This past Sunday, we had 23 games spread over a 12-hour period, with, at times, games being contested on three different courts. It was an insane number of games and even crazier was the fact that we had no forfeits. That's almost unheard of. We even had a forfeit in the playoffs last season.It was an impressive day, one whose joy was sorely tempered by the death of Kobe Bryant. It's a day that we'll all remember.
One of the things that happens early in a season is that we get mismatches. New teams come into the league and we ask every one of them to give us a reasonable guess as to their overall team ability. We give them a game or two and then, judging by what Rob and/or I see on the court, we place them in a suitable division. That's one of the reasons that we don't have a schedule for the entire season. We don't want teams locked into a schedule where they are going to lose (or win) every game by 25. These new teams generally don't sandbag us, but we have a couple teams this season (Average Joes, who are anything but, and LA Venom) who are putting up monster numbers and will be moving up to the top division. A couple other teams will be adjusted elsewhere.
As for some of the highlights of Sunday's action:
--Hickory 41, Dawgs 38 - Player of the Week Matt Swinford scored 17 points and pulled down eight rebounds in a tight win over the Dawgs. Swinford, who last season had a game with 34 points and 12 rebounds, was everywhere, grabbing rebounds, getting steals and hitting three clutch free throws down the stretch.
--Hey Arnold! 70, Fleet 62 - The night before, the University of Arizona men's basketball team choked liked they hadn't choked since the 2005 meltdown in the Elite Eight against Illinois (when they had a 15-point lead with 4:04 left and blew it). On Saturday night, the UA had a 22-point lead at ASU and somehow found a way to gack it all up en route to a last-second, one-point loss. It was kinda' weird as Hey Arnold! built a 20-point lead in the first half only to see Fleet come all the way back to tie the game with about four minutes left. But then, Arnold! caught its collective breath and pulled ahead again, eventually grabbing the eight-point win. Guero Paredes led Fleet with 20 points, while Arnold! got double-figure scoring from Drew Harris, Norman Wolf Chief, Richard Gomez, Nick Gorosave, and Jeff Juan.
--Flashback 76, Rattlers 69 - This game featured the individual match-up of Aaron Anderson, who used to play professionally overseas, and Keegan Biggers, who was part of Pima Community College's monster program just last year. I was reffing on a different court, so I didn't get to see the game, but on the way out of the gym for the night, I asked Aaron how the game had gone. He shrugged and said that his team had won. I asked how the match-up had gone. Aaron had 26 and 7 while Keegan had 23 and 8. He shrugged again. I said, "Well, he (Keegan) is younger and bigger and stronger..." Aaron smiled and said, "He's younger." Ouch!
We still have spots for a couple more games on Sunday before the Super Bowl. Please let me know if you're interested. Thanks.