It was a great end to the season for the Grown Up Sports Thursday Night Men’s Basketball League. Let’s take a look at how the games shook out and who took home the World Champions of the World title.
Semi-Finals: #1 Crazy Pirates v. #5 Blazers
This was a battle between two familiar opponent. Though not meeting int he regular season, these two teams grew up on the mean streets of Houston playing each other. Immediately, the Blazers used this familiarity to seize a sizable lead in the game, taking a 24-6 advantage early on in the contest. The Blazers gained the advantage by implementing a zone defense utilizing their size that confounded the Pirates. The Blazers feisty defense left the Pirates reeling. On the offensive end, the Blazers scored with such ease and pace, with everyone chipping in buckets. Trying to match the torrid pace of the Blazers, the Pirates got out of their zone offensively. And when the Pirates did get an open look, they couldn’t buy a bucket. With the game getting out of hand, Tom Schnakenberg does what he always does, strike back with drives to the bucket. Chipping in was Filip Johnson, who hit scored on three out of four possessions in the second half on dribble drive penetration. Bringing the game to single digits, the Blazers decided it was time to put the stake in the Pirates heart, with Brian Egwauth slicing through the lane with ease to get the bucket for the easy two. In the end, the size of the Blazers and their initial run was too much to over come as they made the Pirates walk the plank. Ahoy Mateeeeeee!
GUS Player of the Game: Dave Boettcher (Blazers): 26 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 blocks
Blazers win 62-48 (see Box Score)
Semi-Finals #2: #2 LetsGetIt v. #6 Afro Boys
The cinderella story of the Afro Boys continues. After knocking off the VA G-Ballers last week, the Afro Boys looked to take out LetsGetIt with their chaotic style. LetsGetIt on the other hand, looked to continue their run through the GUS Leagues after a strange first round game. The Afro Boys came out and let LetsGetIt know they were not to be taken lightly. Starting off things for the Afro Boys was David Rugaju, “Ruger”, as he has come to be known at the scoring table. Beginning the game on fire, David let the world know that the Afro Boys were ready to ball. But David wasn’t the only one getting in on the action, as the Afro Boys utilized their excellent ball movement to get everyone involved, including the 3 balls of Abdul “The Assassain” Bishi, the mid range of “Sim Sima” Chima and the all around stellar play of Peter. LetsGetIt wasn’t backing down however, as Claude Cox, the One Man Band, showed everyone why he was the second leading scorer in the GUS Leagues this season (and tied for first on Saturdays). Playing the role of sidekick was Carl “Jr” Jordan, who showed why he should never be left open nailing a duo of huge threes. Down two with less than a minute to go, Claude Cox drove baseline to tie the game up. With the momentum firmly in LetsGetIts corner, the Afro Boys turned to their now go to scorer, Peter. With seven seconds left in the game, Peter received the ball on the left wing, gave a pump fake and drove to the bucket nailing the huge buckets while getting fouled in the process. Game Afro Boys.
GUS Player of the Game: Peter (Afro Boys): 19 points, 2 rebounds, 5 assists, one game winner
Afro Boys win 63-61 (see Box Score)
FINALS #5 Blazers v. #6 AfroBoys
If anyone said they predicted this final at the beginning of the playoffs, you might call them a damn lie. Sure, we all knew the Blazers, last years runners up, with the possibility of being in this position, but the Afro Boys truly ran the gauntlet, beating both the #2 and #3 seeds. Would they have what it takes to beat the Blazers? Of course, if your reading this, you read the title and know the answer, but here’s how it went down. The Afro Boys played their butts off. To start, on offense, the Boys continued their stellar ball movement from the first game. Nailing long jumper after long jumper and hitting three after three opened up the lane for the Afro Boys. Even after team captain David Rugaju went down with a pulled hamstring, the Boys kept trucking. To help, the Boys gained a huge boost at half time with star point guard Jason Snow showing up to provide much needed guidance and control to the court. Jason’s contributions went beyond the stat sheet, as he provided the strong defense needed to lock up the Blazers power horse Brian Egwauth, who quickly became frustrated with the physical defense the Boys played. Up big, the Blazers refused to go away, behind the balling of Jack Payne and Jay Sutaria. Alan Redmond, a GUS All Star last year who had been silent for most of the season, exploded, nailing big shot after big shot to put some distance back between the two teams. That is when the craziness began. Up seven, the game seemed to be in hand with less than a minute to go after a big three by Ben Eliah. Suddenly, Jay Sutaria went supernova, nailing a three. And then another. And the another. Which wouldn’t be that big of a deal, but the Boys struggled to finish from the line. Suddenly, it was a one point game with 4 seconds left. The Blazers call a time out. They inbound ball. Down the right side. Brian takes control…. goes for the lay up…. and loses the ball. Game over. Afro Boys win, with a combined margin of victory of 7 points in three playoff games. The cardiac kids reign supreme – World Champions of the World.
GUS Player of the Game: Alan Redmond: 16 points (5/6 fgs), 5 rebounds, 5 assists
Afro Boys win 65-64 (see Box Score)
A great season for both teams, but the victory goes to the Afro Boys