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Revolution Outlast Neuqua in Boys Rivertown Throwdown Final

With an undefeated weekend from Revolution, Holy Family Catholic swept the boys and girls divisions in their home tournament.

Neuqua Valley and Holy Family Catholic at the 2015 USAU HS Central Championships.
Neuqua Valley and Holy Family Catholic at the 2015 USAU HS Central Championships.

A Saturday with little drama gave way to an upset filled Sunday as a field of 16 high school teams met in Mason, Ohio this past weekend for the boys division of Rivertown Throwdown. Hosted by Holy Family Catholic and local disc organization Oshadega, the tournament was marked by tough Saturday weather with temperatures in the 30s and consistent rain and wind. As the conditions improved on Sunday, few teams were able to truly challenge the hosts or top seeded Neuqua Valley, who met in a thrilling final.

Saturday Pool Play

Pool A
Neuqua Valley (1), Centerville (8), Lexington Catholic (13), Masterman (12)

Pool B
Independence (2), Central Kentucky Homeschool (7), Fox Chapel Area (11), Lebanon (14)

Pool C
Holy Family Catholic (3), Center Grove (6), Hampton (10), Moeller (15)

Pool D
Blackman (4), North Allegheny (5), Milford (9), Geneva (16)

With cold, nasty conditions the backdrop for Pool Play, you may have expected Saturday to be the day filled with upsets. Typically in bad weather, the rain and wind can help level the playing field for lower seeded teams able to take advantage of their opportunities. But that was not the case in Mason on Saturday. While games throughout the day were riddled with turns, all top seeds won out fairly convincingly and pools almost universally went to seed1, as the teams with the most experience were consistently able to come out on top. Still, the inclement weather did not stop teams and individuals from making a number of highlight plays.

In round one, Neuqua Valley (Naperville, IL) put away a Masterman (Philadelphia, PA) team that was definitely up a good fight, but just could not hang with the tourney’s number one seed, falling 15-2. The Centaurs did contribute one of the highlights of the game, with Kevin Zhu putting an insane inside crossfield flick into the endzone for a score at one point — not the type of throw you see from a youth player every day.

On the next field over, amidst a 15-7 win over Lexington Catholic (Kentucky), a cutter on Centerville (Ohio) made a beautiful goal catch, toeing the line to snag a disc that would have otherwise gone out.

Later in the day, Lebanon (Ohio) was able to capitalize on some turns well early in a third round match up with Fox Chapel (Pittsburgh, PA). However, the Foxes kept their spirits up despite the cold rain2 and exhibited a very patient offense against Lebanon’s zone to eventually pull away for a 15-4 win.

Independence Flight (Thompsons Station, TN), despite being a little scrappy around the edges, were able to consistently get the disc upline against Central Kentucky and jumped out to a big lead. Even when Pi switched to their zone, they failed to sufficiently guard both spaces and players enough to shut Independence down, eventually falling 15-1.

In a last round Pool C match up, Center Grove (Greenwood, IN) showed promise, but Holy Family Catholic Revolution (the tournament hosts from Cincinnati, OH) simply has far more experience and maturity in their skills and utilized the wind to their advantage in a 15-4 victory. Like many of the teams in the field, the Trojans just need to play out more of their season to see success.

Saturday afternoon’s prequarter round also stuck to the seeding script, setting up an all Top 8 quarterfinals.

Sunday Bracket

After the rainy opening day of the tournament, the sun came out for Sunday’s bracket play — and so finally did the upsets.

After a 15-4 defeat of Fox Chapel in the prequarters, 6 seed Center Grove continued their run through the bracket taking down 4 seed Blackman and earning a berth in the semifinals against the winner of Neuqua Valley and Central Kentucky Homeschool — who had snuck by Hampton (Allison Park, PA) in the prequarters on Saturday afternoon. While the tournament’s top seed took care of business against Pi, 2 seed Independence fell on double game point in their quarterfinal. Eight seeded Centerville had played a very close pool play game with Neuqua Valley on Saturday and proved it was no fluke by following it up with the upset of Flight. That set up a semifinal matchup with hosts and 3 seed Holy Family Catholic, who held off North Allegheny in the last quarterfinal.

Elsewhere, the game of the tournament may have taken place in the first round of the consolation bracket Sunday morning, as in-state foes Hampton and Masterman played to a controversial end. Late in the game, Scott Phillips from Masterman caught a fully horizontal layout score in the endzone which would have tied the game and given them a chance at a comeback win. Instead, a player on the Hampton squad called it down and the disc was returned to the thrower. Masterman ran out of time to complete their comeback as the game ended in hard cap with a one point victory for Hampton. Despite the loss, the Centaurs stood out all weekend for the big heart exhibited by such a small squad.

In the semifinals, Neuqua Valley and the Center Grove Trojans went head-to-head in the battle for a spot in the finals. Center Grove was playing good defense to keep the game close, tipping the disc on a number of occasions throughout, though unable to capitalize on those opportunities. With a chance to tie the game going downwind, the Trojans turned the disc near their own endzone and Neuqua Valley quickly threw the disc to an upline cut into the upwind endzone for a galvanizing score. Neuqua would take control of the game from their and claim a 13-9 victory.

Standout performances came from Neuqua Valley handler Dylan Power and #133, who ran circles around his mark to get open under at will, helping Neuqua’s movement. On Center Grove, handler Connor Henderson stood out for his contributions to the Trojans’ successes.

In the other semifinal, Holy Family Catholic dominated Centerville, taking the win at 13-5. Standout players from this game included defensive cutter Jordan Monnin of Revolution and Joe White, handler for Centerville.

Final

The final game Sunday had spectators on the edge of their seats as the home team took on the top seed for the title.

Holy Family Catholic got away early, taking the game’s first three points and all the momentum, until #7 on Neuqua Valley got the disc back in a clutch moment. On the next point, after a turn by Revolution, #7 caught the score that brought Neuqua Valley back to within one. Neuqua seemed to have no issue getting the disc upline into the wind which was a big part of their success.

Neuqua Valley was utilizing an effective three-man zone defense to try to stay in the game. Holy Family employed a similar tactic, with a slight variation. In addition to the three-man cup, they placed a fourth defender on the off handler, taking away reset options close to the disc. With the Revolution zone giving up some options in the middle of the field, Neuqua Valley’s #13 stood out as an active cutting option and helping out the restricted handlers. Dylan Power also played a crucial role after his star turn in the semifinal.

On the other side, Jordan Monnin again had a huge game for Holy Family Catholic, including a full horizontal grab in the endzone.

At 7-6 Revolution, a big Neuqua Valley crossfield hammer tied up the score. With the game in the cap, the teams then traded downwind holds to 8-8 to set up double game point. After a Holy Family Catholic turnover, Neuqua Valley worked the disc up the field only to turn it in the Revolution endzone. Holy Family got the disc back with a D from Mark Schuster and was able to punch it in for the final score, taking the game 9-8 and the tournament title.


  1. The only upset on the day saw 13 seed Lexington Catholic upend 12 seed Masterman 

  2. For some reason yelling “Kareem Abdul-Jabbar” in between points to amuse themselves. 

  3. Sorry I didn’t catch this name! 

  1. Kathleen Nottingham
    Avatar

    Kathleen started playing ultimate with University of Wisconsin Eau Claire SOL in 2007. Follow her on Twitter at @not__ham.

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