May 13, 2014 by Eric Williams in News, Recap with 24 comments
GREENVILLE — The Carolina Friends Fighting Quakers from Durham, NC, went a perfect 6-0, including a 12-7 victory over Independence Flight in the finals, to capture their first ever Southerns regional championship.
All weekend long, the defensive pressure from the Quakers on opponents allowed them to separate from the competition. Despite having many offensive turnovers from their star handlers, most were deep downfield, allowing their zone defense to set up and force team’s offenses to go the distance to score.
In the final, Carolina Friends through out a number of different zone adjustments in the first half to frustrate Independence. They started on defense first and closed out the first half up 7-6 (just one break). Though the one point lead seemed small, it was right where Carolina wanted it to be.
CFS received the disc to start the second half and scored after trading turnovers, opening up a two point advantage and allowing their defensive line to control the rest of the game. As their transition offense was reluctant to throw long and risky break throws, their defense got the better of Flight and only allowed a single score in the second half.
From flashy offense to strategic defenses to their loud supporting sideline, the full team effort from Carolina Friends is what made the difference. Coming from a one point loss in last year’s semifinals, CFS knew what they had to do and their team morale all season long kept them in a straight path to their championship run.
With an impressive 31-2 season record, the Carolina Friends Fighting Quakers are the 2014 USAU Southern Champions.
Tar Heel State Played To Win
It would not be a great tournament without some upsets; most of the teams that broke seed were from North Carolina.
Chapel Hill High School and Carrboro High School are a part of the great youth scene from the Triangle area in NC. Multiple players from each school are teammates on either the U19 or U16 Triangle teams that compete each summer at the Youth Club Championships.
Chapel Hill, led by UNC-Wilmington commit Kevin Mateer, knew they deserved to be in the top four conversation and proved it by winning their pool and dominating their quarterfinal matchup against the Virginia State Champion HB-Woodlawn.
Carrboro Clams had a tough draw for their pool being put as a fourth seed behind Blackman, HB-Woodlawn, and Paideia. Although not dominant, this hot and cold team managed an exciting comeback win their cross-over game on double game point against the Brookwood Inferno.
Both schools broke seed with Chapel Hill finishing tied for third and Carrboro with a substantial climb from the initial 13th seed, toward finishing tied for fifth overall. Both schools might have gone further, but were bounced from championship contention by in-state rival and eventual champion Carolina Friends. They’ll get a shot at revenge next weekend at the North Carolina State Championships.
Yorktown Patriots Are Spirit of the Game Winners
The Yorktown Patriots have played many games this season: some lost, some won. But one thing that remains consistent is their commitment toward Spirit of the Game.
At High School Regionals competition, every team captain after every game gives a spirit score to the other team based on opponent’s spirit on a scale from one to five.
During the award ceremony at High School Southerns, it was announced that Yorktown received a perfect score from their opponent. At Paideia Cup, the same award was bestowed to them (though the criteria were slightly different at Paideia). Through two different tournaments and two different avenues of measuring a team’s integrity, Yorktown shows a prime example of honoring the game.
During the crossover round and bracket play, many in-state rivalries and top region rematches took place, making the final say of just who is the better team. The last round on Saturday held two friendly state tournament rematches.
Yorktown just the week before had defeated Woodside in the Virginia State semifinals. Woodside felt up to the rematch at first but the Patriots quickly jumped out on top in the first half and never looked back, finishing with a score of 13-4.
Grady Gauntlet and Lakeside Vikings had been neck and neck the whole season long and while Lakeside placed higher than Grady at the Georgia State Championship, the Gauntlet was ready to throw down. Jumping out to a commanding 4-1 lead early, Lakeside was flustered. Despite attempts of rallying back the lead was never cut below four, and Grady won 12-7 to advance to bracket play.
Just like that, Lakeside started as fourth overall but dropped out of the top eight teams.
Sunday saw two high level rematches, both including Paideia Gruel. With Grady getting into bracket play they set themselves up to have one last shot against beating the Georgia State Champions. Grady started strong, capitalizing on Gruel’s turnovers and opening up a 5-2 lead. Paideia was down but not out, as they staged a retaliation to take the first half 7-6 and with a four point run in the second half Paideia won 12-8.
Prior to Southerns Independence Flight had played Paideia once all season, a 10-12 loss at Music City Mash Up. The two point loss took place in March and Flight was ready to push Gruel to the limit in the semifinals.
Once the first half started, Flight never stopped their fast paced offense for a second. Independence flew to every disc in sight and converted on most defensive points. Flight restricted Gruel to a season low four points. As the last point was scored, Independence Flight celebrated their first victory ever over Paideia, 13-4.
Top Seven Players (in no particular order)
#88 Nathan Haskell, Senior, Paideia School
#2 Solomon Yanuck, Senior, Carolina Friends School
#43 Joe Freund, Junior, Yorktown High School
#12 Kevin Mateer, Senior, Chapel Hill High School
#2 Mac McClellan, Senior, Independence High School
#9 Marcus Rovner, Junior, Carrboro High School
#45 Carter Rae, Senior, Independence High School
1st – Carolina Friends School
2nd – Independence High School
t-3rd – Paideia School
t-3rd – Chapel Hill High School
t-5th – Carrboro High School
t-5th – Yorktown High School
t-7th – HB-Woodlawn Secondary School
t-7th – Grady High School
9th – Brookwood High School
10th – Lakeside High School
t-11th – Catholic High School
t-11th – East Chapel Hill High School
t-13th – Blackman High School
t-13th – Fernandina Beach High School
t-15th – Woodside High School
t-15th – University School of Nashville