win on double-game point, sending themselves into the semifinals. Roosevelt played a pool play rematch against Crescent Valley for fifth place. Crescent Valley came out on top in that rematch, as they had in pool play, but both teams broke seed, with Roosevelt finishing tied for seventh place and Crescent Valley tied for fifth.

With anticipation growing and competition heating up along with the afternoon, we headed into the semifinal matches, which remarkably were less tense then any of the quarterfinal games. Northwest faced off against Ballard and took the game 13-2 before the other semi, Summit against Berkeley, had even reached halftime. Northwest coaches Alex Wells and Reid Koss attribute their team’s dominant semifinal performance to consistency and a great defensive contribution from their bench. #2, junior, Sam Cook continued to get open at will and brought Northwest into halftime at 7-1 with a ridiculous layout grab on a pass thrown by Sam Lehman.

While the Berkeley v. Summit game was the closer of the two semifinals, it wasn’t much closer. Berkeley went up 4-2 thanks to their physical defense and heads-up play. Jeremy Dolezal-Ng snagged a great block, which Berkeley would convert on to go up yet another break. Summit fought back by mixing up their defensive looks. Their zone generated a big block from Ryan Schluter in the cup, but Berkeley ran away with the game, final score 13-5.

For the second year in a row, Berkeley advanced to the finals. In 2013, they fell to South Eugene High School in the championship game. After a year away from Westerns, Northwest was back with a chance at reclaiming the title. Northwest started on offense and managed to score off their first throw, a huck from Alex Olson to Sam Cook, who boxed his defender and went up strong and came down with a 1-0 lead. Despite a huge layout block by Olson, Berkeley held on and scored their offensive point. Olson continued to dominate the game on both sides of the disc, ripping huck after huck to hit streaking receivers in stride. Northwest took a strong halftime lead at 7-4 with big blocks coming from Sam Lehman and massive grabs from Sam Cook. Not to be outdone, Berkeley’s Ian Sweeny put on a tremendous defensive effort, coming up with a point block on Olson as well as two great layout Ds, but it was not enough to stop the bleeding as Northwest continued to pull away.

Northwest went on to win 13-8, holding their initial number one overall seed and collecting the medals as the 2014 High School Western champions. 

Congratulations to Northwest for their tournament win and dominant performance throughout the weekend and to all the teams for their terrific play!

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