It’s possible that there are enough Points out there for Ward-Melville, Delbarton, or Darien to catch Hill… but I don’t think there is. Soon to find out. Either way, here’s a graphic depiction of the seasons for IMG, Culver, Brunswick, Darien, and Salisbury. Each line is labeled with the relevant team it’s depicting (e.g. “CULVER”) and next to each line are the significant ups and downs and the teams that caused the significant ups and downs. Also, sometimes two teams play each other but Game One for one team is Game Three for another so the ups and downs don’t line up perfectly. Lastly, the numbers are slightly off due to normalizing the points but… The graph still captures the gist of what happened. Anyway, some takeaways from this graph and this season:
1 – Hill took themselves and others for a ride. Over and over, they bet big, lost some hands early in the season, and then their end of season win streak against some good and some great teams carried them across the finish-line.
2 – If Culver left the table after Game 12 or just played Hill once (or even twice), they’d be the #1 team in the country.
3 – Darien is like the anti-Hill. While Hill is all over the place, Darien is slow and steady. Darien benefited from being undefeated as well as beating two good teams (Yorktown and Torrey Pines) and one better than good team (St. Anthonys) and this is enough to make them a Top Team but… Not enough to make them the Top Team.
4 – Salisbury beat IMG, some smaller fish, and then Brunswick which put them in a different strata. But their rise to prominence was short lived as they lost to Deerfield in the next game. Then, slowly climbed, actually returned to their #1 spot after Culver lost to Hill for the second time… and then lost to Hill.
5 – Brunswick had a similar season to Culver. For much of their seasons, the graph looks like a mirror. Two good early season wins vs. Landon and Deerfield, stayed undefeated and slowly climbed, like Culver, Brunswick beat Hill and had a good upward spike, again, staying undefeated and slowly climbed until… Losing to Salisbury. Culver lost to Hill and then lost to Hill again which, for obvious reasons, hurt more. But looking at the totality of Brunswick’s season, this Salisbury loss hurt Brunswick a lot.
Bottomline, an exciting season and a particularly exciting season for Hill. With this said, maybe Darien, Delbarton, Ward-Melville or otherwise know something I don’t and there’s more excitement to come.