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On the ball! Williamsburg pinballers defeat top-ranked squad from distant isle to take league title

Flippin’ out: Members of the Terrorwrists team — Jon Ehrlich, Boris Soriano, Adam Cane, Mike Pantino, and Nitzan Gabai — show off their medals following their New York City Pinball Championship win.
Brooklyn Paper
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They’re the wizards of Williamsburg!

A Williamsburg pinball team shot to glory in the city’s premier bumper tournament last month, triumphing over a top-ranked outer-borough club in a semifinals upset before defeating a silver-ball squad from Greenpoint to take the championship title.

New York City Pinball’s semifinal nail-biter between the local Terrorwrists and the Mutants, from Manhattan, played out at a Queens bar, where the teams competed neck-and-neck in the flipper fracas, according to the Williamsburg club’s captain.

“It was a real barn-burner,” said Adam Cane.

The teams battled it out on two machines — Getaway, a Terrorwrists’ favorite, and Ghostbusters, preferred by the Mutants — in a match that ultimately headed into an overtime round played on the hometown heroes’ dreaded Ghostbusters game.

An overtime stumble by the Mutants — a veritable pinball powerhouse that won no less than seven championships since the league’s 2011 debut — sealed the Terrorwrists’ win, according to Cane, who said his team’s victory hinged on one fateful shot that the Mutants’ captain blew.

“He basically needed one shot for us to lose,” said the Terrorwrist captain. “He missed.”

The Williamsburg team, which calls the nabe’s Jack Bar home, went on to duke it out with Greenpoint’s Paragons of Pinball in a finals match on the Paragons’ turf at bar–arcade Sunshine Laundromat.

The Terrorwrists claimed their championship title after a climactic doubles showdown where Cane said he and his teammate Mike Pantino won both their rounds on the last ball.

“It was a ‘bottom of the ninth, two outs’ kind of deal, and we came from behind both times to win it all,” the captain said.

Taking this year’s top honors meant even more to the Williamsburgers because the crew lost two key players at the end of last season, and struggled through the winter’s stiff competition with four players unused to the league’s team-play format, Cane said.

“To win it all in a rebuilding year is pretty sweet,” he said.

The Terrorwrists’ victory comes amid Brooklyn’s emergence as the Borough of Bumpers, with the Williamsburg club and six other Kings County squads competing for the championship title in New York City Pinball’s elite 10-team “Upper Playfield,” including the second-place Paragons, Balls of Steel, The Pinfidels, Special When Lit, Factory of Sadness, and Intermission Dolores.

Reach reporter Colin Mixson at cmixson@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4505.
Updated 5:50 pm, July 9, 2018
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