Who Will Play In The First Ever Couples Championship?
It started with 16 teams, and now there are just four. 1 married and 3 dating couples playing for the CAC Couple 2v2 Championship. First they had to get to the championship and with a championship berth, we had a great prize all lined up. It was a weekend getaway at Mike Reddick’s boss’s house on Martha’s Vineyard, but we received word that he took the prize of the table, because Nibs The Baller put a hole in the wall when we all went down last year and now Mike no longer works there. Some people just can’t handle their alcohol. At the last minute we were able to obtain a couple of signed copies of BFab’s book that was released last month and made Oprah’s Book Club titled, Short Guy In A Small Cell: Tales Of My 12 Days In Prison
In game one, it was EJ and Harvey vs LJ and Terry for the right to represent the Quincy McCall bracket in the finals. Well, you know that LJ and Terry got the ball first, because Harvey still can’t win a rock paper scissors battle. To prove my point, I beat him 2 out of 3 last Friday night at Foundry in Davis Square. No problem for EJ and Harvey who have been playing particularly solid defense recently on Wednesday nights in Co-ed East. EJ forced a turnover on LJ, cleared and went right to the basket, dishing to Harvey as Terry tried to help, 1-0. On the next possession, EJ drilled a two to make it a 3-0 advantage.
On the following possession, EJ and Harvey tried to establish a post presence, by feeding Harvey, but his fade away came up short. Clearly still adjusting to his first game as a 34 year old! Don’t tell his legs that they are only 7 days older than they were in the quarterfinal round! Terry got the rebound and kicked it to LJ who gave a quick pass back to Terry as he finished with a strong move to the left. On the next possession, Terry set a screen for LJ, but both defenders went with Terry, and LJ drained a wide open 17 footer…3-2, EJ & Harvey.
Terry went to the hoop for a couple more baskets before LJ knocked down a two to complete a 6-0 run before EJ and Harvey got it back on a miss. On the previous deadball, Dave Celli, waiting to play his semi final, sneaked a 5 hour energy to Old Man Harvey and it provided a nice spark!! EJ and Harvey scored three straight to tie it up 6-6. Still, the duo of Terry and LJ proved tough to contain. LJ drained a two to take an 8-6 lead. Terry as usual was very effective getting to the basket, so Harvey backed off and dared him to shoot…no problem. A two from him and it was 10-6.
Terry lost the ball off his foot on the next possession to give it back to EJ and Harvey. Harvey is on this one three point try per co-ed game kick, so sure enough he spotted up from the wing and drilled one, but Bob the Ref said he had a foot on the line…10-7. Harvey shrugged and said, ”Well I guess I still haven’t taken my one three per game!”
Terry and LJ got it back and built the lead to 13-7 before giving it back on a miss. EJ went to the basket and left a perfect behind the back pass for Harvey who quickly made it 13-8. On the next possession, Harvey figured, why wait? Bombs away as he launched his “one three per game” from well behind the arc and it hit nothing but…the back of the rim. No dice for Harvey. Terry grabbed the long rebound and found LJ for the jumper to make it 14-8, game point. EJ and Harvey made a stop and got as close as 14-11, but Terry and LJ put it away as Terry made a spin move to the basket, forcing EJ to double, and left LJ wide open for a 10 footer, the win and BFab’s prison tales!
The second semi final and the last game in the Monica Wright bracket had the lone married couple, Tibbs and Caitlin up against Celli and Sara. As a special guest in the balcony at the CAC was Arlington softball umpire and commission, Mr. Ben Wall. I’d imagine that 99% of the people who read this will have no clue who Ben is, but he is Dave Celli’s biggest fan and simply would not miss this game for the world. Famous for his “DEAD BALL!! DEEEAAAAADD BAAAAAAAALLLL!!!” calls on foul balls that twist out of play, basketball would be an interesting change of pace for Mr. Wall.
This game got underway after Celli won the rock, paper scissors draw for ball. The passing was crisp early as Sara started a give and go with Celli as she made the face cut through the lane and past Gripp. She caught the return pass, pivoted and put it in for the first bucket. That would be the easiest one they would get all day as Tibbs and Gripp would tighten up. The teams traded blows to a 5-5 tie game. Celli had managed well in the post against Tibbs, but with the height mismatch over Sara, Gripp took the post and Tibbs manned the perimeter. He dumped a pass to the block, but Celli came with the pressure and Tibbs showed the outside game as he caught the kick out and drained a two, 7-5
Caitlin finished it herself on the next play as the lead began to build. By the time Dave and Sara got the ball back it was 11-5. Sara got a basket with the up and under, and missed a second attempt, but Celli crashed for the rebound and the made put back to cut the deficit to four, but Tibbs and Caitlin were too strong. Tibbs showed his outside skills knocking down another two. On the next possession it was his turn to clean up the offensive rebound, and just like that it was 14-7, game point for Tibbs and Gripp.
Now back to our guest of honor, Ben Wall. Quite the enthusiastic and vocal sportsman, he couldn’t quite take himself out of umpire mode. What he did next gave me flashbacks to the time he stopped Game 4 of the Arlington ALCS with me on the mound, walked the ball to me in the bottom of the 7th and said, “Pitcher, there’s two outs…the runner on third is the tying run and the runner on second is the winning run.” Thanks Ben. So in an effort to keep Celli, his all time favorite person informed, he called out from the CAC balcony…
“Dave Selli!! It’s 14 to 7!! The need one more point to win the Monica Wright Bracket Finals!!!”
“Wait,” said a shell shocked Tibbs. “FINALS?!?!?”
“No, Tibbs,” said Caitlin. “its just for our side of the brac…”
“FINALS!?!?!?!?!?!?” repeated Tibbs
Before the First Lady of the CAC could respond again, Tibbs promptly checked the ball and rushed a pass into the post that was deflected and stolen by Sara. She cleared and went right to the basket only to be met by a double team. She dished to Celli who put it in off the glass…14-8
“Why didn’t anybody tell him this was the finals?” Shouted Tibbs.
“It’s not!!!” retorted Caitlin.
“It’s the division finals,” said Celli
“I hate that word!” said Tibbs
With Tibbs still confused, Celli worked it to Sara in the post and then faded to the corner, where she hit him back and he drilled a two. On the next possession, Sara hit a two and just like that it was 14-12! Celli tried another two for the tie, but it rimmed out and Caitlin grabbed the board. She cleared it herself and Tibbs frantically rushed to the post. Tibbs received the pass, made a power dribble and then a drop step through Celli who went to the ground as Tibbs laid it up and in!!
::WHISTLE BLOWS:: “OFFENSIVE FOUL!” yelled Bob. Celli had positioned himself perfectly, and the finals clinching basket was no good!
Sara inbounded to Celli and he gave it right back and cleared. Sara made a nice stutter step dribble move followed by another up and under for a basket. On the text possession, she fired from deep to give her and Dave a 15-14 lead, but to win they needed to win by two. Dave failed on a second three point try for the win, which drew a look of death from Sara since they only needed one point. Caitlin got the rebound, worked a give and go with Tibbs and tied the game 15-15!
Tibbs had it going from outside earlier in the game and Gripp passed him the ball on the arc. As he sized up Celli, Ben Wall started chanting “FIIIIIIIIIIIINAAALLSS FIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIINNAAAAAALLLSS!!” from the balcony. As Ben chanted, Tibbs had one of those movie flashbacks to all the CAC finals in which he came up short. As he played this highlight reel of horrors in his head, Celli stole the ball and shot a three for the win!
ITS GOOD!!!! Celli and Sara take the 17-15 win and Ben wept like a proud father. Now Celli and Sara get set to take on Goliath…LJ and Terry in the first ever CAC Couples 2 on 2 Championship Game!!!
Until next week, have a great 4th of July everyone!!