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FOT Nasties Walk Through Hell to Become East Champs
Silk Nasties 55 Tribe 52
A long time ago, a disgraced icon in the sport of baseball spoke of his undying passion to play the game. He talked about how he would 'walk through hell in a gasoline suit' to play the game. On Monday night, we saw of that same passion for basketball that Peter Edward Rose had for the game of baseball in the eyes, hearts, and minds of some great basketball players. Silk Nasties took on Tribe in a game that will be remembered for all the right reasons as time passes us by where many moments helped to carry the legacies for different men.
Tribe came into the game as the rightful underdog against a bigger, undefeated squad in Silk Nasties. Still, with Joe Andrade's scouting the week before, Tribe came into this thing with a gameplan to neutralize the size of Silk Nasties and attack their ballhandlers. Runner-up for MVP, Franklin Salvador, was shooting AND driving with ferocity in this one as he hit one of his vaunted outside treys early. Jerry Altidor was getting steals as he managed to bank in a crazy shot and draw the "And 1" to give his team a 15-11 lead. Tribe looked great as they had the energy, but Silk Nasties can turn to many weapons and a quiet one came up roses in this game. Jim Kopriva nailed a huge three and created a fantastic layup to give his team the 16-15 lead midway through the half. Without the Heavies doing their usual work, Nasties manage to take the lead. Still, Kimball and Bisson were coming up big with baskets as Nasties would keep a slim lead until 'Broadway Joe' nailed a huge three to tie the game at 23-all with 4:00 to go. Slow end-of-the-half as we were tied at 27, while the Nasties had the ball at the end. The Tribe D forced Gellar into a shot on the move near the buzzer, but Kimball alertly cleaned up the mess right before the buzzer to give the Nasties 29-27. Kimball with 8 points, while Kopriva had seven big ones at the break. Salvador leading Tribe with 14 big ones as he was poised throughout, while Andrade had seven big points as well.
Second half...was outstanding. After a subpar by their standards half, the Taylor brothers were ready to make big plays as they both started scoring big buckets for the Nasties. However, this game was a tete-a-tete offensively as both teams would not relent. Altidor kept driving the lane and Salvador was on fire throughout getting good looks on the drive and off spot-ups. His two free throws finally gave Tribe the lead back at 43-41 with 8:00 left. Then, Val Teixeira made a phenomenal pass to Altidor for a lay-up to give Tribe a four-point lead. But, Rob Taylor answered as he hit a tremendous three that gave his team some juice for the stretch to cut the lead to 45-44. Nasties D came up with a few stops, while MVP Steve Taylor managed to get to the line to hit some crucial free throws down the stretch to give the Nasties a two-point lead. Nasties added another basket, but Altidor had a huge AND 1 sequence to keep the lead at just one point for the Nasties with less than 3:00 to go. Nasties played it smartly and close to the vest with under 2:00 to go as they played smart, kept it turnover-free, and even got a few key steals on defense. Ken Gowell's defense late was awesome as he had two huge steals, one leading to a lay-up to give the Nasties a 51-48 lead with 1:00 to go. Salvador had a shot to tie, but he missed. This thing looked over as Gowell made another great deflection while the Nasties were about to take it down for a lay-up. Somehow, an alert Teixeira made a great play falling out of bounds to flip the ball to Salvador. Salvador pulled up a full step behind the line as he hit a huge three to tie it up. 51-51 with :25 on the clock, Nasties take the timeout. The Nasties ran a great play as they had the ball on the left wing as someone found a wide open Kimball on the other side of the basket. However, a long pass was rocketed over Kimball's hands, giving the Tribe a shot for the win with 6.7 seconds left. It has to go to Salvador, right? Wrong as Danny Teixeira got the ball and he drove in for the lay-up. It looked like it was in the cup, but it rolled off the front on the way back and the buzzer sounds. Overtime.
Wow. That was awesome. Three minutes for the East title. Unbelievable. Smartly, Nasties went right to it early as the MVP, Steve Taylor, went in for a lay-up to give SN the 53-51 lead. Unfortunately for Tribe, they put the Nasties on the line (and the non-stop time rule favors the team getting fouled, rightfully so). Steve hit 1-of-2 from the line and next trip down, Rob hits 1-of-2 from the line. Salvador (of 27 points, the game-tying three, leading scorer fame) manages to get fouled as he hits a big free throw (1-of-2) to trim the lead to 55-52 with :40 left. Wild trip for a loose ball at half court and it goes to the Nasties (much to the chagrin of Tribe, understandingly) with less than :07 to go. Nasties miss both free throws and Tribe has a shot at the prayer for double overtime. Sadly, not enough. It sucks someone had to lose this masterpiece of a game. Tribe was awesome as they left everything on the floor in a valiant effort. However, this night belonged to the Silk Nasties as they overcame foul trouble and their toughest opponent to prevail. Lots of heroes on this night, especially: the Taylor brothers with their scoring and presence in the second half and OT, Kimball coming up with big play after big play, and Doug Bisson, who again shone in the clutch with eight points. Silk Nasties face off against the Steamboats for a shot at fourteen wins a row, the C League championship, and immortality on Monday night.
Commentary by Five Hard Fouls...
Hi Haters 47 Genzyme 49
Genzyme Wins...but Hi-Haters Move On
This is not a fun write-up for me to do, so let's just put the elephant in the room now. Genzyme did indeed win this basketball game after being down 35-15 in the second half to outshine the Hi-Haters in the clutch...but the Hi-Haters will be playing Tribe in the semis next week. Haters won the game as Genzyme had six guys, one of whom is MNicey (the B2 Defensive Player of the Year and B1 Resident Stud). Unfortunately, in good conscience and with our rules set-up the way they are, Genzyme did not advance because they could only get five guys that were on the original roster and/or played the minimum five games (MNicey unfortunately didn't meet the minimum, and he still shouldn't play in a meaningful game in the C League.) This was explained to both teams BEFORE the game, for the record. Haters pounded early on Genzyme as Ryan Chason (the RoY) was unstoppable as he scored 15 of his 23 in the second half. Nick Souza added eight and Justin Blackman also added eight with a potential killshot in the final minutes (the big coast-to-coast layup after a Genzyme bunny rolled off)Still, this Genzyme team fought hard as they get to say they won their last game. To come back down 20 with over 17 minutes to go is a testament to a "never say die" attitude. DLee and Tom Martin hit big threes down the stretch. Mike Miller (17 points, 9 rebounds) was a monster all game as he attacked the glass with great energy. Rob Krukowski hit a killer three late and yes, MNicey, Peredna himself, hit the biggest shot of the game to put up his team up by 1 with a little more than a minute to go. Still, the Haters almost won this game outright as they had a couple of great looks (Souza and Chason both had shots literally go in and out.) Miller made one of two free throws and Baby Scal ended up having a great shot (you take that shot every time, Nick) at the buzzer, but he couldn't convert it off the half-court inbounds play (kind of like Courtney Lee in the finals...a tough makeable shot). Major kudos to Genzyme for not quitting and executing down the stretch. A good season and a good core group has been established for this league. DLee, Krukowski, Bachtell, Tom Martin, etc...got there every week and they're the guys that Genzyme needs to build around for future success. Haters slide into the semis next week, however they have another shot at immortality and the rubber match against the Tribe next Monday.
Tribe 71 Grand Nationals 45
Tribe Sprints N' Shoots to the Semis
Tribe came to play in this one. Inspired by the ghosts of Larry Johnson, Greg Anthony, Anderson Hunt, and the Plastic ManÖthese guys looked like the true Runniní Rebels on this evening. By garnering 14 team steals and firing lots of shotgun-style passes down-court, Tribe used a huge second half to drop the Grand Nationals 71-45 in this quarterfinal matchup. Once again, The Switch was turned on as Franklin Salvador went off for 36 points (6-10 3PT), 6 rebounds (?), and 6 steals in
Silk Nasties 76 Team Dynasty 50
Nasties Topple Dynasty, Seize 11-0
The Nasties cruised in this one and 'twas to be expected. The complete team that rolls eight strong (and every guy on this team chips in) showed why they are the best team in the league as they beat the young up-and-comers, Team Dynasty in a 76-50 rout. In spite of the best efforts from a 'one man gang' in Scott Nascimento, the Nasties broke this game open late in the first half with a 14-4 run to close the half as Dynasty was only down 21-17 with 5:00 to go in the half. And yes, Nascimento was brilliant again as he scored his team's first fourteen points on a mixture of drives and three-pointers. Still, Manny Chaves committed four first-half fouls for TD and, more importantly, there was no answer for 1st-Teamer and a spurned MVP's brother in Rob Taylor. Rob has been ballin' lately showing off his beastly inside producion as he got down with 17 points in the first half (27 points, 11 boards for the whole game). Couldn't be stopped. The other bigs were dominant too as Taylor, Kimball, and Taylor combined for 33 of the Nasties' 35 points. (Lots of close shots = lots of makes) However, the key plays were made on two consecutive assists by backup point, Jason Gellar. Gellar made an inside-out dupe to Taylor and then he fed Brian Kimball for an easy lay-up to get the Nasties' first half closeout run going. 35-21 at the break, Nasties. Second half was simply a continuance. Jay Lay got going with back-to-back jacks out of the gate and then Gellar followed suit with his own three. Gellar really stepped up big in this game with his smart play. This thing was over by midway through the second half, though, amazingly, Nascimento had 27 of his team's first 32 points, but his team was down 24 at that point. Scott ended up with 32 points and 11 rebounds as he ended a fabulous individual season, but something tells me he would have traded some stats for a few more wins. We'll see him again, for sure.
(Our 'Barack Obama teachable moment' for the night: if you are ever down 26 with less than 1:00 to go, you should not foul the other team. That would be considered unsportsmanlike. Manny, I'm saying that because I like you...get your shit together and don't be a jerk. Most important thing.)
This game was about the Nasties. Eleven-and-oh. Dominant all game long. But wait a minute, they have to play XJV next week for the third time. Each time, they have only won by three points. Will XJV solve the Nasties riddle to break up the undefeated season next Monday? In due time, we'll find out.
XJV 65 HotSteppers 56
Surviving + Advancing XJV Style
So many good stories in this game and the main theme in this one was: redemption. In this fantastic 4v5 matchup, there were a lot of surprises in this game and the first one was the return of BLau from the separated shoulder just to give HotSteppers five guys. And it was even crazier when BLau flushed home not one, but two threes right back-to-back to tie this game up at 10. Awesome. Still, XJV recovered for a spurt of their own with Steve Barbuto doing his usual song and dance and then Griffin Benelli hitting two crucial threes for eight first half points of his own. Talk about a guy who's gotten better every week out for his team right there. James Kopp also did business out there with eight more points in the half and XJV led 31-27 at the break. It would have been more if Sully didn't hit some key buckets to close strong for HotSteppers. Solid half, but the second half was absolutely wild. John Kopp hit two threes. Bugbee hit a nice jumper Barbuto banged home a big dagger from outside. Tom Layman hit one from beyond NBA range, it was silly. XJV started the half on an epic 26-9 run to take a 57-36 lead with just over 10:00 to go in the game. This thing had Saran wrap all over it, but then a funny thing happened. HotSteppers refused to roll over even with just five bodies down 21. Slowly, they chipped away at this thing as they got a few key baskets from 1st teamer Sully (26 points) and then Maria. With 7:00, it was down to 57-45. Frustrations mounting, Benelli kept mouthing off at Alberto and spiked the ball for a silly technical. Sully hit one of the free throws. Then BLau uncorked a three. Sully nailed a giant three. Five point game with 4:00 to go? 16-0 run for HotSteppers? Yes, the impossible can happen. XJV needed an answer and fast. And the guy who missed the game-tying shot last week hit a gigantic three and a big insurance lay-up to pad that lead back for the final margin. Tom Layman was the hero of the night. Steppers couldn't get closer than five. That was the ballgame. And what an excellent game played by both teams. For the HotSteppers, a phenomenal effort they should be proud of as they gelled well down the stretch to improve a lot as a team. Great season, guys. On the other side, XJV gets what they want. A shot at immortality and a chance to break the undefeated streak of Jay Lay's Silk Nasties squad in Round 3 on Monday night. Does it get any better than this?
|Standings C East Spring 2009 Thru Week 13|
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