It was a great 2 days that ended with one of the greatest games in STA History.
Saturday started with a breeze in the air. Jason and Heath Sivak were the first to two wins and quickly got their challenge in to last years champions John Janick and Chris Kinka. Whether is was due to the chill in the air or just a lack of play, the former champs came out cold and were no match for the Sivak Brothers and went down in 2 straight. The action continued through the day and soon Eric Snabl and Greg Benson secured their 2 wins and challenged the Sivaks. Jason and Heath again proved too much for the competition and too the series in 2. The rest of the field tightened up as well and Day 1 ended with 3 teams in Purgatory, waiting for their shot at the current champs.
Day 2 started with a rematch of the first series with John Janick and Chris Kinka once again playing for the lead. The first game went pretty much the same way as Day 1 with the Sivak brothers winning easy. After a small break and some advise from an unlikely source, the tide seemed to turn and Janick and Kinka took game 2. Game 3 was close all the way to the end, and in the first round of overtime, Janick and Kinka pulled out 2 points by a margin of few grains of sand.
The current leaders were challenged right away by Veteran Dave Stein and new comer Camren Nelson. Janick and Kinka took game 1 easy and held the lead in game 2 all the way to the 5th landing, when a brilliant play by the rookie Nelson pushed the game to overtime. The rookie sensation then followed it up with an epic last stone throw in overtime to steal game 2. Game 3 looked like it was headed back to the current champs until Stein made an under a tree bounce shot into the X to get within 1. Playing to their strengths, Janick made the decision to play stone all the way to the sand on the 1st stretch, a throw of some 50+ feet. after 2 more cross course throws, Kinka and Janick worked back up to a 4 point lead.
With the last potential mark toss before the leaders went to the final landing, Stein and Nelson were able to grab an easy 3 points. With the mark on the final landing, a decent establishment, a 1 point lead and a stone in hand, Janick and Kinka had all but closed it out, when the rookie sensation Nelson on his final stone of the match was able to knock out the established stone and leave his there for the point.
Kinka’s final stone sailed just over Nelson’s stone and the game was heading into overtime. That’s when Nelson took it to the next level, his mark toss went back over the pond to the sand on the 2nd stretch. With the biggest establishment of his short career, Nelson placed his 1st stone within inches of the mark. Kinka and Janick tried fruitlessly to better the establishment, but all four stones sailed long. Stein’s throw also went long, but with his final stone, the Camren Nelson dropped it within 5 inches to secure the win. The Epic game 3 pushed it over the final time and the tournament was over.
1st- Dave Stein and Camren Nelson – 12 points
2nd- Chris Kinka and John Janick – 7 points
3rd- Bobby Bardsley and Ryan Kinka – 4 points
4th- Peyton Sivak and Trent Trask – 2 points