The 2018 Illinois Open

BOP!!!

The 11th Annual Illinois Open was held at Plainfield Central High School and featured eight teams from around the Midwest competing for this year's title. After play concluded on Saturday the four teams remaining in the winner's bracket were Juicy Junk, It Rhymes With Orange, Shottle Bop, and the two-time defending champions Beer City. 

Sunday opened with Beer City (Milwaukee and Lansing) dominating Juicy Junk (Wisco and Lansing) in game one of the three game match and leading 18-15 after the third switch. At that point Juicy Junk turned the game around after a fantastic play in the backfield by Will Walden and wound up winning game two and absolutely dominating game three for the victory. On the court next to them it was It Rhymes With Orange (combination of Wisco guys and Michigan guys) playing some sick defense to shut down the powerful Shottle Bop team (Houghton/Hancock, MI) to advance to the winner's bracket finals. 

The winner's bracket finals featured Juicy Junk dispatching of Orange to advance to the tournament finals in a match that featured a ton of defense between two teams that are plenty familiar with each other. In the loser's bracket it was the young guns (18 and 19 year olds) from the U.P. Shottle Bop knocking off the defending champs Beer City in a game where Beer City was unable to deal with the two rocket thumbers (Carter and Steven) that make Shottle Bop so dangerous. Once past Beer City it was Bop's turn to inflict the thumber damage on Orange and did they ever. Bop was powerful and accurate on offense and led by captain Will Blau their defense played phenomenal and they put Orange out of the tournament with relative ease 21-16. 

In the finals it was Juicy Junk v. Shottle Bop and the yooper teens (Bop) took game one 21-16. Juicy Junk took some time between games to regroup and revamp their strategy and it worked, as they were effective in game two, hitting their targets and walking away with a 21-18 victory. Game three, which many observers in attendance agreed was a toss up, was anything but. Instead it was Bop dominating out of the gate as "Big" Al Nettell was the target and his hands caught fire. Al repeatedly smashed and bagged the shots coming his way and Bop also passed the disc very effectively to their big guns. While the thumbers got it done offensively, it was Big Al doing the dirty work defensively as they climbed on his back and he carried them to a dominating 21-13 victory and Shottle Bop's first Illinois Open championship. Big Al was rewarded for his hands by being named the tournament MVP. 

Feel free to check out our Facebook page for the live streams of the last few games of the tourney. 

A big thank you goes out to Dave Meyer (tournament director) and his wife Janet for their efforts coordinating everything and also the "guts" that they showed in opening their house to a bunch of sweaty and hungry dudes on Saturday night for the player's party. 

Next up ... Wisco!

Shottle Bop from left to right: Kyle Suvanto, Will Blau (captain), Carter Nettell, Al Nettell, Steven Dudenas, and Ron Blau. 

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June 9th & 10th

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