The CELL Championship Game pitted two teams that were atop the standings from week 1 until they met in the final game of the Winter session of CELL. Upper Winged River was never worse than third among the 16 teams in the standings, but all along, everyone familiar with the squad knew they had what it took to be one of the top two teams to battle it out in the end. The team they would run into, the Pioneers, who’d led the standings from wire to wire, and were dominant in the process. The game between them was exactly what you would expect, ultra-skilled, fast, energetic and insanely intense from the opening whistle.
The eventual victors, Upper Winged River, relied on balance scoring (eight separate players recording a point) and several individual efforts on both ends of the court. Offensively, Riley Van Duzer was sensational at shooting, scoring 6 times, most of which were on the run in the corner shots. The main facilitator and ball handler, Joey Kraft, had several heady plays that led to great scoring chances for he and his teammates. The trio of Zach Mickle, Ryan Rahbany, & Gregg Dennison was phenomenal on the back end and truly neutralized the Pioneers explosive offense. Dom Pasquale played a steady game in between the pipes and was excellent at getting the ball up the field to his attacking teammates. Abe Dekin, the heart of the Upper Winged River roster, made plays that some would consider to be the gritty ones that do not show up in the stat sheet but go a long way in terms of final score.
The Pioneers came up short in the game that mattered most only had 5 guys record a point in comparison to UWR’s 8. A team that was going to go as far as its 4 main guys would take it, ultimately came up shy against an extremely athletic & balanced Upper Winged River squad. Owen Boss finished as one of the more prolific scorers in recent CELL memory, scoring 128 points. Not too far behind him on the scoring list was fellow attackmen, Jon Bouvier, registered a game high 8 points in the Championship Game. Defensively, JJ Jablonowski did his best to limit the offensive fireworks that Upper Winged River was capable of. Although it was in a losing effort, the best player on the field arguably was goalie, Shane Walsh. Walsh was stellar all session long and consistently puzzled opposing shooters. The final game was no different for him and ultimately, he kept the Pioneers within striking distance but was too much in the end.