Connor Matteson & Austin Matteson
Youngest Klassic Champs!
Matteson Brothers claim their first major title
The 13th annual KanJam Klassic featured a star-studded field, including players from seven of the top 10 teams in last year's World Championship. A total of 27 teams participated in the 2016 KanJam Klassic on Saturday, May 7th, which was once again held indoors at Sportplex in North Tonawanda, NY.
In just their second Klassic, Matteson Brothers (Austin Matteson & Connor Matteson) went undefeated in the regular season for the second time, still the only team able to acheive this feat. With a bye for the first round, they didn't lose a game until the third round of the playoffs. They eventually met up in the Klassic Finals with No Big Deal (Matt Nelson & Shane Nelson) in a battle of brothers. Matteson Brothers won the series four games to one to clinch their first major title. Their overall record of 29-2 marks the best performance in the history of the KanJam Klassic.
Official Ranks including Playoffs
|2||No Big Deal||23||8|
|3||Sicilian Slot Machines||21||10|
|4||Nacho y Esqueleto||17||17|
|7||Gonna fly now!||16||10|
|9||Game of Throws||14||7|
|10||Skillz that Killz||12||8|
|12||Heroes of Kanton||10||7|
|20||Ben There, Jammed That!||7||10|
|21||Back Dat Pass Up!!!||4||12|
|22||Ebony and Ivory||4||12|
|23||Vicious & Delicious||8||11|
|24||Two Dudes and a Disc||3||14|
|26||The salty dogs||2||11|
|27||The Royal Court||1||13|
Determined by final finish, regular season seedings, playoff records, and regular season records against playoff teams.
REGULAR SEASON STANDINGS
|2||Game of Throws||11||3|
|3||Skillz that Killz||10||4|
|4||No Big Deal||10||4|
|9||Ben There, Jammed That!||7||7|
|10||Nacho y Esqueleto||6||8|
|12||Vicious & Delicious||6||8|
|14||The Royal Court||1||13|
Ties decided by head-to-head play.
The top 12 teams from this division qualified for the playoffs.
REGULAR SEASON STANDINGS
|4||Heroes of Kanton||10||3|
|5||Sicilian Slot Machines||10||3|
|6||Gonna fly now!||8||5|
|10||Back Dat Pass Up!!!||4||9|
|11||Ebony and Ivory||4||9|
|12||Two Dudes and a Disc||2||11|
|13||The salty dogs||2||11|
Ties decided by head-to-head play.
The top 12 teams from this division qualified for the playoffs.
With a similar format and featuring many of the same top teams from the KanJam World Championship, the Klassic is without a question a competitive tournament, especially given that it has always been traditionally held indoors. Like last year, teams were divided into two divisions; the Dinger Division (Red), which consisted of 14 teams, and the Deuce Division (Yellow), which had 13 teams. In addition to a bunch of locals, there were also players from out of town that drove four or more hours to participate. A few players traveled from Ohio, Maryland, Massachusetts, and Ontario. For the Regular Season, teams were given one and a half hours to play every team in their division one full game to 21 points.
Keeping with the same format, the top 12 teams from each division made the playoffs, with the top four earning a bye for the first round. While this meant that a majority of the teams made the playoffs, this made for some great KanJam matches. Coincidentally, the top two teams overall from the Regular Season were the same as last year's Klassic. In the Dinger Division, Stallion Survivors (2-time defending Klassic Champions, Eric Klavoon & Jon Sandino) were the top seed with a record of 13-1, losing their only game in triple overtime to Daddy DayKare (Matt Lafferty & Trevor Trethewey). Next best team in this division was Game of Throws at 11-3 (#2 seed, Bob Greenauer, 4-time Klassic Champion & Scott Silverman). Skillz that Killz (Matthew Ryberg & Mitchel Ryberg) tied in record with No Big Deal (2014 Klassic Runners-Up) at 10-4, but Skillz that Killz won the head-to-head matchup to claim the #3 seed, giving No Big Deal the final bye spot at #4. One of the highlight games from the Regular Season came in a game between Game of Throws (#2) and No Big Deal (#4), which was won by Game of Throws in six overtime rounds.
In the Deuce Division, Matteson Brothers took the #1 seed once again, and posting a perfect 13-0 record. In going undefeated in the Regular Season of the Klassic for the second straight year, they are still the only team to date to accomplish this feat in a major tournament. PHILorkus (Josh Greenauer, 5-time Klassic Champion & Phil Schneider, 2013 Klassic Champion) put up a battle with Matteson Brothers in their Regular Season game, but lost to the brothers in four overtime rounds. Still, PHILorkus put up a record of 11-2 to claim the #2 seed. Three teams tied at 10-3 with only two spots available for the last bye. 6 it (Lenny Feldman & Sam Caquias) earned a bye spot for the first time in the Klassic as the #3 seed after beating the other 10-3 teams in head-to-head play. Heroes of Kanton (Adam Williams, 2011 Klassic Runner-Up, & TJ Burns) beat out Sicilian Slot Machines (Steve Schillero & Dan Guastella, from Cleveland, OH) in head-to-head play to take the #4 seed and final bye position.
Players traveled from near and far to compete for the 2016 Klassic title
Divisional Wild Card Round (best of 5) - All teams were able to complete all their games within the timeframe, and team folders were handed in. No shootouts were needed, as all ties were determined by head-to-head play. As per tradition, the top seed would play the bottom seed throughout the playoffs. Teams would compete in their division only for the playoffs, until only one remained to face off against the other remaining team in the Klassic Finals.
Seeds #5-#12 competed in the Divisional Wild Card Round, with the top four teams sitting out after earning their bye. In the Dinger Division, there were two series that went the distance to a deciding Game 5, and two upsets as well. The Benchwarmers (#5, David Morrison & Marcus Middleton), defeated Vicious & Delicious (#12, Kim Miller & Sean McManus) in a close series, 3-2. In another close series, #11 seed, T-n-T (Tim Klavoon & Tom Iak) upset #6, Daddy DayKare, in a series that also went 3-2. Nacho y Esqueleto (#10, Erik Arneth & Evan Sardo) took down #7 seed, Sham Jamz (Jeff Lathrop & Craig Caplan) in a 3-0 sweep, while in another sweep, Slackers (#8, 2007 Klassic Runners-Up, Jim Daugherty & Kim Klavoon) beat #9 seed, Ben There, Jammed That! (Ezra Nicholson & Kurt Watson, Ontario).
Seeds #5 - #12 from each division compete
Unlike the other division, there were no upsets in the Deuce Division in Round 1, with all the higher seeds winning their series. Sicilian Slot Machines (#5) defeated #12 seed, Two Dudes and a Disc (Max Page, MA & You Mon Tsang, MD), 3-1. Gonna fly now! (Joe Schillero & Ben Jones, OH) swept Ebony and Ivory (Derek Brifu & Laurie Brifu), while Chalex (#7, Chad Cowell & Alex Reinecke) also swept their opponents, Back Dat Pass Up!!! (#10, Jamar Carroll & Nora Daniels). In the final matchup, Milo's 13 (#8, Jayce Grefrath & Nate Schutt, 2011 Klassic Runner-Up) defeated Jam Newton (#9, Luke Lindner & Cameron Wambsganss) in a close finish at 3-2.
Divisional Quarter-Finals (best of 7) - With eight teams left from each division, all remaining playoff series would be best of 7 series. The top four bye teams squared off against the winners from the Wild Card Round. In the Dinger Division, Game of Throws (#2) put up another memorable playoff series for the second year in a row. In this one, they faced off against Nacho y Esqueleto (#10). The series started with a double-perfect game, with Nacho y Esqueleto winning in double overtime. Nacho y Esqueleto continued their hot play and took a commanding 3-0 series lead. Game of Throws bounced back to win the next three games, forcing a deciding game 7. In the final game, Game of Throws could not convert three points to close out after starting with a 18-14 lead, opening the door for their opponents. Eventually, Nacho y Esqueleto won the game in overtime to win the exciting series 4-3 to knock out the #2 seed. In the other matchups, #1 seed, Stallion Survivors swept #11 seed, T-n-T in four games; Slackers (#8) upset the #3 seed, Skillz that Killz, 4-2; and No Big Deal (#4) took out The Benchwarmers (#5) in a four-game sweep.
Matteson Brothers (#1) carried their undefeated streak through this round in the Deuce Division, sweeping Milo's 13 (#8), 4-0. Gonna fly now! (#6) knocked out 6 it (#3), 4-1, while Sicilian Slot Machines (#5) won their series 4-0 against #4 seed, Heroes of Kanton. In the last series, another good battle took place, this one with PHILorkus (#2) taking a commanding 3-0 series lead against Chalex (#7). Chalex rebounded to win the next two games in multiple overtime rounds in each, extending the series. PHILorkus eventually won the series 4-2 on a clutch deuce shot to advance.
Divisional Semi-Finals (best of 7) - Four teams remained in each division, as the tournament continued with the final eight. In the Deuce Division, Matteson Brothers (#1) took their first loss of the tournament in their series against Gonna fly now! (#6). However, Matteson Brothers still won the series 4-1, including two perfect games and two overtime games in that series. In the other matchup, PHILorkus (#2) took on Sicilian Slot Machines (#5), which included one game that went to five overtime rounds. Sicilian Slot Machines took a 3-1 series lead after winning Game 4 in triple overtime. PHILorkus rebounded in the following game in overtime to bring the series in reach at 3-2, but ultimately Sicilian Slot Machines won the series 4-2 with a perfect game to upset the #2 seed.
Nacho y Esqueleto knock out the defending Klassic Champions, Stallion Survivors. This ended a run of four consecutive major titles for Stallion Survivors.
In the Dinger Division, No Big Deal (#4) swept their second straight playoff series by beating Slackers (#8). In the biggest upset of the tournament, #1 seed, Stallion Survivors, took on #10 seed, Nacho y Esqueleto. Stallion Survivors started by winning the first two games, taking a 2-0 series lead. Nacho y Esqueleto won Game 3, and continued their hot streak. From that point on, they were virtually perfect, winning the next three games to knock out the 2-time defending Klassic Champions. For Stallion Survivors, their bid at a Klassic three-peat was cut short, and this was also their first time as a team being eliminated from a KanJam major tournament, ending their run at four consecutive major titles (2014 & 2015 Klassic, 2014 & 2015 World Championship). Nacho y Esqueleto advanced to the Final 4, having already knocked out both the #1 and #2 seeds so far.
Final 4 (Divisional Finals, best of 7) - The two teams left in each division faced each other to determine the Division winner. While Nacho y Esqueleto (#10) had a great run knocking out some tough teams in the Dinger Division, they couldn't keep pace with No Big Deal (#4). For the third straight series, No Big Deal swept their opponents in just four games, propelling them into the Klassic Finals yet again. In the Deuce Division, Matteson Brothers (#1) shot two perfect games in their series against Sicilian Slot Machines (#5), including one that went to overtime. In the clinching game, Sicilian Slot Machines just missed an Instant Win in overtime, as Matteson Brothers swept the series 4-0.
No Big Deal (#4, Dinger Division) vs. Matteson Brothers (#1, Deuce Division)
Matt Nelson (No Big Deal) gets ready to throw
The 2016 KanJam Klassic Finals featured the #4 seed from the Dinger Division, No Big Deal vs the #1 seed from the Deuce Division, Matteson Brothers. No Big Deal went a perfect 12-0 throughout the playoffs to get to the Finals, and this marked their second Klassic Finals appearance. Matteson Brothers only had one loss total, as they made it to the Klassic Finals for the first time. Both teams would be vying for their first major title. This would truly be a battle of brothers, as The Mattesons took on The Nelsons (No Big Deal). Here is a breakdown of how the 2016 KanJam Klassic Finals went:
Game 1 - No Big Deal won the toss to start the series and chose The Hammer (last throw). Both teams matched perfect buckets to start the game at a score of 12-12 after a great play by Matt Nelson (No Big Deal). Matteson Brothers continued perfect to 21. No Big Deal needed five points to close, but was unable to convert. Matteson Brothers won Game 1 with a perfect game to take an early 1-0 series lead. As the losing team, No Big Deal chose The Hammer again for Game 2.
Game 2 - After two rounds of throws, Matteson Brothers took a 10-9 lead in Game 2. Matteson Brothers then put up double buckets for a 16-9 lead. No Big Deal got a bucket and then wisely caught an errant throw, trailing 16-12. Unable to convert five points, Matteson Brothers put up four points for a 20-12 lead. No Big Deal followed up with six points to bring the game in reach at 20-18. Both teams converted the remaining points to send Game 2 to overtime. In the first round, both teams matched four points to force double overtime. The game extended even further when both teams put up six points in double and triple overtime. In the 4th overtime round, Matteson Brothers put up another six points on great plays by both Austin and Connor. On their first throw, No Big Deal only got one point, setting up an Instant Win attempt. Shane Nelson (No Big Deal) hit the goal on his throw, but did not get the Instant Win. Matteson Brothers won Game 2 in four overtime rounds to extend the series lead 2-0.
Game 3 - Matteson Brothers opened up the next game with four points, followed by No Big Deal with six points, including a great play by Matt Nelson. After two more rounds of throws, Matteson Brothers held a 16-15 lead, but No Big Deal was in a better position with needing six points to close. Needing five points, Connor Matteson shot for a deuce on the first throw. Not only did he nail it, he nearly got an Instant Win, as the disc went into the slot and came out the top. On the return throw, they got a bucket to convert the 5-point round. No Big Deal shot double buckets to close out as well, sending Game 3 to overtime. Matteson Brothers got six points to start in overtime, putting the pressure on again. No Big Deal only got one point on the first throw, and could not get an Instant Win on the return throw, resulting in another overtime win for Matteson Brothers, who now led the series 3-0.
Game 4 - For the second straight game, it looked as if No Big Deal could win in regulation, as they went perfect on their first six throws, taking a 18-16 lead. However, Connor hit a timely deuce and got the return throw for a bucket once again to convert five points for Matteson Brothers. No Big Deal got a bucket on their next throw to send Game 4 into overtime. In overtime, both teams matched perfect buckets to extend the game further. In double overtime, Austin made a great tip, but Matteson Brothers only got one point on the return throw. No Big Deal shot double buckets to win with a perfect game and keep them alive in the series, as they still trailed Matteson Brothers 3-1.
Game 5 - With losing the preceding game, Matteson Brothers had the Hammer option for Game 5. As they often do, they elected to defer the Hammer and instead throw first. Matteson Brothers went perfect buckets to 21 in just seven throws. After going perfect to 15 points, No Big Deal caught a throw, setting themselves up to match their counterparts. Sure enough, they got the six points they needed to match Matteson Brothers, closing out to go to overtime for the fourth straight game. Both teams shot a perfect six points in round one of overtime. In double overtime, Shane Nelson (No Big Deal) saved the game on a great play, as both teams went perfect again. In triple overtime, Connor (Matteson Brothers) jumped to make a great play, and this time Matt Nelson (No Big Deal) saved the game with a slam in the bottom half of the round. Yet again, both teams went perfect buckets, extending the game another round. In the 4th overtime round, Matteson Brothers kept putting on the pressure with another six points. No Big Deal scored one point on their first throw, setting up a final Instant Win attempt to keep them alive. Unable to get the Instant Win, Matteson Brothers won Game 5 and the series 4-1 to claim the title of 2016 KanJam Klassic Champions.
At the conclusion of the Finals, both teams congratulated each other on a great series. Matteson Brothers as a team are the youngest Klassic Champions yet, at ages 17 and 20, winning their first KanJam major title. To date, they have finished 3rd place (2015 Klassic), 2nd place (2015 World Championship), and now 1st place (2016 Klassic) in their short time on the KanJam circuit. Their overall record in the 2016 Klassic at 29-2 is the best in the history of the KanJam Klassic. No Big Deal played outstanding as well, finishing as Runners-Up for the second time in the Klassic (also in 2014).
A couple of interesting notes: No Big Deal shot 16 consecutive buckets in the Finals (Game 4 and halfway through Game 5). Matteson Brothers shot 15 consecutive buckets in the Finals, and this streak was done all in Game 5 through four overtime rounds. Four of the five games in the Klassic Finals went to overtime, with two of them going to four overtime rounds. Officially, there were three perfect games recorded in the Finals - Game 1 (Matteson Brothers), Game 4 (No Big Deal in double overtime), and Game 5 (Matteson Brothers in four overtime rounds).
Matteson Brothers were presented with "The Hammer" trophy by last year's Klassic Champions, Stallion Survivors. Traditionally, this has always been the main prize for this tournament, as the winning team is responsible for carving their team name and year onto the handle and bringing it back for next year's tournament. Also, a new tradition was started this year, as all players in the top four each received an official 2016 KanJam Klassic medal and display case with their placement. Top four teams also received their choice of gift cards (see below), while other random drawings were held for remaining players (choice from KanJam prizes or assortment of gift cards).
Matteson Brothers (Klassic Champions), No Big Deal (Runners-Up), Sicilian Slot Machines (3rd Place), and Nacho y Esqueleto (4th Place)
Bottom: Connor Matteson, Austin Matteson, Matt Nelson, Shane Nelson
Top: Steve Schillero, Dan Guastella, Erik Arneth, Evan Sardo
Top four teams:
- KanJam Klassic Hammer trophy, free entry into the 2016 KanJam World Championship (1. Matteson Brothers)
- Champions medal & display case, $25 Fandango gift card - Austin Matteson (1. Matteson Brothers)
- Champions medal & display case, $25 Applebees gift card - Connor Matteson (1. Matteson Brothers)
- 2nd Place medal & display case, $25 Fandango gift card - Matt Nelson (2. No Big Deal)
- 2nd Place medal & display case, $25 Olive Garden/Red Lobster gift card - Shane Nelson (2. No Big Deal)
- 3rd Place medal & display case, $15 Taco Bell gift card - Steve Schillero (3. Sicilian Slot Machines)
- 3rd Place medal & display case, $15 Target gift card - Dan Guastella (3. Sicilian Slot Machines)
- 4th Place medal & display case, $15 Tully's Good Times gift card - Erik Arneth (4. Nacho y Esqueleto)
- 4th Place medal & display case, $15 Walmart gift card - Evan Sardo (4. Nacho y Esqueleto)
Random Drawing of remaining small prizes:
- $10 Applebees gift card - Steve Schillero (Sicilian Slot Machines)
- $10 Applebees gift card - Matt Lafferty (Daddy DayKare)
- $10 Applebees gift card - Bob Greenauer (Game of Throws)
- $10 Regal Cinemas gift card - Nora Daniels (Back Dat Pass Up!!!)
- $10 Regal Cinemas gift card - Sam Caquias (6 it)
- $10 Amazon gift card - Joe Schillero (Gonna fly now!)
- $10 Amazon gift card - Evan Sardo (Nacho y Esqueleto)
- $10 Amazon gift card - Jayce Grefrath (Milo's 13)
- $15 Tully's Good Times gift card - Erik Arneth (Nacho y Esqueleto)
- $15 Tully's Good Times gift card - Alex Reinecke (Chalex)
- $10 Regal Cinemas gift card - Lenny Feldman (6 it)
- KanJam League koozie - Jamar Carroll (Back Dat Pass Up!!!)
- KanJam League koozie - Kim Klavoon (Slackers)
- KanJam Splash set - Phil Schneider (PHILorkus)
Without a question, this was a great tournament and could not have been possible without all the dedicated teams traveling from near and far to compete in this annual tradition. Thank you again to all participating teams! Also, special thanks to those that assisted with tournament setup, takedown, and announcements. This also could not have been possible without Sportsplex, and we greatly appreciate their time and assistance with the field rental. All proceeds were donated to "Carly's Club" at Roswell Park Cancer Institute. Visit www.carlysclub.org for more information regarding this charity. We hope to see everyone again next year at the 2017 KanJam Klassic!