Wednesday, August 3, 2005

KB's takes Ultimate Title in Bellevue

Board Bin is redeemed, Grumpys crumbles

Grumpys captain Chase Fetter flicks it past Ultimate league director Scott "Kid" Runkel or Wrapcity; Grumpys Justin Giffin gets up against Wrapcity while teammate Adrian Hink stands guard

The valley's ultimate Frisbee action culminated this weekend at a new venue for the annual tournament—Bellevue's O'Donell Park—as KB's took home the title over a recharged Board Bin team.

Questions were many leading up to the big day. Could Grumpy's hold their number one seed? Would the notorious south valley wind kick up? Were the fields in good shape? How would visiting Boise players change the ultimate arithmetic?

With the weather clearing, the fields in awesome shape, the wind relatively calm, and Grumpy's imploding early on, clear answers were delivered with speed.

The south field semifinal game pitted number one seed Grumpy's against a reinvigorated Board Bin. As the last seed, Board Bin had hot Boise draft picks, taking Pat and Nancy Benson, Ketchum ultimate legends in for the weekend. With their help, Board Bin was crisp offensively and tough defensively as they pounced on a Grumpy's team that had become accustomed to winning.

Building a quick 6-1 lead over a faltering Grumpy's, Board Bin never looked back and routed the number one seed.

In the other semifinal, KB's met Wrapcity for a rematch of Thursday's nail-biter in which KB's outlasted The City 15-14 in overtime. In keeping with such tradition, the score was knotted at tens in Bellevue.

A couple of huge defensive plays by Joel Mallet and the solid offensive play of Christl Holzl helped KB's edge The City once again, 15-13, and propel them into the finals.

The championship match pitted the resurgent Board Bin against the consistent KB's. As the crowds gathered, soaking up the south valley rays, all eyes were on the game.

KB's came out strong, taking a 4-1 lead anchored by veterans Herb Kaup and Mike Payne, but also energized by the hard running, smooth throwing, and endless energy of emerging stars Jef Bearden and Jordan Dale. Employing a zone "D," KB's stifled the potent offense Board Bin had displayed in the semifinals.

The Bin would not falter, though, would not fold so easily. Showing their pride, the team stormed back behind the solid play of Eric Rogers, contributing some pin point throws and a nice stab on a knifing zinger for a goal. At the half, KB's had a not-very-comfortable 8-5 lead.

After a break, KB's settled in with solid throwing and clean play development. The score was soon 13-8; Board Bin's future looked grim.

KB's was poised to score again, bringing them within one goal of victory when Kaup spotted a wide open Christa Stumpf in the endzone and let a soft backhand fly. Out of nowhere, displaying cat-like reflexes and speed, second year phenom Ryan Baxley left his feet, diving fully extended, and knocked the disk out of bounds.

But show-stopping plays weren't enough to swing the momentum back to the Bin. KB's, unfazed, scored on their next two possessions, winning by a convincing 15-9 margin, and taking the 2005 Ultimate League Championship.

In the consolation game, Wrapcity prevailed 15-11 over a self-loathing Grumpy's.

Pick-up games continue Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7:00 at Ketchum's Atkinson's park. Players of all levels are welcome.

The annual North vs. South game will be Aug. 16 in Ketchum.

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