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Javion Gives Us a Recap On The Final 4

The Final Four… The rookies go toe to toe, the veterans go toe to toe, who wants it more? Let’s get to it!

The first game was between the Titans vs the 8 Balls both since BBAL birth have been hungry for a title. The Titans started off slow and couldn’t buy a bucket just like the 8 Balls. Johnny Besecker's struggles continued throughout the first half. He couldn’t buy a bucket up until the last few minutes as he shot 35% from the field and 23% from 3. Coming out of the second half, he started heating up especially in crunch time when his team needed him the most. He finished with a double-double in 10 rebounds and 23 pts. Antanee Pinkard stayed true to his game early in the first half by attacking the rim. Towards the end of the first half, I noticed the 8 Balls made a timeout adjustment to wall up and make others beat them. Ant seemed as though he knew he couldn't be as dominant in the paint so he started taking threes which as we know is not really his game. Ant shot 37% from the field and 0% from 3 which shows the 8 Balls started slowing him down despite him having a double-double with 24 pts and 12 rebounds. They needed guys like Bam Aikens and Robert Footman to step up and help their team. These two made early impacts but over the course of the game, they needed to do more as they both ended up mediocre shooting splits. Bam shot 31% from the field and 20% from 3. Rob shot 25% from the field and 43% from 3. Defensively, 3 opposing players had 20 points or more which if you want to win, simply can’t happen. From what I saw, they gave the 8 Balls too much momentum and struggled getting stops which then the 8 Balls never looked back. Overall, the Titans put up a good fight but seemed just unmatched for a team like the 8 Balls as the Titans fell 86-77 in a highly anticipated matchup!

The 8 Balls started off slow as well just like the Titans. They switched up their starting lineup with Aleer at the point which turned out to be a great decision as he shot 56% from the field and 57% from 3. He finished with 24 pts and 5 rebounds. Towards the second half, Ross Conway and Danny Bomberger started heating up and never let up. Ross Conway shot 46% from the field and 36% from 3 with 30 pts, 6 rebounds and defensively 2 steals and a block. Danny Bomberger shot 58% from the field and 33% from 3 with a 20 pts, 11 rebounds, double double. They really didn’t need role players as 3 starters had 20 points or more to carry them past the Titans.As we expected, the 8 Balls fed off momentum and played like a better team overall. Defensively, they did a great job with Johnny Besecker, Antanee Pinkard, and more. The 8 Balls played a great game on both sides of the ball and gave us a championship performance and mentality by defeating the Titans 86-77 to advance to the championship!



The second and final game of the final four was between the CherryPickers and Huskies both hungry to dethrone each other as the best rookie team. The CherryPickers started the game great on both sides of the ball as the Huskies started the game with multiple turnovers and lack of scoring. CherryPickers star Devonne Pinkard started off slow but that’s the beauty of the ‘Pickers is that they’re so deep anyone can score. John-John Gillespie and Matt Mcleary for the ‘Pickers were on fire in the first half to help keep them in the game with others having a slow start. Going into the second half, guys like Kevin Roldan and KJ Brownlee made an early impact. Devonne started heating up with huge, clutch buckets to lead his team to the championship and prove why he’s a top player in this league. Devonne Pinkard finished with a DOMINANT 33 pt double-double performance with 19 rebounds and shot 44% from the field as well as 39% from 3. John-John and Matt Mcleary played well combining for 40 pts helping Devonne and their team get to the championship. Defensively, they knew the Huskies threats as Timmy Edwards did have 33pts. The ‘Pickers game plan seemed to me to let Timmy beat them and shut down role players and other key opposing scorers. The Huskies next leading scorer was Eli Washington with 16 pts which is a pretty solid drop off in terms of scoring production. The CherryPickers played very well, especially utilizing their depth and scoring when it mattered most, winning a close one 95-90 which is why they moved on to the championship against a tough team in the 8 Balls! Is this the matchup of the year!?


The Huskies started off sloppy with a scoring drought and consecutive TOs which wasn’t ideal for them. With their star Timmy Edwards starting off slow, guys like Eli Washington and DPOY Jordan Tyson needed to step up which they did to keep them in the game. Timmy started heating up in the middle of the 1st half and continued to ball throughout the game. Eli Washington and Jordan did solid to help Timmy out, combining for 31 pts. I think the story of this game was defense for the Huskies. They couldn’t get consistent stops down the stretch although Jordan and Eli played better than the stat sheets defensively. Timmy ended the game with 33 pts and 9 rebounds, he also shot 52% from the field and 0% from 3 which is not his game. I expected them to use guys like Kurt Goldbach off the bench but Kurt’s best performance was cleaning the floor with his impressive towel dancing! The Huskies tried to stay in the game but they simply couldn’t stop the ‘Pickers especially down the stretch which caused them to fall 95-90 and the CherryPickers taking the throne as the best rookie team!



And then there were 2… The sharpshooting team who showed great chemistry in the 8 Balls and the young, highly anticipated ChrryPickers. I’m going to be explaining how each of these teams can win a title and go down in the BBAL history books! Let’s get it!!

The 8 Balls who are coming off an electric win against the Titans need to play nearly the same way. Ross Conway needs to play like the Ross we know. Danny Bomberger needs to stay hot and have the same offensive production to help Ross. Aleer needs to keep getting buckets and keep up his defensive effort. I strongly believe that if they have 3 players with 20 pts or more they will win. However, this is rare so I think guys like Calan Titus and Grant Conway need to contribute at least in the scoring category. They should stick with the same defensive game plan and wall up when Devonne drives. Everyone can pretty much shoot on the CherryPickers so they need to live by giving up twos and minimize the threes. They need to gain momentum early and start scoring early. The 8 Balls dominate with momentum so if they can get the crowd on their side too, they have a pretty good chance at being champions!


The CherryPickers who are coming off a nail-biting victory vs the Huskies are looking pretty good if they keep it up in the championship. Devonne Pinkard needs to continue his dominance offensively especially beyond the arc and continue containing star players like Ross Conway and Danny Bomberger. John-John Gilispi needs to have another good game offensively attacking the rim and defensively with steals, blocks, and forced TOs. Matt Mcleary needs to start the game like it did against the Huskies with a couple three's and gain momentum for his team. They did a solid job using their depth especially defensively. They need to exploit Devonne’s mismatches and hit their open shots. They need to keep momentum away from the 8 Balls and make adjustments on Ross if he starts getting hot. This should be the recipe for a championship coming to the CherryPickers!



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