Sofa King Good – Kevin Rasmussen 16, Alex Koong and “Mad Man” Edward Fan 13 each
YM – Dru Creightney 27, Jack Ho 15, Jermaine “Fresh” Foster 9
These two teams have never met when they were both at their peak. YM was one of the first power houses in Metro League, making it to the first League finals. With the departure of key players, YM gradually fell to the middle of the pack, and was out of the league for a few seasons. This is a rivalry in the making if it didn’t already start (if that makes sense, which it doesn’t). Sofa King Good is the living, breathing embodiment of what chemistry can do for a team with talent! A lot of mercenary teams have come and go in the Metro league, but teams with natural chemistry stand the test of time. Hence SKG.
The game started out with each matchup being a “Push”. There was no obvious advantage apparent in any matchup up and down the board. The rebounding edge went to YM, but only by the smallest of margins. As the game pushed on, each team took turns slapping each other around. SKG would take a slim 2 point lead into halftime.
The second half would begin with a tug of war for the control of this game, between both teams. Kevin Rasmussen and Max Neumann did a lot of the dirty work inside the paint. The extra rebounding and hustle led to a 14-2 run midway through the 2nd half. After YM called a timeout, they would begin the long steady trek to closing the lead. Dru Creightney and Jack Ho launched three pointers from all over the place in the 2nd half, and closed the lead down to 3. Jack Ho was fouled on a three point attempt with under 1 minute left in the game, and Jack would hit all three. Shortly after that, Jack would get a steal at half court and take it all the way in for a layup! YM would lead by 1 with less than 30 seconds left. SKG was stifled by the YM defense, and forced up a tough shot. Rebounded by YM, instead of holding the ball to be fouled, he passed the ball to the wing. The ball was quickly stolen by “Mad Man” Eddie Fan, who was stripped from behind but a foul was called on the strip! With .8 seconds left in the game, YM called a few time outs to see what SKG would run. As the play started, the lob was the first option to Max, but it was sniffed out easily. The 2nd and 3rd option were covered, however the 4th option was left wide open at the three point line after his man ran to double team the 2nd option. Alex Koong was benched late in the game for missed shots (among other things), but was reinserted for situations like this. Alex was left wide open at the three point line, for a shot for a game! He had time to check the wind, wipe his hands off, then let it fly! Everything looked be going in slow motion, and just when the ball couldn’t stay in the air anymore….SPLASH DOWN!!! All net, and that was the ball game!
SKG showed its championship pedigree, and pulled out the game of the night!
The Party – Chris Loreth 17, Niko Mottus 16, Shaun Lum 13
Flight – Russell Whitehead 15, Jermaine Adeyinka 9 (before having his nose broken), Tremaine Slawter 8
While Flight has battled in every single game they have been in this season, they are running the risk of missing out on the playoffs. The season is at its midway point, and there is nowhere to go but up for Flight! The Party’s emergence has been a long time coming, but it is upon us like the Philadelphia 76ers thought their “tanking” would be. Original member Ryan Shams has the utmost confidence in the team’s talent and future success, and it would be on display in this game.
The size difference was surprisingly similar, as both teams look to matchup up well upon the “eye test”. Both teams keyed on impact players to see if they could find a weakness they could exploit. Flight began hitting from beyond the arc early in the game, which switched on The Party’s “frenzy meter”! Chris “Zebo” Loreth and Niko Mottus absolutely dominated the scoring and rebounding for The Party! Tremaine Slawter battled in the trenches for Flight, but it was a losing battle as The Party would use their front line superiority to gradually push the lead out.
The Party did an excellent job on focusing on Flight’s deadliest shooter in RJ Base! RJ was held without a three pointer made for the first time in several seasons! As the Party rolls on, Flight looks to be growned!
Ball So Hard – Tyler Tanabe 19, Brandon Hoyem 16, Gene Wolff 12
Agaveros – Charlie Hughes 20, Oscar Salvador 6 *technically a forfeit as Agaveros only had 4 players from their roster
One team had 10 players in warmups, the other had 5. Sometimes I tell a story about how the little guy beats the big guy….not in this story! In this David and Goliath story, the David was Agaveros and the Goliath was the Reigning, defending Metro League champion Ball So Hard!
Ball So Hard came out with the same “Ball So Hard” intensity that won them the title last season. BSH has a wide range of lineups that they can throw at their opponents at anytime in the game. Their most positive lineup contains Eric Kung, Brandon Hoyem, Devon Carney, and Alan Hogan! These 4 dominated in points, rebounds, assists, steals and blocks! BSH would hold a commanding 16 point halftime lead over Agaveros.
Undermanned and desimated by injury, Agaveros have never given up all season. They continued to fight in the 2nd half, but BSH had ripped away the flesh in the first half, and were feasting on the bones in the second half! Oscar Salvador, Jose “Pepe” Vega, and Charlie Hughes put up a big fight, but there was little they could do to stop or penetrate the BSH armor.
On a side note, Agaveros did hold new BSH addition Gene Wolff to 5-22 shooting! LOL!
Sonic Boom – Max Barkeley 17, Davor Isic 16, Gabe Gibbs 14,
TTP – Matthew Anza 16, Matthew Yue 13, Dan Maczko 11
Both of these teams came off tough losses last week after good wins the week before. Scoring hasn’t been a problem for either team. It’s the defense that has been the issue. Both teams give up close to 60+ points a game which is over the league average, but find themselves in every game because of their offensive aggressiveness throughout the game.
I felt that Sonic Boom had the edge with their height and veterans in Shamir Naik, Mike Schmidt, and Gabe Gibbs. This game ended up being more of a grind than I anticipated. TTP not only are scrappy, they are all over the place. With pressure from the Two Matts (Anza and Yue), TTP was able to make nothing out of something on broken plays and loose balls.
Max Barkeley continues to gain attention with his hard, gritty play at point guard for Sonic Boom. Max throws his nose into every loose ball on offense and defense. Max had a bucket and a foul on one end, and promptly came down and had a massively clean block in the paint on the other end! Shamir Naik sliced thru the defense like “Latrell Sprewell”, but missed a number of point blank layups! Gabe Gibbs and Davor Isic kind of “Moseyed” their way in to a warm comfort level, and promptly took over the 2nd half!
While Gabe Gibbs hit from the outside, including a victim of the “Stagger Stumbles” into a free throw line jumpshot, Davor “literally” manhandled his way to point blank layups. A.K.A. Debowing to offensive rebounds and finishing baskets with 2-3 players hanging all over him! With a 10 point lead, Sonic Boom let their guard down and TTP had 2 steals for layups in the back court. One by Matt Anza that woke Sonic Boom up again with less than a minute left in the game. Davor and Gabe were able to close out the game with free throws, and escape the upset.
Stallions – Jit Lohcham 25, Mark Halfnights 19, Roger Sheung 12
Talisman – Sylvester Appiah 9, Jacob Juras 7
I’ll be honest. I’ve tried to find as many positives as possible to describe this game. The multi time Metro League champions vs the young upstarts fresh out of high school (some still in high school), looking to have a nice track meet-type of game. Unfortunately, it turned into a “horror story”, and totally one sided at that.
I have voiced my “concerns” (if that is what you want to call it) on The Stallions performances as of late. Which seems to be hyper critical in this case since I am dealing with: Multi time league champs, mostly in shape, and plays with high energy every game. What I’ve come to realize is that the Stallions are putting a premium on their defense this season, more than any other time in their Metro League history! Coach Chris Cayford has emphasized the quest to master “Team Defense” this season, and that ultimately answered a number of questions on their offensive output this season. I was looking at these
games in the wrong way regarding the Stallions. My focus should be on the effectiveness of their laser focused team defense. We have become accustomed to The Stallions flying up the court, and scoring in bunches. On occasion hitting the 100 point barrier in a 46 minute running clock threshold.
With that in mind, this game made a whole lot of sense! From the beginning, it was ugly for Talisman. Their young legs were no match for the hard charging Stallions. Everyone on the Stallions were involved on the defensive end in every aspect: rebounding, steals, contested shots, etc. The halftime buzzer seemed like an end of the bell ring in a boxing match right before the towel gets thrown in the ring to stop it!
The second half was more of the same, but more defense on the Stallions side. Jit Lohcham was the catalyst on both ends of the floor. Not only did he lead all scores with 25 but he dominated on the boards, and recorded a season high (For The Entire League) 5 blocked shots! Curious in this stat line, Jit had NO FREE THROWS!!! Talisman has 2 players who were averaging double digits, but no Talisman player broke the double digit mark in this matchup. The Stallions defense was even better in the 2nd half, as they would wear down the young legs of Talisman.
Good looking victory for the Stallions, and once again makes them the obvious team to beat this season.