If I can’t win the B2, I am glad it was Duyon!
Wheels of Steel and CTC battled it out for B2 supremacy tonight and I have to admit I was a little jealous not to be playing in this game myself. B2 at CAC is one of the more prestigious leagues and anytime you have a chance to step on the court in the title game you have to be honored. Tonight we had a great game on our hands as well. This game saw the likes of Rory “Dunyon” Duyon and a couple of epic “Matt’s” for Wheels with CTC flying somewhat under the radar. I saw CTC play in the B2 Final 4 and these guys are legit though, led by Eric Spindt. Spindt is a legit scorer who can shoot and drive with the best of them and I was impressed with his final 4 performance. I didn’t have much time to analyze this one pre game though so I wasn’t sure what to expect from the championship bout. We ended up having a great game nonetheless.
To open the game both teams had the playoff jitters, which was evident by Spindt’s crossover on Tristan, which sent him flying to the ground. Had to throw that in there, as it was the definition of an ankle breaker. Anyways, CTC was the team to draw blood first as they had a solid team game going on. Spindt ran the point and did a nice job of getting everyone involved.
CTC opened the game with a 9-2 run and it looked like Wheels was lost on both ends of the floor. Spindt can be credited with leading CTC on offense to open the game. He was a BEAST from the perimeter hitting a couple of big threes while driving to the rim with a sort of grace that reminded me of myself. As we progressed along, Wheels continued to struggle mightily on offense trailing 16-4 midway through the first frame. I looked to captain Duyon to make some sort of adjustment and figure out what the hell was going on for Wheels.
At right about this point, Wheels decided it was time to play and whether Duyon had any impact on this at all will never be known. Tristan was the man to get Wheels off the schneid as he hit a big three to give Wheels some life. Tristan was a bit off from deep over the course of the whole game, but he was critical in his timing of made 3s (3/12 from deep in the game). This seemed to spark Wheels as a team. You could tell they had a little extra hop in their step, as they seemed to become aware that this game was close to getting away from them. Duyon subsequently made some nice moves in the post, which even impressed me and it looked like Wheels was going to climb back in this one. And they did.
Defense was the key for Wheels. Monroe was a menace on defense coming up with key plays and rebounds for Wheels. Tristan was also a big contributor on defense as Wheels really looked a lot more comfortable down the stretch in the first half. All of a sudden CTC had gone cold on offense and at the break Wheels trailed by just 1. We had a game!
With all the momentum for Wheels I wondered how CTC would respond to open the 2nd frame. They responded just fine, as Katz proved to be a crucial contributor for CTC as Wheels really focused their efforts on Spindt, leaving Katz open for a lot of 1 on 1s. We had a real grinder on our hands, as defense was the story for much o the 2nd half for both teams.
In the 2nd half though I just got the sense that Wheels wanted this one more. They really played as a team and did a nice job of not settling for the 3 ball like they had in the first half. Instead, Wheels took care of business in the paint led by Altschuller. Altschuller, the finals MVP, was literally the man in the paint, doing it all on both ends and playing his ass off in the second half. Altschuller had some nice moves in the post, converting high difficult shots and getting offensive rebounds at critical times. On defense he was sound as well, blocking shots and using his size and athleticism to grab key rebounds making sure CTC didn’t get 2nd chance opportunities.
Down the stretch though CTC hung around and played tough. Katz and Spindt played their hearts out doing all they could to keep pace with Wheels. CTC’s offense overall though was very limited as Monroe and Roberts really locked down defensively. In the end it simply came down to made shots. CTC just couldn’t get the shots to fall when they needed them and Wheels made them pay on the other end converting some nice fast break opportunities. Wheels pulled away late and only won by 5, but a 5-point lead in his one was a lot considering how the game went.
Congrats to Wheels of Steel for taking the B2 this season. They should be proud, as winning the B2 crown is one of the tougher titles to win. CTC deserves a lot of credit for having a great season but tonight they come up just short as Wheels of Steel wins the B2 Uni game. Oh and Duyon gets his first CAC title. Welcome to the not so elite fraternity my friend!
Wheels of Steel
- Duyon: 6 pts, 8 drebs, 2 assts, 4/6 FT
- Roberts: 3 pts, 6 rebs, 1 oreb, 1 asst, 2 stls, 1 blk, 1/3 FTs
- Monroe: 10 pts, 5 drebs, 3 orebs, 4 assts, 1 stl, 1/3 FTs, 1/2 3s
- Tristan: 25 pts, 6 drebs, 2 assts, 1 stl, 2 blks, 4/8 FTs, 3/12 3s
- Jamie: 0 pts, 2 drebs, 1 assts
- Nick: 11 pts, 4 drebs, 4 orebs, 1 assts, 1 stl, 1 blk, 5/6 FTs – Finals MVP: No, he didn’t have eye-popping numbers but he was by far the most efficient guy on the floor for WOS and played a hell of a game. Nick came up with some key plays down the stretch and I am pleased to award him the B2 Finals MVP!
- Katz: 19 pts, 5 drebs, 1 stl, 2 blks, 6/7 FTs, 3/10 3s
- Freeman: 4 pts, 2 drebs, 1 oreb, 1 asst, 4 stls, 0/2 FTs
- Whitecross: 0 pts, 2 drebs, 2 assts, 3 stls
- Spindt: 22 pts, 3 drebs, 1 oreb, 5 stls, 4/7 FTs, 4/13 3s
- Driscoll: 3 pts, 3 drebs, 4 orebs, 1 assts, 3/6 FTs