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« Goodwin's Lead Extends in the MCA Pro Race | Main | 2014 Kansas Challenge Early Report »
Monday
Jul142014

Kansas Scorcher

Goodwin waits to get in during the Pro final

LEAWOOD, KS -- The MCA returned to Leawood, Kansas on Saturday in a big way as the the 2014 Kansas Challenge set a new record for player entries with 17. That eclipsed 12 entries for the same event in 2013 and shows the steady growth that the MCA is enjoying in the second season of the Nine Wicket Series.

GALLERY 1 | GALLERY 2 | GALLERY 3 | OFFICIAL SCORESHEET

On the courts though, the big story was the battle against the heat as the temperature reached 92 degrees in the afternoon. The Kansas Challenge had play across three divisions with Dylan Goodwin taking the Pro Division, Ron Millican winning the Gold Division and newcomer Nate Benz going 4-0 to win the Silver Division.

MASTER OF DEADNESS

Dylan Goodwin again followed the same pattern on his way to a third straight MCA Pro title. That pattern had him taking a loss in the final round of the morning to the player he would then later face in the final. This time around it was Greg Adams who claimed the morning battle 16-15 by refusing to go through the clearing wicket and effectively handcuffing Goodwin for the win.

The final shaped up a bit different as Goodwin got a solid break early on, but he botched the leave as he stuffed the 11 point wicket prior to the set up. That left him with a nasty little deadness situation, which Adams was again able to exploit to a degree. Goodwin did get around to the same wicket with his second ball but again ended with deadness.

Adams then went into strategy mode and used his yelllow ball to guard 11PW. The score wasn't in his favor though and so this time he had to run the clearing wicket. Still, he had the game in his hands as last turns started and he approached the 10PW on a two-ball with his partner. Goodwin was now clean and he had set up to make his own final run as he would have the last ball. But Adams ended with a hampered shot after barely getting through the 10PW. He missed the roquet and Goodwin claimed a one-point victory 21-20.

Gold Finalist Debbie BreedenGOLD REDEMPTION FOR MILLICAN

The mixed Pro-Gold draw for the morning saw some upsets for the first time since the MCA started utilizing the concept in 2013. Brad Clouse fell victim to the format as he drew his brother Greg in the final round after posting a 1-1 record in the first two games. Greg was on fire and he sent Brad to the Gold bracket with a 29-9 decision. The bad fortune continued as Brad fell to Bill Berg in the first round of the Gold bracket 21-15.

Ron Millican also failed to make the Pro cut as Jodi Adams caught fire and surprised Millican with a 32-16 win in the third round. As the number Gold seed though, Millican found his game and he knocked out Bill Berg 19-18 to face Debbie Breeden in the final.

Breeden was following her same pattern from the Lee's Summit event in May. She dropped all three of her morning games to be awarded the sixth seed in the Gold Bracket. But then she began her march by knocking out #3 seed Keith Berg 30-26 in a rematch and followed that with a 25-24 win over Gold Division points leader and #2 seed Taylor Airrington.

Breeden jumped to an early lead in the final, but Millican put together a two-ball break that started at wicket three to get back in the game. He went on to a 32-25 win to claim the Gold title.

Nate BenzBENZ TAKES SILVER

With Bill and Keith Berg moving up to the Gold level, the Silver Division took on a whole new look. Gwyneth Bowen and Elizabeth Goodwin both played in their first MCA Tournament to help fill out a five player division with the "more experienced" group of Justin Marciniak, Diane Berg and Nate Benz all looking for a title in the round-robin format.

The day started with a key game between Marciniak and Berg. Marciniak took a 25-15 win to get the inside track on a line to a title. He continued with wins over Goodwin, then Bowen to make it to the final round 3-0. Nate Benz cruised through the day as well 3-0 and that set up an afternoon showdown for the Silver title.

It was a tight score as the game drifted under the 10-minute mark with Benz making the key play just as Marciniak had set himself to score a few wickets at the turn. Benz then got a good rush to go on a 75-foot attack. He destroyed Marciniak's blue ball, then collected a few wickets to claim a 16-13 win.

NOTES 

  • The MCA has already had 45 player entries for 2014 which is up 32% over the same number of events for 2013 and matches the total for all of 2013 (with two events to go).
  • No tents were lost at the Challenge, but we are still unclear as to the location of a striped blue Sunshiny ball. A striped clip also went home with a player, but we at least know where that one is. Blame it on the heat -- maybe the blue striped ball melted.
  • The MCA utilized a flip scoreboard on court two for the day. The light wind played havoc with it most of the day, but it was maintained well during the Pro Championship by Justin Marciniak and Katherine Goodwin.
  • Greg Adams became just the fifth player to play in an MCA Pro Final. He joined the select group of Greg Clouse (3), Dylan Goodwin (6), Paul Miller (3) and Matt Baird (1).
  • Dylan Goodwin tied Paul Miller's tournament win streak of three-straight Pro tourney wins.
  • Deborah Millican made some noise in the Pro Bracket as the sixth and final seed. She started by knocking out Jodi Adams who had just pegged out in her previous two games by a score of 27-13. She then just missed a berth in the final as she fell to Greg Adams 21-20.

FINAL ORDERS

Pro Division
01. Dylan Goodwin
02. Greg Adams
03. Greg Clouse
04. Deborah Millican
05. Jodi Adams
06. Jason Johnson

Gold Division
01. Ron Millican
02. Debbie Breeden
03. Bill Berg
04. Taylor Airrington
05. Keith Berg
06. Brad Clouse

Silver Division
01. Nate Benz
02. Justin Marciniak
03. Diane Berg
04. Gwyneth Bowen
05. Elizabeth Goodwin 

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