BSH – Alan Hogan 18, Gene Wolff and Devon Carney 15 each
YM – Dru Creightney 20, Jack Ho 19
The time had come to settle who would be the first participants in the Spring League Vancouver Metro Title game on May 15th! The defending champion Ball So Hard team has been laser focused and on a mission to repeat as league champions. The consistency of their personnel has been a big key to their success last year, and it has carried over to this season. YM making their spring league return from a semi long layoff has found them one game from the title game. YM has a few new faces, but most of the old guard is back including Kelly “Crash Test” Lo who has battled tons of injuries through the first season of Vancouver Metro! Lo is a credit to what the league is all about! Hard work, determination, perseverance, and fire! These are the traits that led YM to a championship, and knocking at the door for a chance at another one! Led by Jack Ho and Dru Creightney, YM had the firepower to score with anyone. Grizzled veteran Jermaine “J Fresh” Foster anchors the back court as a big guard, and would be called upon to help put pressure on the Ball So Hard defense.
The game started out fast like a “Chicken Catching Contest”! Both teams were all over the place taking advantage of defensive breakdowns. Both teams would it on 3 pointers and get a couple of easy buckets. What became evident quickly was the energy level that BSH came out with! Led by Alan “The Energizer Bunny” Hogan, BSH would pick up the pace dramatically! The General Gene Wolff put his finger prints on the game early and often. Drawing from over two decades of basketball IQ, Gene was able to affect the game from the 3 point line, dribble penetration, assists, and attacking the basket! BSH would attack from all angles, and capped off by an Adi 3 pointer to give BSH an 11 point lead near the end of the half. YM would find themselves down by 14 at the half!
YM needed to hit the ground running in the 2nd half, but BSH continued to play great help defense. Shading their defense to focus on Dru and Jack, held down YM’s offensive production. Which in turn threw off YM’s timing on offense. Every pass, cut, and shot were a ½ step late, and you can’t be late on the defending champs! Dru C would have a spurt where he would knock down 3 three pointers, mostly on broken plays. Jack Ho would follow up with a few on his own to tighten up the game. However BSH was up to the task! 2nd chance opportunities setup by the BSH front court, and Alan Hogan would come down to hit a left hand and right hand jumper both from about 15-17 feet! BSH would hold off a late push by YM to win by 13 and move on to the championship game to defend their crown!
Stallions – Jitt Locham 17, Prince Carino 15, Darryl Lardizabal 11
The Party – Lukas Domingo 10, Chris “Zebo” Loreth and Niko Mottus 7 each
After The “March Madness” type upset over multiple time champion Sofa King Good last week, The Party looked to continue their “Kemba Walker 2011 NCAA Title run” matching up against the unofficial “Kings” of Van Metro….The Stallions. This team identifies themselves with the 2009 championship Los Angeles Lakers squad, but resembles more of the Golden State Warriors of the last few years! Throughout this season and nearly every season before this one, The Stallions have been consistent in the brand of high paced, high intensity basketball that is viewed highly by most, but rarely duplicated! In the first open Spring league in recent memory, The Stallions thrive when faced with different levels of competition. While not all games have been a road of filled with lollipops and gumdrops, but the margin of victory in the end was the most for any team, per contest.
As the game started, both teams probed each other like the start of a WWE “Hell in a Cell” elimination Cage match! 10 players locked in between the lines, and only one way out….and that was with a victory! In the “feel out” process, both teams were quick and probed for openings in each other defense. Each team was patient in their attack, as The Party showed some of their underrated defensive hustle. Brody “The MVP” Greig would announce his arrival into the stat sheet early and often at the beginning of this game with a few quick assists and a ridiculous “Manu Ginobili/Kyrie Irving Euro step”, that almost sent a defender right to the bench to sit down BEFORE THE SHOT HAD GONE THRU THE HOOP! The Party was not deterred by the potential “ankle breaking” move, and pressed The Stallions with a few three pointers. At around the 8 minute mark, one of the patented “Stallions runs” began! These spurts of offensive dominance are what draws comparisons to today’s “Warriors”, because of the quickness of the points being scored and the surgical way in which is done! The difficult part of trying to stop the Stallions run is that it comes from everywhere and everyone! A three or two from Prince Carino and Darryl, or a slashing bucket by Dustin, Roger, or Mark! Even “Turncoat” Jeff had a good ¾ court assist to help the Stallions carry a 13 point lead into halftime!
The second half started out as innocent as the first, with both teams punching and counter punching. Then it happened…again! The stallions put on a long and sustained run that left the Party nearly helpless to stop it! Jitt Lohcham was able to take advantage of his mismatch, and anchored an almost 30 to 8 run midway through the game that would put the game out of reach. Ryan Shams hit on just one three pointer to go along with 3 made threes from his teammate Domingo. The highlight of the game was the “sliding” assist from Jeff underneath his own goal which could only be described as a “spasm” play (don’t ask me to elaborate; I barely could understand what I saw). The Stallions would go on to win by 39 points. The honorable mention for play of the game was more of a lowlight. As the game was being put out of reach an ominous silence rushed through the crowd, as a large gust of wind hit everyone smack dab in the face. Lohcham let go a perfectly formed free throw that nearly missed he net as it fell helplessly to the ground without getting anywhere near the rim!
Game Note: Lohcham has been plagued with a nagging injury that may have contributed to the airball, but none the less I witnessed history on that night.