Week Two Review: BBAL Is Heatin' Up
Despite a great deal of inactives across the league, Week Two brought us a nice mix of dominant performances and nail-biting duels, with one of them ending with a buzzer beater.
Bullies, Dragons, Titans, and 8 Balls all secured wins this weekend. Dragons and Bullies are now the only undefeated teams left. Titans, 8 Balls, Tropics, and Woodpeckers all sit with one win and one loss. Finally, the only two winless teams in the league are the Gremlins, and last year's champion, Lanc Show.
With all that being said, let's recap each game from this past weekend.
Game One: Bullies-59, Tropics-50
In a highly anticipated match up between the Bullies and Tropics, both teams did not disappoint.
Tropics were without their star player, Brad Atkinson, and played the whole 40 minutes with only five players on the court. However, as the game headed down the stretch, the Bullies took advantage of the Tropics' lack of bench and walked out of week two undefeated.
(Tropics also without Denny Atkinson and Austin Groft, both set to play Week Three.)
Denzel put up another MVP performance as he dropped 24 points, five rebounds, and two blocks. Erik Goldbach added 15 of his own with five dimes. In a team that prides themselves on rebounding, they did not disappoint as they hauled in 30 total rebounds, including twelve offensive boards.
For the Tropics, Tyler Crespo did all he could as he kept the Tropics within reach after dropping 25 points, three boards, and three assists. In the absence of B. Atkinson, Justin Baker stepped up and dropped 13 points with four boards.
Player of the Game: Denzel Kabasele, Bullies (24 points, five rebounds, two blocks, one steal)
Game Two: Dragons-73, Lanc Show-62
For our second undefeated team of the league, the Dragons absolutely dominated their match up against the Lanc Show. As an added bonus, the Dragons were able to give Unknown Player a win in his final game for the BBAL 2022 season.
In no surprise, the Dragons had four players score in double digits. Jah Greaves led the way with 28 points, including eight boards and shooting 69% (nice) from the field. Unknown Player and Kevin Roldan each dropped 16, followed by Andrew Makrides with eleven. Unknown Player also added four steals and nine rebounds to his final stat line of the season.
The Lanc Show were led by Curtis Cannon and Grant Conway who both put up 17 points. Saimir dropped a near double-double with 15 point and nine rebounds. However, the 15 turnovers committed came back to haunt the Lanc Show at the end.
With all due respect to the Dragons (they are my personal title favorites, but that's subject to change), the Lanc Show were without star Scott Slade as well as Connor Engle, Nic Engle, and Konrad Lojewski. Nonetheless, a win is a win.
Player of the Game: Jah Greeves, Dragons (28 points, eight rebounds, two assists, 69% from field, 75% from three point land)
Game Three: Titans-60, Gremlins-58
First things first, game of the year. Plain and simple.
This game was neck-and-neck the whole way until the final buzzer. While being down two with just ten seconds left on the clock, Makai Ortiz-Gray drove to the rack, absorbed contact, and finished with a tough and-one lay. His only mistake: leaving two seconds on the clock.
In those two seconds, Joe Chupick through up a prayer beyond half court, and as the buzzer sounded, God answered as that ball went through the rim. In typical BBAL fashion, that make was Chupick's first made three of the night after missing three prior.
Johnny Besecker led the Titans with 29 points, ten rebounds, two blocks, and two assists. However, he did foul out late in the fourth quarter, but he was not needed, apparently. Andy Santiago was the only other Titan in double figures with eleven.
For the Gremlins, Ortiz-Gray had another great showing with 24 points, six boards, and five steals. Gavin Sullivan and Kerek Myers also reached double digits with 17 and 10, respectively.
Player of the Game: Johnny Besecker, Titans (29 points, 10 rebounds, two assists, two blocks, 77% from field, 57% from three)
Game Four: 8 Balls-62, Woodpeckers-58
The game of the season was followed up by, quite possibly, the best individual performance of the season with the 8 Balls' Ross Conway.
The 8 Balls dominated the first half, but the Woodpeckers made it interesting down the stretch. However, as they kept pecking, R. Conway kept throwing his (8) Balls on the table and answering.
R. Conway finished with 34 points, 11 rebounds, and four steals. (And is already my vote for the Trout CPA Player of the Week.) His Robin, Calan Titus, put up a solid performance, as well, with 18 points, seven boards, and shot 6-for-9 from the field (nice).
For the Woodpeckers, Danny Engle led the way with 23 points and twelve rebounds. Trey Wells also dropped a double-double with eleven points and boards.
It is important to note that Woodpeckers were without captain, Devin Atkinson, as well as Jack Engle and Dylan Atkinson. But, like I said before, a win is a win.
Player of the Game: Ross Conway (34 points, 11 rebounds, four steals, 52% from field, 30% from three)
Week Three Schedule:
-Game One: Woodpeckers vs Dragons
-Game Two: 8 Balls vs Tropics
-Game Three: Gremlins vs Bullies
-Game Four: Lanc Show vs Titans