The schedule is up for the semifinal match-ups this coming Sunday. Some of you sharp-eyed individuals might notice that we switched two teams within the same division. It was done to avoid the inevitable wailing and gnashing of teeth (Matthew 13:42) that comes when a team that is used to playing in the morning has to play at night (or vice versa). We just switched 'em because we really don't like the sound of teeth gnashing. (Oh yeah, "gnashing" means grinding and the "g" is silent. That clarification is added in case any of you went to ASU.)
It's playoff time and the madness is in full swing. In one of the craziest games of a day full of insanity, Wet Bandits overcame a 22-point deficit in the second half to come back and shock Fleet, 75-72. It was the usual suspects--Cristian Anaya and Bruno Lopez--bombing away from outside that led the charge.
In other games:
Elite 51, RTP 49 - The guys from Recycled Toilet Paper (RTP) built a comfortable lead and tried to hang on, but Elite hit some big shots down the stretch.
BOS 61, Beast Mode 51 - This was a great game, super-close until the very end.
The Show 42, Scout Team 39 - Osha McCants hit a big three to break a late tie and move The Show into the semifinals.
Black Mambas 70, INGWE 57 - This game was one of the craziest of all. Black Mambas took a double-digit lead in the first half and appeared to be cruising. But then, INGWE mounted a comeback and tightened things up. The Mambas still led 39-27 at the half, but INGWE (a word that means leopard in Kinyarwanda, Zulu, and Luhya) went on a run and closed to within three. Black Mambas, led by Lucas Castillo and Freddy Zamora, hit several threes to put the lead back out to 15. INGWE closed it to three yet again, then Zamora started raining threes again. At one point, the Mambas hit threes on five consecutive trips down the floor.
Deadly Venoms 74, M 64 - Playing without one of their leading scorers (Willie Caraway had to work late) spelled trouble for M. An unfortunate incident evened things out a bit when L.J. Turner, one of the league's leading scorers, accidentally bumped heads with someone and opened up a little cut above his eye. With Turner out, Sama Taku took over and led the Venoms to the close win.
HMB 51, G-Sauce 24 - The guys from Davis-Monthan Air Force Base (HMB) had an absolute scoring explosion to reach this coming week's semifinals.
Flashback 56, Scrap Attack 47 - Flashback bounced back from back-to-back butt-kickings at the end of the regular season (losses to The Hawgs and Fleet) to knock Scrap Attack out of the playoffs.
Cool Arrows 71, LeBrontourage 63 - In an intensely played game, Cool Arrows rode the tenacious play of the league's leading scorer, Cesar Solis. For a time, LeBrontourage's Paul Young did a solid job of guarding Solis, but when Young would go out for a breather, Solis would go off. Dylan Johnson, Carlos Mendez, and Kyle Weleba all scored around the basket for LeBrontourage, but it wasn't quite enough.
Just a Game 62, SH Army 61 - Finally, this game was ridiculous. Neither team led by more than six the entire game. Just a Game scraped out a one-point lead with 30 seconds left. But with 10 seconds left, the Army tossed in a three-pointer. Just a Game called time out to set up a play. (That's a questionable strategy; as a coach, I always think that you should just get the ball and go, not giving the other team time to set up a defense.) Anyway, Game ran a play that featured a double screen down low, allowing Eddie Andrade to pop out to the corner. He got the pass and drained a three at the buzzer. As they celebrated, they shouted, "Roskruge! Roskruge!" (That's the middle school that many of them attended a long time ago. Apparently, that play worked for them back then, as well.)
We would like to offer our heartiest congratulations to long-time league member Sean Roebuck, who has been named Varsity basketball coach at his alma mater, Marana High School. Besides being one of the nicest people you'll ever meet, Sean is one of the two or three best athletes ever to play in the league. Marana is one of the rising programs in Southern Arizona and we wish Sean the best of luck.