Commentary by ZAK & JERRY...
Stop Drop And Roll Me a J 73 Lambda Epsilon Omega 70
Zak beats the buzzer to give SDARMAJ 17 Title
The 2017 SDL Final lived up to the hype, as the game came down to the final seconds. Zak swished a shot just inside of half court with the buzzer sounding, which gave Stop Drop And Roll Me A J a 73-70 victory over Lambda Epsilon Omega, and the SDL title.
Let’s fast forward to the final minute of the game. LEO led 70-68, and SDARMAJ had possession. LEO was playing tight defense, and it did not look like SDARMAJ was going to get a good look. Surprisingly, Zak found EJ on a back cut in the middle of the paint, and EJ finished a contested lefty layup over Mike Sydorko, which tied the game 70-70 with 30 seconds left.
LEO had a chance to take the last shot in regulation, but did not do so. With less than 10 seconds left, Matt Leone started to drive to the left corner, and thought he drew contact at the three point line. Leone decided to shoot a three ball from the corner, but there was no whistle. The Leone shot never had a chance of going in, as Zak corralled the rebound, and immediately called SDARMAJ’s final timeout with 4.8 seconds left on the clock.
SDARMAJ inbounded the ball to Zak. Zak took one dribble and Sydorko tipped the ball. It looked as though Sydorko may steal the ball and give LEO a chance to win the game at the buzzer, but somehow the ball bounced straight up, very high, where Zak was easily able to retain possession of the ball, while Sydorko ran by. Once Zak had the ball back, he turned and ended up being wide open just inside of half court. Zak took the deep shot, and all you heard was the buzzer and the bottom of the net.
Now let’s rewind to the beginning of the game. SDARMAJ came out on fire, especially Jon Daley. Daley created an and-1 opportunity, as he finished a strong right handed layup in the lane, after taking contact from Matt Meservey. Daley completed the and-1 from the line, which gave his team an early 10-6 lead, (17:00 mark).
Leone answered for LEO, as he connected from deep off a hand off, and cut the deficit to three, (9-12 at 16:00 mark). It was all Daley in the first half though, as he drilled a straight-away three, and pumped SDARMAJ’s lead to six, (23-17 at 12:00 mark). Zak made a tough reverse layup, which kept SDARMAJ’s lead at six, (31-25 at 9:00 mark).
LEO then answered with an 8-0 run, and took their first lead of the game, (33-31 at 6:00 mark). Sydorko was responsible for the first six points of the run, and Dustin Williams finished a right handed layup to complete the run.
SDARMAJ decided to call timeout once they fell behind. It was a good timeout for SDARMAJ, as they finished the final six minutes of the half on a 13-6 run, and took a 44-39 lead into the half.
The game felt like it had a chance to get into the 100’s, as both teams were executing their offense perfectly. Well, the second half tightened up a lot.
Leone opened the half with a three for LEO, which cut the deficit to two, (42-44 at 17:20 mark). LEO opened the half on a 6-1 run, but EJ would stop the bleeding for SDARMAJ, as he connected from deep and tied the game 48-48, (16:00 mark).
Cheese responded for LEO, as he hit a half lefty hook in the lane, which gave his team a 50-48 lead, (15:35 mark). Zak answered for SDARMAJ, and he connected from three, and gave his team the lead back, (51-50 at 15:15 mark).
For the next 7 minutes of play, LEO controlled the pace of play. The game slowed down, and LEO ended up taking their biggest lead of the game 63-57, (at 8:00 mark), after Cheese finished a fast break layup off a steal by Dustin.
It felt as though LEO’s lead would only grow from this point, but SDARMAJ had different plans. Zak created an and-1 opportunity after finishing at the rim. Zak completed to three-point play, which cut the deficit to three, (60-63 at 7:30 mark).
Leone answered for LEO, as he hit a turnaround jumper in the lane, which pushed their lead back to five, (65-60 at 7:00 mark). EJ then responded for SDARMAJ, as he made a lefty hook in the lane, and cut the deficit back to three, (62-65 at 6:30 mark).
The final 6:30 of the game was really a back and forth grind, as expected, and we all know how the final minute ended. It was really a well played game by both teams, and it was fun to cover.
Zak, (A): Zak finished the game with great numbers, (27 points, 14 rebounds and 12 assists), and hit the game-winner. I don’t think he shot as good as he would have liked from three, and try to force the issue a little too much from time-to-time. Never the less, he deserves an A.
Daley, (A-): Daley really played a well as he finished with 22 points and three blocks. He went a little cold in the second half, as 16 of his points came in the first half, but played had to chase around Leone all game as well.
Ghost, (B+): Ghost was as solid as a rock. He finished the game with 12 points.
EJ, (A): The captain was the spark his team needed. He did most of his damage in the second half, when it means the most. He also tied the game up at 30 seconds, that is an A effort.
Alan, (B-): Alan was not much of a factor in this one, but no one can get that bad of a grade on the winning side.
Leone, (B+): Leone had a rather quiet first half, but really picked up his play in the second half. He did not shoot particularly well from deep, but his offensive surge in the second half was a big reason why LEO surged ahead.
Meservey, (C): Meservery had a game he would like to forget. Did not shoot well from the field, but did end up with a team-high of 4 assists.
Sydorko, (A-): Sydorko played a really strong game all around. He shot the ball very well, corralled 14 rebounds, and had four blocks.
Dustin, (B+): Dustin had a solid game, as he finished with 14 points, 10 rebounds and three steals.
Cheese, (B): Cheese had a good game as well, as he scored 10 points off the bench, and added two steals.