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Motown Throwdown

Motown Throwdown
July 28th and 29th
Sylvania, OH
 
Two weeks after winning Cin City, Steamboat hit the road to compete at Motown Throwdown in Sylvania, Ohio. The tournament was mostly regional competition, so this was a great opportunity for the team to get an idea of what Regionals will be like in late September. With a few guys missing and some additional women attending the tournament, Steamboat was taking a uniquely balanced roster between genders (11 of each). The team came in as the 1-seed in the D Pool but would have to prove that they deserved it with many teams in attendance having minimal or no early season results.
 
The weekend started off on Saturday morning with a game against Prom Night from Columbus, one of the teams that Steamboat played two weeks prior in Cincinnati. Steamboat made sure not to assume anything and came ready to play from the first point. With the wind creating a moderate upwind/downwind game situation, the team was still able to get two quick breaks early on to go up 3-0 and would never look back. Led by solid play from the women (no throwaways or drops), Steamboat would eventually go on to win easily, 13-3.
 
Game #2 was against Beast Lansing from Michigan, a new team this season. Steamboat used their depth and experience to take control of the game in the first half. Led by captain Eddie Mack (1 assist, 4 scores, 2 D's), Steamboat went into the break up 7-3. The second half would be no different. After trading a few points, Steamboat ended on a 3-point run to close the game at 13-6. This put Steamboat at an impressive 2-0 going into their bye round.
 
Off of the bye, Steamboat played Muevela from Chicago, who was now playing their 4th straight game of the day. The team was able to take advantage using their roster depth and fresh legs to convert 7 consecutive D lines and take half, 7-0. Ted Landis scored on the first 3 points he played in the game to initiate the momentum. Aaron Bacon also contributed 4 assists without any throwaways to help lead the team to a comfortable Game 3 win, 13-3. This setup the anticipated match-up with Gambit. Although the two teams have played numerous times in the past, the 2012 Gambit roster is dynamically different and brought some new talented, young players that would challenge Steamboat.
 
Gambit finished their 3rd game and was also sitting at 3-0. Both teams had secured a spot in the quarterfinals, but each team wanted to win the pool and earn a more favorable draw on Sunday. Steamboat started the game off strong with a break on the first point from Jeff Haney (5 assists, 1 score) to Kristi Schmeling. Continued steady offensive play and intense defensive pressure from Steamboat gave Gambit a look that they hadn't experienced all day. Led by Jen Golan (4 scores), Steamboat took half, 8-4. With another break early in the second half, Steamboat led 10-5. Gambit would not go away, scoring the next three points and narrowing the margin to 10-8. With caps being applied, Steamboat scored the last two points of the game and on a huck from Jeff Haney to Jen Golan would win the game 12-8. Steamboat finished pool play 4-0 and was ready to take on whatever challenges Sunday would bring.
 
An early quarterfinal match-up on Sunday morning had Steamboat against the 2nd seed from the A Pool, The Abusement Park. The two teams had played earlier at Down with the Clown in South Bend, with The Abusement Park winning a close game, 16-14. Both teams had a few changes to their roster since then, so there was no way to anticipate how this game would play out. The competition was back and forth early on with both teams trading breaks. Steamboat was able to get one more break late in the first half to go into the half up 8-6. From there, the patience and discipline of Steamboat would take over. With a break right out of half from Lauren Blansit to Eddie Mack, there would be no comeback from The Abusement Park. Led by strong play from captain Ryan Gorman (4 assists, 2 goals, 1 D), the team would win the second half 7-2 and finish the game with a winning score of 15-8.
 
Moving onto the semifinals, Steamboat would face a surprise sectional opponent, A2 Sidecar!. With some great defensive plays from John Richey, Steamboat was able to jump out early with a 5-1 lead. Steady play from the O lines would prevent Sidecar from ever getting back within striking distance. Steamboat would take half 8-4 and eventually finish the game 13-9. After 6 hard-fought games, Steamboat had earned their spot in the championship game, an accomplishment that the entire team should be proud of considering the magnitude of this tournament.
 
The finals were against a Canadian team from Toronto called Union. The Canadian national championships were two weeks away, so Union was using this tournament as a tune-up to prepare for the culmination of their season. Union had beaten Santa Maria in the other semifinal game, 12-10, so Steamboat knew that they would be a very talented team. For the first time all weekend, Steamboat would not score the first point of the game. Union was able to get two breaks to start and Steamboat was playing from behind the rest of the game. Despite solid play from captain Kristi Schmeling (1 assist, 0 throwaways), Union proved to be too much for Steamboat to handle in the first half. Union scored to make it 8-4 at the break. With three more points right out of half, Union was in a very comfortable position with an 11-4 lead. Steamboat recognized that this was no reason to change what they had done all weekend and continued to focus on each point as if it were the most important one of the tournament. From that point on, the two teams traded points and Steamboat proved to themselves that they will respond from this game. Eventually Union would win and take the Motown Throwdown championship, 15-8.
 
Despite the disappointing final result, there is nothing that Steamboat should hang their heads about this weekend. The team played outstanding endzone defense, reduced their number of throwaways and drops compared to previous tournaments, converted break points in over 50% of the D lines that they played, and did a tremendous job all weekend of focusing on the current point to play with the mentality that it was the most important point of the tournament. Steamboat will refocus and start the preparations for Cooler Classic 24 in three weeks. For the first time this season, the team will get a perfect opportunity to go up against competition from outside of the Great Lakes region. The season is moving along quickly and it's time to make every conditioning, practice, and game count.
 
[Team Picture Coming Soon]
 
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