Last week saw the close of both the adult basketball season and the co-ed adult soccer season at The Center with two championship games.
After a night of semifinal games, Thursday night on the pitch was built up to be the game of the season, with talent and skill on both sides of the field.
Blalock Walters set the tone of the game in the first half with the first goal by Matt Plummer.
With eight recorded saves in the night, Vintage Beach’s keeper Jason Sato made a beautiful save 10 minutes into the game, sparking excitement in the young team.
The Vintage Beach energy would soon be squashed with a second block goal by Luis Picardo at the 14th minute with the assist by Brooke Capparelli, making the score 2-0.
The Blalock defense smartly prevented shooting opportunities for the league’s high scorer Joseph Hutchinson. Luke Grady, Block’s goalkeeper, made the stop of Hutchinson’s first shot, foreshadowing for the rest of the matchup.
With two minutes left on the scoreboard, Vintage Beach made a run down the field with Cole Peterson dribbling the soccer ball into Blalock territory before passing to Hutchinson who claimed his team’s one and only goal in the game, moving the score to 2-1.
Robert Fellowes made a beautiful ground shot that Sato just could not get to with 90 seconds left in the half.
Holding a two-point lead, the Blalock defense continued to stop Hutchinson and the Vintage offense despite beautiful shots.
Vintage Beach nearly put another point on the board before the end of the half with an amazing near midfield free kick by Zach Reda. Reda’s shot went off the corner of the crossbar, preserving Blalock’s lead going into the second half of the final game of the season.
To start the second half, Blalock Walters’ Fellowes game out shooting, but Sato’s keeper abilities were just too good, stopping the hard shot.
In another Capparelli-Picardo combination run, Picardo shot his team’s fourth goal.
Out of the box, Sato made a smart stop with his knee high, kicking the ball downfield, preventing a Capparelli shot.
Trying to put something together with a little more than eight minutes left in the game, Jenna Steininger gets the soccer ball to the feet of Hutchinson. Hutchinson’s hard shot sailed over the goal.
Vintage Beach maintained a “Never Say Die” mentality on the field until the last whistle. Cody Wright, near the corner on the Blalock side of the field, passed to Clancy Vaughn who had good position in front of the net. Holding on to the ball just a little too long, the Blalock defense moved in preventing the shot.
After many team shooting opportunities and shots that were just a little off, Hutchinson’s next shot was just a little poke toward the goal, making an easy stop by Grady.
The combination of an off night for Hutchinson and a prevent defense by Blalock, the Vintage Beach team just could not find the net, including Reda who had a number of strong strikes.
In the end, the Blalock Walters team was the victor and claimed the Paul “Ace” Hayward Cup for The Center’s 2019 fall season.
In last Wednesday night’s adult basketball action, Gulfview Windows handily defeated the Ugly Grouper squad 59-44 to win the adult basketball championship game at The Center. Gulfview’s JB Shuck was the high scorer of the night with 20 points in the game. Teammate Jordan DeMers was a close second with 19 points.
Dominick Otteni, for Ugly Grouper, was the top scorer for his team with 15 points.
Wednesday, Dec. 18 – Championship Game
Gulfview Windows 59
Ugly Grouper 44
Wednesday, Dec. 18 – Semifinal Games
Vintage Beach 7
Sato Real Estate 6
Blalock Walters 7
Flynn Law 2
Thursday, Dec. 19 – Championship Game
Vintage Beach 1
Blalock Walters 5