(2) Ball So Hard 106 vs (5) SWAT 96
Ball So Hard - Alan “Spiderman” Hogan 27, “Steady Eddie” Devan Carney 22, Brandon Hoyem 19
SWAT - Jomari Reyes 34, Josiah #93 29 Jonas #5 18
With two of the three preseason favorites eliminated in the quarterfinals, Ball So Hard had a chance to make Vancouver Metro league history! There has only been 2 multi title teams in Vancouver Metro under the same banner (team name) Sofa King Good and The Stallions! The leagues foundation team SWAT, made it to the finals on a monumental upset of the Stallions who have won the league 5 times! Their quarterfinals game was an uptempo, grind of a game that left both teams punched out and spent! SWAT is making its first title game appearance since the 3rd season of Van Metro back in 2012!
Ball So Hard was at full strength with “Hockey Shift” type substitutions at the ready! SWAT seemed to be ok with one sub, but was forced to play with 5 as the 6th player was deemed ineligible for postseason play. The start of the game may have reflected the disappointment of SWAT, because that is exactly what they received in the first 5 minutes of the game…..A SWAT!!!! Ball So Hard didn’t shoot a high percentage in those 5 minutes, but they killed SWAT on offensive rebounds and put backs led by Brandon Hoyem! Brandon had an excellent start to the game fixing mistakes and cleaning up missed shots for BSH. “Steady Eddie” Devon Carney finished off the 17-0 run with a basket and a foul! SWATs Josiah would stop the run with a 3 point, but it didn’t stem the onslaught right away. BSH would continue to put pressure on SWAT, but SWAT would be able to manage the rebounding and slowly work their way back into the game. Jomari is usually the catalyst for SWAT in the scoring dept, but he was bottled up with the physical play and double teams of BSH. Josiah and Jonas would pick up the scoring duties with a barrage of threes! By halftime, SWAT would bring the depict down to 12 points at the half!
From my expert eye, it seemed that the numbers that BSH had would wear SWAT down to a nub somewhere in the 2nd half. That “astute” assessment would be bang on early in the 2nd half, as BSH constant pounding, subs, and energy was too much for the depleted roster of SWAT. BSH would go crazy on both ends of the floor with constants scores, and the blocked shots and verbal reverb from Alan “Spiderman” Hogan! By the time you could blink both eyes, BSH had a commanding lead! Even with the Jomari and Josiah trying to bring SWAT back, it would be to no avail. BSH would go on to rap up their 2nd Vancouver Metro title, and become immortal in the halls of Metro League history!
G2 77 vs TTP 79
In the topsy turvy world of Div 2 this season, two teams emerged at the top of the mountain. TTP came off a near 40 point win last week, solidifying their chances of becoming Div 2 champs, while G2 quietly made their way to the finals. In true veteran style, G2 came in with not a lot of fan fair, but a ridiculous amount of confidence that could choke an elephant!
TTP came with the everyone including the kitchen sink! Each person was fired up, and each person was ready to go for TTP! TPP came out on fire! Not necessarily by the outside shots but through pure hustle and relentless attacking! They started out on a 27-6 run to start the game, then put in a few three pointers to boot. The game would take a new complexion as the Captain/Founder of G2 Gabe Gibbs cruised onto the court. Not a drip of sweat on his brow, Gibbs looked like it would be a 5 minute “on court” warmup for him. Yet, as soon as he hit the floor, G2 would make a significant push! Igor would hit on a twisting layup with the foul, and G2 would hit the boards hard to grind the lead down to 19. TTP would hit a long scoring drought, and the bigs for G2 would take advantage of it! Rebound after rebound, put back after put back would get G2 back into the game, but would still end the half with an 12 point depict!
With the tides changing to the G2, TTP scrambled to find a strategy to stop this slow moving tidal wave the call G2! TTP ran a 2-3 zone, then switched to a rare 1-2-2 zone. It would confuse and slow the G2 surge, but only for a short time. Igor Dutina would find his range on some good spot of threes off the kick! Before you knew it, the game was tied at 47! The intensity went thru the roof when that happened, as both teams bumped, dove, and hustled on every possession! Matt and Kevin Anza remembered their last loss to G2 right before the playoffs, and were determined to reverse that last result! TTP would miss a ton of free throws that would keep G2 within striking range. Kevin Anza would hit a big 3 to take the lead midway through the 2nd half only to see Igor take the lead back on a 3 of his own. G2 would turn up the defense and take a 4 point lead off of a turnover and a few consecutive layups! G2 would take its turn with turnovers, and TTP would capitalize on all of them! Both teams traded baskets as the game went down to the wire! Late in the game Gabe Gibbs would block a three point attempt and cruise around a TTP defender for a layup that would give G2 a 4 point lead with 2 mins left! G2 would commit another costly turnover, and TTP would race in for a layup to cut the lead to 1! TTP would hit a huge three pointer with 40 seconds left in the game, to give them a 1 point lead! After a G2 miss, Matt Anza was fouled and nailed 2 clutch free throws after the numerous misses by TTP throughout the game! Igor would come down and tie the game with a huge three pointer of his own!
On the most crucial play of the game, matt Anza would take the ball at the top of the key and drive left on Gibbs. Gibbs recovered to block the shot, but commit a foul! The crowd was buzzing on the call, and it sent Matt Anza to the line for 2 free throws! Matt would calmly sink both free throws giving TTP a 2 point lead with 2 seconds left. With more than enough time to get a shot off, the inbound pass came to Gabe Gibbs on the right side of the floor. With one dribble gabe took a fall away 3 pointer with a TTP player hanging all over him. The ball floated in the air which seemed like a lifetime! Just as it was about to go through the hoop for the game winner, it hit the back iron and came off the rim giving TTP their first Div 2 championship!