2014 Westerns Championships - Boys Saturday Recap

Posted: June 1, 2014 12:25 AM

Corvallis, Ore. (May 31, 2014) - Day one of the 2014 High School Western Championships kicked off with a bang as we saw a rematch of last year’s finals between the South Eugene Axemen and the Berkeley High Coup in the first round of play in Pool B. Berkeley, coming off a win at the California State Championships over in-state rival Atascadero High School, and a second-place finish at Westerns last year, Coup was back with a new spring in their step and ready for a rematch. South, however, would be the first one to strike, and strike they did. Going out to a 3-0 lead with great defensive pressure and quick strikes deep, including a huge grab from senior Alex Penderson, despite triple coverage. Berkeley would battle back and bring tie the game off a monstrous layout by sophomore Colby Chuck. Tied at 8-8, South scored the next point to go up 9-8 with the cap horn blowing mid-point. The horn should have ended the game, but due to some miscommunication or misunderstanding, both teams agreed to play a game to 11. Berkeley then scored their offensive point and punched in two breaks for the win, preventing the upset. South ended up 1-2 in pool play and lost their crossover against Ballard High School to drop down into the consolation bracket. Berkeley went 3-0, defeating Nathan Hale High School and hometown-team Corvallis High School, to earn themselves a trip straight to the quarterfinals tomorrow morning.

As the day heated up, so did the competition in Pool A. The top-seeded Northwest School faced off against crosstown rival Roosevelt High School Rough Riders in the second round. Northwest wasted no time showing us why they were the one seed. They broke early, hitting receivers in stride on uncontested deep throws. Northwest’s shallow horizontal set allowed them plenty of room to attack the end zone with phenomenal hucks, including a stationary, break-mark huck from senior Sam Lehman. After going down early, Roosevelt started to grind and traded points with Northwest off the back of their dominate handlers: senior Eric Huynh and sophomore Kai Marcus who got literally every other throw. After a spectacular layout D by Roosevelt’s Brian Walker, the Rough Riders were able to bring the game within one. With time running out, Roosevelt scored to make it 9-8. Northwest, with the horn coming on just after the goal, needed to score to prevent double-game point. There would be no upsets in Pool A today, and Northwest marched down the field with conviction and scored to end the game 10-8. Northwest would continue to dominate and go undefeated in pool play, guaranteeing themselves a spot in the quarterfinals tomorrow.

Roosevelt, on the other hand, would go on to lose a contentious game against the second local team, the Crescent Valley Raiders. Down 3-1 to start, Crescent Valley began a run with a full-field huck from senior Thomas Kneeland to fellow senior Aaron Peterschmidt,. The throw was called back on a contested in/out call, only to be fired straight back to Peterschmidt, who this time, went horizontal for the goal. Crescent Valley pulled out the win, 10-8, with sophomore Quinn Buermeyer, reeling in the final goal to seal an emotional victory and avoid repeating their 2013 Westerns double-game-point loss to Roosevelt. Roosevelt ended up 1-2 in the pool, with Crescent Valley going 2-1. Both teams won their crossovers – Roosevelt with a double-game-point win over Oregon State champions Sheldon High School, and Crescent Valley over Colorado’s Lakewood High School. Both teams earned spots in the quarterfinals.

In pools C and D, we saw huge upsets as the second seed in Pool D, the Franklin High School Quakers, came out on top of a three-way tie between Franklin, Sheldon and Lakewood to advance to the quarters, while Lakewood and Sheldon were forced to play crossovers for a shot at the championship bracket. As the wind picked up, so did the ferocity of Summit High School’s Storm. Summit, who started as the 11th overall seed, upset both the eight seed, Ballard High School, and the three seed, Atascadero High School’s Mud Pit Gladiators, by going 3-0 on the day. Summit stormed their way to the quarterfinals with junior Cameron Wisecarver leading the charge. Atascadero will miss out on championship bracket play after losing their crossover to Nathan Hale, while Ballard clinched the final spot in the quarters by defeating South Eugene 10-7 in their crossover.

The excitement builds for tomorrow morning’s quarterfinal match-ups, featuring the Washington grudge matches between Nathan Hale and Northwest School, and the Franklin Quakers versus Ballard High Buff. On the other side of the bracket, we’ll see Oregon’s and California’s representation at Westerns with Summit Storm taking on the Roosevelt Rough Riders and Crescent Valley’s Raiders versus the Berkeley High Coup.


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