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Cin City Classic 2012

Cin City Classic 2012
July 14th and 15th
Cincinnati, OH
This weekend Steamboat stayed home for a tournament at the familiar Clear Creek practice and league fields. The team was proud to be hosting 7 other top club mixed teams from the area and also anxious to play their first club regular season games. Combine that with great ultimate weather and Steamboat was really ready to roll. Based on results from Down with the Clown, Steamboat came into the tournament seeded 3rd, but this would have very little impact on the weekend based on the straight pool play format.
Saturday started off with a game against Liquid Hustle from Indianapolis. Both teams battled early on to take control, and eventually Steamboat would start to pull away. With 3 breaks in the first half, Steamboat took a halftime lead at 8-4. Emily Wallace paced the offense with 3 assists and no throwaways, and in the end, Steamboat would finish on a 4-point run to close out the game at 15-7.
Game #2 was against Prom Night from Columbus. The team was still committed to controlling games early and took another 8-4 lead into the half. Jeff Haney showed his ability to fuel the offense with 3 assists and a score in the first half alone. Combine that with solid play from Liz Gates (2 scores, 2 D's) and Prom Night was unable to keep up with Steamboat. The team would put up their second official win, 15-5, ending the game on a 6-point run.
Steamboat went into the third game yet to be broken on offense, and there was no reason to believe this game was going to be any different. Facing Ninjury from Detroit (a team they had already faced at Down with the Clown), Steamboat was determined to keep up their winning ways. Starting the game off on a 7-point run and a couple well-timed zone calls on defense, the team would not look back. Led by Brittany Winner (scoring on 4 of the 7 points that she played), Steamboat would win the game in convincing fashion, 15-2, setting up a pivotal last game of the day against Santa Maria from Columbus.
Steamboat and Santa Maria have played before and many players on each team know the other very well. After a year off in 2011, Santa Maria is returning and will most likely be a team that will challenge Steamboat all season. Known for their style of running 4 women on offense, it was understood that they may cause match-up problems for a lot of teams, especially with Steamboat missing some of their regular women. Santa Maria had blown through their competition earlier in the day and was ready to go in the final round on Saturday. Santa Maria was able to gain the first advantage with a break on point #7 to go up 4-3. This was the first break that Steamboat had given up all day and it would be important to see how the team responded. They responded confidently with a 5-2 run to take half at 8-6. Joe Mozloom provided the necessary spark (2 assists, 1 score, 1 D) to drive the team through their first challenge of the weekend. Santa Maria would not go away quietly though. They produced their own 6-3 run to go up 12-11 in a game to 14. Steamboat would tie it at 12's, and then a much-needed hammer D from Kristi Schmeling in the zone would setup the go-ahead score from Emily Wallace to Aaron Armbruster. A throw from Ryan Gorman to Jeff Haney on the final point would seal the victory for Steamboat, 14-12. The 3-point run to end the game came after Santa Maria put up the only 3-point run on Steamboat of any team all weekend.
Following games on Saturday, there was an eating contest and beers provided at the field for the teams. Kristi Schmeling and Will Huffer would represent Steamboat in the eating competition, but sadly they could not keep up with the last-minute team entry from Santa Maria. The team stayed around to have a few more drinks and then headed off for the night, proud of their 4-0 start to the tournament and season.
The crew was back at the fields on Sunday to setup and prepare for their first-round game against Cookie Monsters from Indianapolis. This was another team that Steamboat had faced at Down with the Clown, so both teams knew what to expect coming into the game. Despite giving up a break to start the game, Steamboat was able to recover and take the first half, 8-6. Will Huffer led the way with 3 assists and 2 scores, and Steamboat would widen the margin in the second half. Trading points to close it out, the team would go on to win, 15-10.
With panIC from Iowa City deciding to leave early and forfeit their games against Santa Maria and Steamboat, there was some slight rescheduling for the last two rounds. Steamboat switched their game time with Cake In My Mouth with Santa Maria so that Santa Maria could leave early. Steamboat used the second-round bye to watch Santa Maria and Cake In My Mouth play. Cake In My Mouth would eventually lose but they challenged Santa Maria until the end. Steamboat knew that they would have to come ready to play if they wanted to finish the tournament undefeated and take home their host tournament championship. Steamboat took advantage right away and was up 3-0 and then 7-3. On a huck from Mike Schelle to Brittany Winner, the team would take another 8-4 halftime lead. Despite some challenging weather conditions in the second half that even forced an hour delay, Steamboat was able to finish with a win. Led by Joe Mozloom's 4 assists and 3 scores in only 13 total points played, the team would take a final score of 15-10, and finish the weekend 7-0. Steamboat's average game score for the weekend was an amazing 15-7.5!
All things considered, this was a very successful weekend for Steamboat. The tournament was well-run and the level of competition was great. Everyone seemed to enjoy the experience and the team represented itself well to the competition. Now the focus shifts to Sylvania, Ohio in two weeks, when Steamboat travels to Motown Throwdown to take on some new and familiar teams in a pivotal tournament for their season. Hopefully the team is excited about the championship from last weekend, but also hungry for more in weeks to come.