MB12: Back-To-Back For Commissioner Frushour

MB12-Final3-Crop

In the first 11 years of the Monkeyball World Championships only one baller had won back-to-back. In year 12, the MB community saw its second repeat champ as Andy Frushour took home his third world title. But everyone was aware of the elephant in the Erickson Park room on this day. Six-time champ Dean Allen missed his first Worlds, seemingly opening the door to all the other ballers. Winning the World Championship is never a given – you have to play well for 6 hours to win – and Frushour did just that to creep a little bit closer to Dean on the all-time leaderboard.

(And did I mention we had a our first official MB beer, a collab between brewers Andy Kidle and Eric Trinoskey? The MBrew12 was fantastic, and probably the key to the Commish’s win.)

Gold: Andy Frushour (DeWitt, MI)
Silver: Chuck Trinsokey (Logansport, IN)
Bronze: Andi Osters (Lansing, MI)

# of Players: 72
Final PDF Brackets
MB12 Previews: Monday | Tuesday | Wednesday | Thursday

MORNING SESSION

TOP 16
Morning qualifying on the center courts is always a bit of a crap shoot. You can’t really make assumptions on after success based on wins in the morning, but you can certainly eliminate yourself from the tournament with a slow start. Everyone knows: win one and you qualify for the afternoon – but that first win is the toughest of the day. Mike Price continued his long history of great performance at Worlds by winning the morning session, topping 2014 World Champ Brett Boden for the #1 seed. Mat Danely and Ryan LePeak were the other semifinalists.

So who didn’t get that first win in 2016? Jo Kidle, Jonah Allen, Dan Kidle and Casey Frushour all went 0-and-2 to start the day and were forced to a winner-take-all play-in game on the outer courts. Three of the four would eventually advance to the afternoon, while one poor baller was left to lick his wounds and watch from the sideline the rest of the day. Read the Group reports to find out which Top 16 member didn’t take part in the afternoon festivities.

GROUP A
It was only a matter of time before nine-year old Quentin Danely asserted himself in morning qualifying. A year after trying to sweet-talk a W, Q let his game do the work in wrapping up the #1 seed. Toledoball veteran Dan Kubacki wrapped up second, while Travis Johnson took a break from the weight room to finish third. Rookie Chris Clark now has the MB bug after finishing fourth in the morning. Ryan Hintz pumped keg beer at MB1, and the recent HS grad wrapped up the #5 morning seed after topping the matriarch of the Price Family Ballers, Bobbi Duchene. Matt Whitfield finished in a disappointing seventh, but at least he made the afternoon. The same can’t be said of Jennifer Clark who lost to both her hubby in the loser’s bracket and Top 16 Jo Kidle for the last qualifying spot (but she knocked out sister Shannon, so that counts for something, right?).

GROUP B
The Godfather of Monkeyball, Joe “Carp” Frushour, showed he still has game in taking the #1 seed topping second-year baller Aaron Van Horn. Two vets battled it out for the three seed, with Neil Ver Planck besting Manuel Tello. Lefty rookie and future K-College pitcher Trevor Trierweiler confidently tossed his way to the fifth seed over Bo Smith. Another rookie, the appreciative Ken Monash, made the afternoon in his first trip to Erickson Park with a victory over Clare McFadden. Clare had one more chance to make the afternoon, but lost to Top 16 baller Jonah Allen.

GROUP C
After beating both Mr. and Mrs. Ross to get to the winners bracket final, Jeff Van Schaick topped buddy Dave Kubacki to take the #1 seed. Meanwhile, in the losers bracket final, wife Jessica Van Schaick defeated multi-time Worlds Quarterfinalist Brent Morrow for the three seed. Jon Ross, a pre-tournament favorite by some prognosticators, finished fifth defeating birthday girl, Katie Kidle (happy 30th!). Chad Cook took the seven seed over Christy Price, and then Price fell again in the play-in game, losing to MB stalwart Dan Kidle.

GROUP D
There was some major MBall Bro Love happening in Group D when Lazer topped Eric Trinoskey for the #1 seed. Veteran Alex Schrauben topped older brother Adam in losers bracket semis and ended up with the 3 seed (the older, less handsome Schrauben took fifth). Maconaquah HS’s Emma Hintz reached the afternoon for the first time in seven tries (#4 seed) while State Farm’s Mason Novess took the 6th seed in his first ever trip to Worlds. Kristine Reigler is a perfect two-for-two in advancing to the afternoon as she escaped with the seventh seed. And in the upset of the morning, former medalist Casey Frushour fell to Jen Morrow in the final play-ion game.

BIG RACK CHALLENGE

Everyone’s favorite mid-event cash tournament was held in again in 2016. Youngster Emily Price surprised the field at Erickson Park, where she reached the semis and eventually fell to Joe “Carp” Frushour. In the other semi Brent Morrow took down Rex Danely. In the short (6 year?) history of the BRC, only two people have one multiple times. Jonah Allen has won twice, and in 2016 Brent Morrow won for the second time in his career.

AFTERNOON SESSION

Jon Ross lost right away to the delight of most attendees. A pair of rivalry matches saw Mike Price top mom Bobbi Duchene in three games, while the Thumbtailgater.com Match of the Day was won by Jabril Peppers’ defensive coach, Aaron Van Horn, when he defeated Rad Raider Connor Thomas. And in the first HUGE upset of the date Van Horn took down Top 16 Morning Champ Mike Price to become the day’s first quarterfinalist.

Ken Monash was probably to happiest person at MB12. It was his first visit and he loved the atmosphere and competition. Well, he loved until Keith Hagen showed his veteran moxie and skunked him in game one of his two-game W. Young Quentin Danely continued his ascension up the MB ladder before ultimately succumbing to Keith Hagen who reached the final eight.

The third spot in the final eight was grabbed by Jillian Kubacki. At this point Kubacki is a well-known name in MB circles and no longer sneaks up on the competition. She beat husband Dave and MB9 silver medalist Matt Danely to earn her spot. Earlier in the afternoon Danely laid the smack down on Kalamazoo College lefty ace, Trevor Trierweiler, in Tree’s first trip to Worlds.

MB5 champ Chuck Trinoskey overwhelmed his competition in the early afternoon to advance to the quarterfinals. Chuck topped Chad Cook and Neil Ver Planck (in three games) after NVP beat Jo Kidle and Lazer.

Truth be told, the bottom half of the afternoon was STACKED. It was a bloodbath all afternoon. MB10 champ Brett Boden survived a Sweet 16 with MBJ Eric Trinoskey to advance to the quarters. Boden had to beat recent HS grad (and keg pumper at MB1) Ryan Hintz while Trinoskey bested the best left-handed traddy the sport has ever seen, Andy Kidle. The MBJ/AK bout was a battle of the brewers as the two collaborated to brew Monkeyball’s first ever official beer, a citrus infused wheated pale ale called MBrew12. Thanks for the all work, guys!

Andi Osters started rolling early in the afternoon with two dominant performances against Manuel Tello and Jonah Allen to reach the final eight. Jonah beat Travis Johnson and Jeff Van Schaick to set up the match with AO.

For the fourth straight year Ryan LePeak reached the quarterfinals, this top topping Adam Schrauben in three games (they each skunked the other in the first games, crazy) and Rex Danely. Danely bested Dan Kubacki in three games in his opening afternoon match.

The last quarterfinal spot came down to a veteran group of six ballers, five of which had previously made the quarters. In the openers Brent Morrow beat Matt Whitfield and Dan Kidle bested Alex Schrauben even though he was shut out in game one. Even though Andy Frushour ultimately reached his tenth straight quarterfinal appearance, it wasn’t without some drama. Both Brent Morrow and then Dan Kidle took Frushour to three games before falling.

JUNIOR WORLDS

Meanwhile, the kids were battling it out for the Juniors World Title, again led by Jr. Commish Tom McFadden. Here is the official report of this up-and-coming annual event: “The action was fast and furious for this year’s Junior Worlds. We were happy to have 6 contestants: Jack (8 years old), Kate (8), Evelyn (10), Tobin (11), Quentin (10), and Vivienne (our youngest contestant at 7 years of age). We held a hybrid round robin / double-elimination format to ensure that everyone had a chance to play lots of Monkeyball. In the final match, Tobin beat Jack to claim the 2016 Juniors title. We look forward to being even bigger and better next year!” Thanks for the grassroots recruitment efforts, Tom!

QUARTERFINALS

Aaron Van Horn’s first trip to Worlds was MB11. While there he had to watch buddy and high school rival, Connor Thomas, reach the semifinals in what was also CT’s first Worlds appearance. At MB12, with a year of college under his belt, the surprising Cinderella faced MB veteran Keith Hagen in the quarterfinals. It was Hagen’s third trip to the quarters, but he hadn’t gotten over the hump since his inaugural year at MB5. AVH came our strong with a 15-0 first game, and then closed the door with a 15-10 W in game two. And for the second straight year the Thumb would be represented in Final Four.

Jillian Kubacki is no longer a surprise competitor in the knockout bracket as she advanced to the afternoon for the fifth straight year, but this was her first trip to the quarters. Meanwhile this was Chuck Trinoskey’s fifth time in the quarters, and he captured gold at MB5 and was silver-medalist at MB1. A back-and-forth match went deep into game three before CT pulled out the 15-12 victory.

Brett Boden, creator of the popular MB Talent Juice, has been on a roll. He reached his sixth straight quarterfinals and was the champ in 2014 and finished third in 2015. Andi Osters was in her fifth quarterfinals, but first since MB9. Osters seems to knock on the door every but always runs into a buzzsaw. But no in this match as Osters overpowered Boden in a 1508, 15-11 win to advance to the semis for the first time since her second place finish at MB3.

In what was billed as the top quarterfinal match of the afternoon turned out to be a one-sided affair. Andy Frushour and Ryan LePeak have had many great battles over the years, but this was Frushour’s year and he won 15-6, 15-8, in a match that wasn’t as close as the score appears. LePeak has a silver medal from MB10, and it won’t be long until grabs a gold at a future MB Worlds.

SEMIFINALS

Well, Aaron Van Horn, it was fun while it lasted. When the bright lights of the semifinals turned on, AVH’s game turned off. Chuck has been there before, and it showed in a 15-3, 15-0 semifinal win to earn a trip to his third world championship match. There’s not much more to say about this one.

It seems as if Andi Osters and Andy Frushour meet in the afternoon every year. And every year it is a brawl. The final 15-1, 15-11 score is not indicative on the quality of this match. Both players hung at least 6 on every round, except for a weak rack by AO in each game which ultimately led to her demise. After starting the afternoon somewhat slow, Frushour’s game was rolling and he was throwing big rack after big rack in wins over a murderer’s row of opponents: Dan Kidle, Ryan LePeak and Andi Osters. Chuck Trinoskey would be next.

FINALS

Uncle Chuck Trinoskey and his nephew Andy Frushour have met many times at Worlds, inlcuding Chuck’s win in the morning Top 16, but never for the championship. Frushour was only 10-weeks post-op from ACL surgery and had been on his feet all day, but that wasn’t going to stop him from giving Chuck all he could handle. And it was a battle, with continuous big racks from both sides.

With Frushour up a game and game two tied at 4, Chuck T did this….

… to make the score 10-4. Frushour battled back and took a 14-10 lead, and just when he was about the slam the door this big, 20-point rack happened…

… to keep the game tied at 14-10. Frushour, however, won the next rack to take the MB12 title.

FINAL WORDS

In the summer of 2016, a reporter asked LeBron James if he was chasing the ghost of Michael Jordan. LeBron, with three titles, and Jordan, with six titles, never got to go head to head. In the MB world, though, Frushour (with three titles) and Dean Allen (with six titles), still have a chance to meet on that 30 feet of space in the middle of Erickson Park. Let’s hope Allen comes back at MB13 to go for his first win since MB9.

Thanks to all for coming, and thanks to all the family that helps put this great event on. We’ll see you the first Saturday of August in 2017.

 


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