The Barrio Benchmen started the Fall 2018 season with a bang, notching two straight wins to put them atop their division. But then they ran into Glass Monkeys, who were making their season debut. It was a tight defensive struggle throughout. The Monkeys held a one-point lead at the half, then broke the game open, eventually leading by as much as eight points. The Benchmen hit a couple threes down the stretch to tighten things up again, but the Monkeys held on for a 40-36 victory.
A couple quick notes about team names and name names. When it comes to decent penmanship (that's the ability to write with a pen or pencil), we apparently have an entire generation of students who were left behind. It is absolutely stunning how bad people's writing is these days. Every season, we have to make changes to our stored rosters because we can't read the writing. In one legendary case, a guy misspelled his own name! I don't even want to know how that could happen. Sharp-eyed people will see that we've had to change the spelling of one of our team's names because it was misspelled on the sign-up sheet.
And another thing: Over the years (decades) of the Tucson Basketball League, we've had teams with some pretty clever names. We have limits to the creativity--nothing glorifying drugs, nothing demeaning to women, and definitely no gang sh-tuff. Another rule is that if a team doesn't have a team name by the first game, I get to name them. The last two teams I named were Cheesy Yellow Discharge and Recycled Toilet Paper.
This season, a new team wanted to be called the Treway Squad. Now, I know I appear to be an old, fat white man, but inside, I'm hip as all hell. I know that "Treway" is shouted out by Nicki Minaj in the song "Fefe" by 6ix9ine. Interestingly, they list six (or 6ix) songwriters for "Fefe." You have to figure that if a song needed six writers, it probably ain't gonna' win a whole lot of Grammys. The problem is that 6ix9ine has a well-known affiliation with the Bloods gang. So, the other day, I spoke with Squad captain John. It went like this:
ME: Dude, that "Treway" is gang sh-tuff.
JOHN: I know it's in the song, but we mean it to show that we shoot a lot of three-pointers, a lot of treys.
ME: But that's not how you spelled it.
JOHN: Okay, if you want it changed, we can go with "Three-way."
ME: Yeah...no. That would be offensive in a different way, Brett Kavanaugh.
So we settled on Trey Way Squad.
In other games:
--STH 69, Mitchell Gordon 60 - Speaking of three-pointers, there were a total of 24 of them in this game as both teams bombed away from long range. Cristian Anaya hit five of them for Mitchell Gordon, but it wasn't enough to overcome a stellar 33-point, nine (or is it 9ine?) rebound effort from Saul Mancinas.
--Below The Rim 51, Frosty Hesson 47 - Below got 24 points from Eric Goodwin as they built a seven-point halftime lead and then hung on for the close win.
--Mambas 56, Tortugas 39 - Markius Gray had 21 points to lead the Mambas, who are not to be mistaken for the Black Mambas, which is a different team.
--Lost Treasurez 43, Bucket-Dashians 34 - The TBL welcomes back Ashraf Alfatesh, who hasn't played for a couple years. He had 17 points on five threes to lead the Treasurez. Ashraf has one of the most unique shooting styles in the entire league. He shoots it WAY HIGH UP and sometimes when it comes down, it barely touches the net.
One last thing: Last season--the never-ending Summer 2018 season--started the first Sunday in May and didn't end until the second Sunday in September. This, of course, was due to the fact that the venue was replacing all of its floors and we had to take weeks off in the middle of things. (Not surprisingly, we have a few of our regular teams that have decided to take this season off to heal up, recharge and watch some football.) Last season was also unique in that we had to do the schedule on a week-to-week basis because we weren't sure of the availability of the venue. This season, we're going back to having the schedule done for the entire season. I will be doing it in the next few days. If you have any preferences--mostly night games, mostly day games, certain days off for a bye--please let me know by email in the next couple days. Please know that preferrin' ain't necessarily gettin', but I'll do what I can. We still have a lot of teams and it is impossible to accommodate everybody's scheduling preferences. The only person who gets that is Jeff Clark of Fleet and he's grandfathered in. Still, I'll try. Let me know. Thanks.