Thursday, May 18, 2006

PA State Preview

UPA PA States '06 Preview

While this state will get overshadowed by Westerns this weekend, PA is a big deal. With 3 of the top 6 teams at Easterns this year (Pennsbury, Wissahickon, Mount Lebanon), this is a field that will give you some good Ultimate.

I've written a lot about the top guns in PHUEL over the year. It still comes down to Wissahickon and Pennsbury. The Peyote had a better showing at Easterns this year, but my money is still on Wissahickon.

Lower Merion and CB East will certainly not be pushovers as the other top seeds, however.

Pittsburgh is sending another 4 contendors, in Mount Lebanon, Hampton, North Hills, and Montour. Lebanon came in off the wait list at Easterns to come in 5th with a win over Columbia. Any of the top Pittsburgh teams could turn in a good day and make some serious noise.

State College is the unknown dark horse in the race, rolling over their CPHUL competition, but with no teams from CPHUL playing outside the league. SCUF has played in PHUL in previous years, and brings an young, talented team to the table.
There's a thread in the CPHUL forums about State College Ultimate. (It didn't feel right to just copy-paste it).

You can find all the PA Teams on the score reporter -- they're all descending on Fairmount Park in Philadelphia to crown the cap of the keystone state.

18 comments:

McCabe said...

head to head matchups - click here

straight RRI rankings break down like this - top 4 PHUEL, next 4 are PHUL, then 3 PHUEL, (then 1 CPHUL) 2 PHUL, 1 PHUEL, 1 PHUL

the tournament website is also up - upa-pa-states.org

i cant find anything online that dates past my own recollection, but at least in the past 2 years i dont think there has been a PHUL team in the finals.

Last year it was Cheltenham and Wissahickon, the year before that ah hell i cant remember, who knows.

Anyway, a PHUL team hasnt won states since Lebo in the first or second year of its existence, 2001? 2002? something like that.

Perhaps this will be the year when Pittsburgh steps up? Perhaps North Hills coming off their PHUL championship game win last night (click here for rundown)?

Or Lebo off their Easterns performance and long trips to competitive tournaments this year?

Ive got love for the 'burgh of course, but Philly is where the heart is.

Itll be Wiss and Peyote in the finals, and at least CB East, and a significant chance of Lower Merion in the semis.

I wouldnt be surprised if Lebo, North Hills, or Hampton snuck into the semis, but i dont see them getting out. I will hopefully be there sunday watching this all unfold.

Justin Burdett said...

I think its also worth noting the sheer size and level of competition of this year's State tournament. Unless I am mistaken, this is the first State tournament in history that has used the leagues in the state as a qualifier for the tournament. We have a field of 16 that was essentially picked based on how teams did in PHUL, PHUEL and CPHUL.

I have the most experience with PHUL and CPHUL teams, but got to see a few of the PHUEL teams in years past as well as at Easterns last weekend. Wissahickon only brought 9 players to Easterns, which I think hurt them on day 2 when they were all very tired. Should they bring a short bench again, they may fall short of a repeat on day 2. Pennsbury could very well take the crown coming in as the number 1 seed, but don't overlook Mount Lebanon, Hampton, North Hills or Montour giving the top 4 Philly teams a great run.

Mount Lebanon comes off an extremely intense PHUL finals game that was lost on universe point 15-14 and are going to be very hungry to take the state crown. Picking up a coach this season allowed the team to learn more strategy and defensive sets - look for a clam or transition defense to fluster teams when it hurts the most. Led by juniors Julian Hausman and Pete Imler, with a cast of solid players around them, and big man Zach Smith leading the recieving, they will be able to battle with any team at the tournament.

North Hills is young and may not be ready for what is for many of them their first tournament. Almost entirely sophomores, the team is extremely talented despite their age. Alex Thorne and Ben Funk are fancy with the disc and PHUL Finals MVP (threw or scored 10 of 15 points in finals) Colin Conner will look to continue to be a dominant player.

Hampton comes in a little banged up but excited after their showing at Easterns. Junior captain Luke Truckenbrod is the stud and assistant captain Christie Lawry is also expected to make the big plays, with reciever threats Alex Lamers and Jay Huerbin waiting downfield. Reciever Perry Martin will not be at the tournament, but junior Griffin Patterson looks to step up his game to make up for his loss. A solid cast of role players fills out the rest of the squad, which went with a short bench for PHUL play and will be calling up some young and talented JV players as they did for Easterns to fill out the rest of the lineup.

Montour is a new team but tall and athletic and well coached. They beat Mount Lebanon in regular season PHUL play, but fell to North Hills in a close semifinals game. Could be a darkhorse to knock some teams off.

The lone central Pennsylvania representative, State College, is very young but well coached. They have talent and will be giving it their all every game. Look for Jeff Kiel and Brenden Reed to be dominant players. Untested in CPHUL play, they'll be looking to give the rest of the state a run for their money. Should use this tournament as an experience gainer for future years.

Justin Burdett said...

Forgot to add. Pools for Saturday:


Pool A:
----------------
1. Pennsbury
8. Montour
12. State College HS
13. Central Catholic

Pool B:
----------------
2. Wissahickon
7. Hampton
11. Council Rock South
14. Bethel Park

Pool C:
----------------
3. Central Bucks East
6. Mount Lebanon
10. North Penn
15. Cheltenham High School

Pool D:
----------------
4. Lower Merion
5. North Hills
9. The Pterodactyls
16. North Allegheny

Anonymous said...

Dont forget that although Pennsbury is the number one seed, Noah Saul will not be playing as i hear it right now, who is their best player. Their seniors will likely miss games because of the prom which is also this weekend. That could be a problem for the strong Pennsbury Teams.

Anonymous said...

Is Noah ok? Heading out of Easterns he didn't look too good.

Fantusta said...

Has Noah been okay all year?
And they don't exactly rely on their seniors.
The Pterodactyls only have 1 total, I know.

Anonymous said...

The top Phul teams are simply not as good as Pennsbury and Wissahickon. At Easterners Pennsbury had a great showing coming in third, not to be out done Wissahickon managed to finish fifth with a mere nine players. Peyote, Wiss championship on Sunday.

Julian Hausman said...

Mt. Lebo will be very short-handed at this tournament, we will only have 9 or 10 players, missing Peter Imler, one of our primary handlers. Most of our team is pretty beatup after last nights game against North Hills.

NH will also not be at full strength, they will not have Colin Conner, their star player (10 points last night).

Pennsbury vs. Wissahickon in the final match, though if these rumors are true about Peyote missing some players, look for CB East or one of the PHUL teams to snag a spot in the championship match.

This isn't in regard to this specific topic but in general on the blog, if you trashtalk, don't post anonymously, say who you are, its real lame to rip on someone else's team if you are going to hide behind a computer screen.

Anonymous said...

Wissahickon doesnt have more than 10 players on the team, so actually they are always short handed.

McCabe said...

late breaking news - a pittsburgh team has dropped very last minute and St. Joe's Prep of Philadelphia (17th and Girard to be exact) will be taking their place.

this concludes this news break.

Anonymous said...

yo, did anyone catch the Wissahickon vs. Bethel Park?
That game was crazy, because of the fact that wiss only had 6 players. They played 6 v 7 the entire game and still came out with a commanding win 13-9.

Julian Hausman said...

Can anyone give some details on the semifinal matchups

Fantusta said...

I saw some of both -- in the Pennsbury one, they just rolled through Lebo. Their hucks were caught easily, and their D was suffocating.

Wissahickon vs. CB East was far more interesting.
The teams traded upwinders for the first couple points, leaving both teams and spectators puzzled. CB East began to employ more of a huck 'n D strategy when going downwind, which worked well, especially when Art was pulling down Eddie's hucks. CB East took the lead and the half, but late in the game points were just being traded until Wissahickon pulled ahead and won 15-13. Great game.

Anonymous said...

So who won cahmpionship?

Fantusta said...

It's in the other open thread -- Pennsbury over Wissahickon 15-11. It was close until the last couple points, Wiss was even up 10-9 I believe.

Scotty said...

Yo does anyone from Wiss know I can find Albert Ip's picture from Easterns or if there are any. I think Plunket said something to me about it but i cant find them.

john said...

Al's website is www.alip.smugmug.com
the link to his easterns pics is http://alip.smugmug.com/Wissahickon%20Ultimate/188534

Anonymous said...

Discraft.com also has some good shots - the series of Ryan Thompson getting a layout D on Noah Saul in particular.