Bocce Champion!

What a tournament! There were thrilling finishes, crushing defeats, major upsets, a new finalist, and the same old champion in the 4th Annual Gastaldo Bocce Championship. Here's how it went down:

First Round

Game 1 - Big Momma insisted all weekend that she would not forfeit this year. Guess what? Two days later and we had a forfeit. Jeremy advances.
Game 2 - Caleb beat Matthew
Game 3 - John showed no mercy on his own daughter. He methodically took Sophia apart, 11-0.
Game 4 - I was really hoping Molly would break her losing streak against Mary Beth but it wasn't to be this year. 11-7, Mary Beth advances.
Game 5 - Again, no mercy. Carl takes out Gloria 11-0.
Game 6 - This was one of the better games. Newcomer Brooke taking on Gregg. It was a back and forth match and ultimately Ola's comeback fell short as he lost 11-10.
Game 7 - Here was one of the biggest turns of this tournament, and a game that had a huge impact. Dominic's friend Izak was visiting this weekend so we added him in to replace Cindy. Sure enough, Izak takes Dom out in the first round. Dominic's bocce rating suffered greatly because of this.
Game 8 - Vincenzo beat Olivia in the first round for the second straight year.

Conference Semi-Finals

Game 9 – Jeremy defeats Caleb. Later, Caleb reveals that his father promised to double his allowance if he beat me in the tournament. Terrible.
Game 10 – Huge, huge upset! I can’t say this enough. This was probably the tournament highlight. Mary Beth takes out John in the second round, usurping him as bocce champion of Oliver St. It was a good game, too. John controlled the game for the most part, but Mary Beth just kept sticking with him. John takes a 9-7 lead and he’s poised to advance. Mary Beth quickly rattles off 4 straight and takes the win in dramatic fashion.
Game 11 – Brooke gave Carl a run for his money but couldn’t complete the deal. To her credit, she’s never played bocce before and at least she made it to the second round and made a good push.
Game 12 – Izak’s cinderella story ends here. Vincenzo takes him out in an easy 11-7 game.

Conference Finals

Game 13 – Maybe Mary Beth was due for disappoint after the emotional high of defeating her husband. It just seemed like it was no contest against Jeremy. 15-5. Moving on.
Game 14 – Probably my second favorite game of the weekend. Carl seemed ready to take out both of his grandparents and advance to his third straight Finals appearance. Vincenzo had other ideas. Gus got off to a quick 4-0 lead and never really looked back, winning 15-8. It was no discredit to Carl because he didn’t play poorly. You had to see it to believe it, but Gramps was on fire throughout the whole tournament. He was like a man possessed. It was like he was making up for all that lost time, after disappointing the first three years of the tournament. It was a nice human interest story and it was good to have a new Finals participant.

Gastaldo Bocce Classic Championship Game

Game 15 – It started out back and forth. Vincenzo took a quick 3-0 lead. Jeremy got 9 straight to make it 9-3. Vincenzo started working his way back to 10-6. Jeremy took off again and pushed it to 17-11, but then seemed to stall out. He seemed to reach the classic JPP choke point. That’s when Gus really started breathing down his neck and brought it all the way back to within one point, 18-17. Jeremy counters with a score, 19-17. Jeremy tosses the pallino about medium distance close to the right side board and makes a decent first shot, but it goes around the pallino and ends up too far away to be a serious contender. Vincenzo counters with a decent shot but ends up too short, leaving an opening. Jeremy makes a great shot, fronting the pallino and protecting against fastballs. Vincenzo does his best to mix things up, but both of his next three shots end up just a bit short and without enough power to knock anything loose. So Jeremy is sitting on a win of one point, still one shy of taking the tournament. Does he go conservative or does he go big and take a risk? He goes big, with a wild spin shot that hits in the middle of the court and spins right, somehow filling in the tiny gap between Jeremy’s point ball and Vincenzo’s next closest ball. Jeremy tastes tournament victory yet again!

Thanks to everybody for playing. We’ll see you again next year.

Take a look at the updated Bocce Ratings. Take note of new ratings compared to last year and you’ll see the tournament’s biggest winners (Vincenzo, Marty Beth) and losers (Dominic).

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