Gauntlet narrowly misses shot at title

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Gauntlet narrowly misses shot at title

The Southerner

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BY PARK LI

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The Grady Gauntlet was oh so close to winning its semifinal against Paideia.

On Sunday, the boys ultimate team, the Grady Gauntlet, drove to local Python Park to finish up the state tournament that had been previously stopped short two weeks earlier due to inclement weather. Grady was still seeded third going into semifinals, with Lakeside High School and The Paideia School seeded in front of them, and Brookwood High School in fourth; the tournament took an unexpected turn and defied the rankings as Paideia, the second-seed ended up winning the State Championships with top-seed Lakeside in second. Brookwood finished third despite being seeded fourth, and Grady ended up in fourth after dropping two agonizingly close games.

Grady played Paideia in one semifinal while Lakeside and Brookwood played against each other in the other semifinal. The winners of the Grady-Paideia game would play the winner of the Lakeside-Brookwood game in the finals. Lakeside was expected to beat Brookwood, and they did, 13-10. During that game, Grady played Paideias’s varsity team. Very soon after the game started, Grady scored after junior captain Noah Li caught a huck in the endzone, but Paideia scored shortly after that to tie the game at 1. Every time Grady scored to take a one-goal lead, Paideia would answer it to tie, until Paideia scored consecutive goals to take the lead. Despite senior Brandon Kleber’s two D’s followed by a score, Paideia was still up 9-7. The Pythons remained ahead until senior captain Chris Brown passed to sophomore John Roorbach to knot the score at 10. Though Paideia jumped back ahead by two more points and attempted to intercept the disc, Li managed to lay out and get Grady’s final score. Trailing 12-11, senior Captain Griffin Kish laid out for a D, forcing a turnover; another turnover, however, led to another Paideia score, ending the game 13-11. This loss sent Grady to a consolation-game match with  Brookwood to determine third and fourth place.

Unfortunately for Grady, Brookwood got an immediate two-point lead in the second game. After continuous turnovers, Grady managed to tie the game 3-3, but Brookwood continued to score. By half t, Grady trailed 7-4. Li assisted another score to Kish at the start of the second half, and after Brown hucked to Roorbach for a score, Grady had tied up the game 9-9. Two Brown-to-senior Trent LoPata scores kept the game tied at 11 for a long time. After constant turnovers, Brookwood scored the game-winning point to end the game on a hard time cap, with a score of 12-11.

The Grady Gauntlet ended up getting fourth place, after being seeded third; however, both games were extremely close. Grady has already beaten all three of the teams that joined it at the state Final Four. Despite the frustrating results, however, it’s very likely that you’ll see them make a comeback at their next (and last) tournament, Southerns, on May 9-10 in Winston-Salem, N.C.

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The Grady Gauntlet storms the field against its semifinal foe, Paideia.

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