Oklahoma Holds Off Hard Charging Washington University

The Oklahoma Apes of Wrath barely held off a strong rally by Washington University’s Contra to win in the final round of pool play at the Ozark Conference Tournament, 11-10.

The Apes looked to be in firm command of the game early on as they jumped out to a 4-1 lead and kept that advantage to a halftime score of 6-3.

In the second half the Contra’s veteran leadership stepped up their game at the same time Oklahoma’s short bench and tired legs started to catch up with them. Led by Zach Lou and Luke Ding, Contra kept their hopes alive with several layouts on both sides of the disc.

The tenacity on both sides of the disc allowed Washington to tie the game at eight all and Oklahoma appeared to be on the ropes. However, Oklahoma was able to barely hold it together and the two teams ended up trading downwind points to 10-10.

With the game hard-capped, Oklahoma utilized a misstep in Contra’s switch d to easily score the game winning point.

“We dug deep and found the desire to win in the end. You just have to find it in yourself,’ said Oklahoma captain Kevin Christian.

With the win Oklahoma takes second place in the B pool.

Kansas State Foot-blocks Their Way To Upset

The Kansas State Huckstables utilized four foot-blocks on the mark to upset the number one seed Washington University Contra 11-7 in Pool-B at the Ozark Conference Tournament on Saturday.

The game was a back and forth affair for much of the first half. The two teams traded points until Kansas State was finally able to get some separation from Washington University by getting a foot block. That turn allowed them to go up a break, 5-3, which they held onto until half at 6-4.

After half, Contra scored the first two points to tie the game at sixes, but the Huckstables answered with a four point run brought on by another foot-block to make it 10-6. The teams traded points to finish the game.

“Our team played really well,” said team captain Cameron Hunter. “Our offense played well and our defense really stepped up in the second half.”

In addition to the four foot-blocks, the Kansas State defense recorded three other forced turns.

In Crossover, WashU Dismantles North Park

Washington University’s Contra took North Park University’s Lost Boys to task in the second half of Free State Classic’s crossover round, soundly defeating them, 15-8.

The first half was relatively a back and forth affair that saw Contra take advantage half at 8-6.

The second half started out relatively calm and neither team made a turnover for the first four points of the game. With the score at 10-8, Washington made the first turnover of the half, but quickly got it back to make it 11-8. Then Washington and North Park got into a turnover fest, with seven combined, and Washington came out on top 12-8.

From there Contra was able to get a pair of d’s and some North Park miscommunication to finish off the game on a 5-0 run.

“We were able to stay up in the beginning and in the second half we really turned it on,” said Washington captain Luke Ding.

Sunday Harvest Moon Summary

Day two of Harvest Moon began with overcast skys and 10 mph winds. The rain that was predicted by meteorologists did not come, and spectators turned out to watch the action unfold. As the games played out the teams relative abilities became more and more apparent.

1. Arkansas Plays with Feeling

Matt Jackson is a good player and everyone knows it, but Arkansas will have to rely on more than just one player to succeed; that’s where the supporting cast comes in. While the team returns everyone from last year, those players are still inexperienced and run on excitement and adrenaline.  This weekend they were able to keep themselves going, but that won’t work every game. Eventually, all teams have to find a way to finish games against good teams that they have a large lead on. Arkansas might have problems letting teams back into games if they can’t figure that out.

2. Missouri Likes to Rally

Missouri is kind of in the same boat as Arkansas, but with an entirely different problem. Missouri returns a large portion of the team and having three 5th year seniors return gives the MUtants a ton of experience. However, Missouri likes to get behind before they play at their most inspired. On Saturday, Missouri spotted St. Louis two points, and on Sunday spotted Arkansas five.

“We like to [start games] slow,” said captain Matt Francis. “It is a bad habit we have and are trying to overcome.

That game-plan may have worked against St. Louis, but it came up just short against Arkansas.

3. Washington is Missing Key Players and Identity

Losing two All-Region players would hurt any team. But losing Evan Winograd and Joe MacDonald has really hurt the Contrabears. They still have the talent to win games, but the team identity and roles seem to be a little fuzzy right now.

“Things are different. We no longer have stars who can dominate match-ups, but we do have a team full of guys who can run and throw and make plays with the best of them. We just have to step up,” said Wash U captain Jacob Zax.

The Contrabears will definitely have to step up, especially since they appear to be rebuilding after such a strong showing last year. However, I expect that WashU’s coach and captains will rally the team around a common identity and make Washington a tough team by the time the regular season rolls around.

4. Harding Still Gets Tired

Last year Harding made Div. III Nationals by consistently using just eight players, but fatigue became a real problem late in tournaments. This year Harding has made a conscious effort to have an offensive line, defensive line, and several bench lines. That adjustment seemed to make a big difference as Harding strolled into the finals against Arkansas and took a 2-0 lead. The ensuing point was a long one. Harding had several chances to score but ultimately conceded and the defensive line was ineffective for the rest of the game.

Figuring out how to get to the next level might be tricky for Apocalypse, but if they can, they will likely be making noise at Div. III Nationals again.