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BBAL Week 3 Recap (Javion's Edition)

Week 3 of the 2024 BBAL Season has come to a close! This week was very catastrophic but filled with great games and lots of betting risks! Precipitation tried to stop us but we still made it happen! The debut of our team shorts courtesy of MJM Hoops. Let’s get into it!

First up, we had a great matchup between the undefeated Titans and the hungry Huskies. Before our rain out, both teams started off hot, especially Chase Yarberough of the Titans as he was drilling threes to start. It seemed as though later in the first, Titans played with more intensity and fast-paced offense creating easy bucket opportunities. The Huskies still were hanging around with key defensive stops to make up for their mostly absent offense in the first half as the Titans led 42-36 at the end. However, the rainout and the transition over to the “E” caused me to miss the majority of the second half. I saw enough late to see who was taking over like Timmy Edwards making huge late game shots, also dropping 35 pts on 70% from the field, Elijah Washington dropping 17 pts on 58% from the field, and lastly Isaiah Valentine dropping 17 pts on 57% from the field. It was a great sight to see more than a select few Huskies contributing positively this week! As for the Titans, many including myself thought they would remain undefeated. In the second half, what I saw was an offensive collapse and turnovers galore! Their fast-paced offense remained fast but lacked ball security in the second half. Shots weren’t falling and guys you’d expect more production from guys like Ant, Chase, Rob, and even Johnny. I’ve got to say, the “E” seems to be way more intense than our traditional “sport court” so maybe this contributed to Ant’s uncharacteristic 15 pts on 35% shooting, Chase’s 18 pts on 41% shooting, Rob’s 14 pts on 40% shooting and lastly, Johnny’s 12 pts with 8 boards on a team high 62% shooting this week. The Titans lost a tough one, 83-71.

Next, we had the Tropics facing off against the CherryPickers. In my opinion, this game was the “Battle of the Bottom Tier Shorts.” Both teams had their shorts in different tones of their team's colors. Starting the game, it was pretty even and defense was being shown. Early on, the Tropics who have by far the least favored shorts were playing solid. 10 minutes later, the CherryPickers jumped out a 37-20 as things weren’t looking good for the Tropics. KJ Brownlee, John-John, and Joe Chupick all contributed especially from beyond the arc as the Pickers led 60-44 at half. Many hoped to see a Tropics comeback with Tyrell Melendez joining forces in the 2nd half and giving the Tropics some slashing ability. 2nd half, same results for the Pickers as John-John was ON FIRE in the 2nd half! KJ made some tough shots and played physical defense as well. To put the cherry on top, Mark Goldbach of the Tropics was our first 2024 BBAL ejection! KJ scoring 25 on 67% shooting, Joe Chupick scoring 26 on 73% shooting, and John-John scoring 20 on 47% shooting seemed to be just the ripe time for the Pickers. On the other hand, the Tropics really never got things going and couldn’t contain the barrage of threes from the CherryPickers. Maybe if Tyrell played the entire game things would've been different because Aaron Constein’s 23 and Rob Swantner’s 17 on top of poor defense couldn’t get it done this week and played just as ugly as their shorts!  The CherryPickers put away the Tropics 99-79 to become our season-high in scoring! 

Following that, the 8 Balls looked to continue to roll over the WoodPeckers. 8 Balls, once again without Jason Kuntzelman forcing the offense mainly on Julian Collazos shoulders. 

WoodPeckers looked to keep the spark alive led by Devin Atkinson. Early on, the Peckers came out sharp with a very successful gameplan keeping the ball out of Julian’s hands and rotating timely when he did have the ball to allow for double teams. Both teams started off inefficient offensively, it was a great sign for the Peckers. The brothers, Ross and Grant Conway knew they had to step up for Julian and their team as they made deep threes to calm momentum later in the first. Seemingly, most WoodPecker possessions would be in Devins hands as he would find a way to score. In fact, with him leading the way the Woodpeckers  would go on a solid run up 29-17 with 5 minutes left in the first. The 8 Balls would fight back with a few crucial buckets despite being down 38-33 at half. Both teams were scoring out of half despite Julian still being shut down. Even the good looks he found, they weren’t dropping. Later in the second half, the Peckers went on an offensive clinic as Devin Atkinson finished with 23 pts, 8 boards, and 7 assists. Aiden Sands dropped 18 pts on 53% shooting. Elijah Eberly finished with a 12-10 double-double! Aleer Gonzalez despite not being shown in the box score was certainly a timely bucket for the WoodPeckers. 8 Balls Julian Collazo appeared to be injured late in the 2nd half which put insult to injury despite Ross Conway dropping a 30-13 double-double. Julian still managed to stuff the stat sheets with a 15-11 double-double as it wasn’t enough and the WoodPeckers came out on top, 67-63.

The matchup was heard around the league, The Bullies and Lanc Show. The Bullies, who are looking to dominate their way to 3-0 and become now the only undefeated team. Lanc Show, looking to stop them in their tracks and pull off one of many upsets this week. Both offenses were slow as expected with both teams having league-leading defenses. A very physical game and little to no easy buckets for both teams. Ajani Simmons of the Lanc Show and Topfloor of the Bullies showed flashes early of a dominant game. Tons of lead changes this game as it was neck and neck the whole first half. The largest lead was the Bullies up 33-21 with a minute left in the first. Several and-1s in under a minute from the Lanc Show cut the lead to 8 at halftime. The second half for the Lanc Show made their two man show more visible with Jaxon Weyforth and Ajani Simmons at the helm. On the other hand, The Bullies three man band courtesy of Topfloor, Kobe, and Desean made notice of their own. Ajani and Jaxon came to play without a doubt combining for 52 pts. But, once again for the second straight week, they couldn’t come up in crunch time. The Bullies three man band included Topfloor with 29 pts, Kobe with 23 pts, and Desean with 18 pts while contributing on the rebounding end as well to become the only remaining undefeated team with a 70-74 victory.

To close out our night, it was the “Battle of the Cruz’s.” Dragons facing off against the Gremlins while both teams were still searching for their first tally in the win-column. I expected a great game from Dragons’ Kevin Roldan as he stated to me “I don’t like how them articles have been looking, im droppin 40 tonight!” I knew I was in for a good one and expected a huge bounceback from the former champion. Jah Greaves debuted for the Gremlins due to a trade earlier in the week made me feel confident that he’s found a home. No one on either side early on showed flashes of a dominant game as opposed to other games. In the first, I noticed Elijah Terry being a bit of a ball hogger although he was scoring  as Gremlins were scoring in the meantime. Kevin Roldan started showing signs of a productive second half as the Dragons took the lead 37-31 at half. Nassir McFadden came out hot in the 2nd half with 3 straight three balls. Momentum seemed to be non-existent other than late game as it was a constant back and forth battle. The Dragons were led by Kevin Roldan with his best performance this season by far with 21 pts on 58% from shooting, Dre Davis with 16 pts on 70% form shooting, and Elijah Terry with 15 pts on 67% shooting. The Gremlins were led by Nassir McFadden dropping 25 pts on 60% shooting. Other than him, other guys like Jeff Espinal put up 13 pts but just like the Lanc Show, they couldn’t come through late game as they fell to 0-3 losing 74-67 while Alex Cruz and his Dragons have brother bragging rights!

This concludes the 3rd week of the 2024 BBAL Regular Season. Many upsets are heard around the league and we’ll see what teams can keep the gas pumping or what teams will start to plummet! Catch us next week on the Sport Court for Week 4!

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