With important pieces coming back this week, we knew it'd be a different look at the 8 Balls. Joe Stengel and Raaker Smith both came back and their presence was felt. Mr. Stengel even stated after that the reason they won was because "I was there". Although we do not disagree on his impact, we think the credit has to go to a different player as well. In fact, he's our Trout CPA Player of the Week. Ross Conway came in with a mission on Sunday dropping 34 points (25 in the first half a BBAL Record), 11 rebounds, 2 assists, and 4 steals. Ross did all of this while shooting 15-29 (52%). This performance allowed the 8 Balls to take care of business against the Woodpeckers. Let's not forget about Calan Titus who heard all the noise and responded with an 18 point day (67% FG), along with 7 rebounds, 2 steals, and a block. Calan is an under-appreciated guard in this league who gets things done on the defensive end. The media does not consider him a viable source of offense, but he has proven them wrong averaging 16 points this year all the while shooting at exactly 50%. If that's not efficiency, I don't know what is.
Now while they get it done offensively, let's not forget that this team is also led by the reigning Defensive Player of the Year. The team racks up steals and blocks like it's nobody's business. The team has had 14 steals to start out the year and put in a few blocks as well. As Ross sets the tone on defense with his play, I believe it is Rob Anater who verbalizes it on the defensive end. The man can be seen chirping with the opposing teams best player trying to get into their head. With the perfect combination of great trash talk and being able to back it up, the team gets results. They were able to hold the Woodpeckers to 31% shooting from the field and 22% from 3.
With all of this being said, I believe that the 8 Balls are finally catching their stride. Players like Daniel Myers and Peter Bilson are only going to get better as the season continues, which will be a huge help for their team. The schedule is not gonna get any easier, but if you know anything about the 8 Balls, you save your best shot for last.