Ageless Hawgs Give an Effort For The Ages

October 10th, 2018

At the beginning of the season, a new team, the Rim Rattlers, made their Tucson Basketball League debut. Their captain said that his team would be pretty good, maybe even very good. We placed them in a certain division and they got rocked in their first game. So, for their second game, we moved them down a level or two and, at full roster strength, they rocked that opponent. They then asked to be moved up and even suggested that they needed better competition. So, of course, we gave them The Hawgs.

For more than a decade, The Hawgs (officially known as The One-Eyed Hawgs) have been at or near the top of the Tucson Basketball League. They don't win the A League championship every season, but they've certainly won many more season titles than any other team in the 31-year history of the league. Last season, they started out a bizarre 0-4, but then came on to win the championship yet again. The really great thing about The Hawgs is that they're a collection of ageless wonders.

"Long in the tooth" is an archaic term that means that a person is getting up in years. If applied to The Hawgs, they'd be a group of saber-toothed players. They're led by Donte Williams, who has won more League MVP honors than anybody else. No one knows how old he is, but we do know that his skills haven't diminished one ounce in the past 10 years. He's still lightning-quick, he still dunks on people and shoots full-speed, stop-on-a-dime three-pointers. He reminds me of the Tracy Morgan character on "30 Rock." Everybody on the show thought that he was in his  mid-30s, but then a man in his late 20s showed up, claiming that Tracy was his father. Evidence started piling up that he was much older, including the fact that he couldn't work a TV remote and that his favorite TV show was "NCIS." Along those same lines, Donte's favorite NFL team is the Miami Dolphins and they haven't had any fans since Dan Marino retired.

Fred Sims, who was a member of those killer Amphi High squads at the beginning of this decade, is in his mid-20s and so is the child of the squad. He's joined by Marcus Campbell, a power forward who is staring 40 in the eye. He's a rebounder extraordinaire who still hangs onto the dream of someday being a guard. There's 40-ish Jon Brogan, who is probably the best three-point shooter in the history of the league and still bombs away with deadly accuracy. He's joined by Kent Senzee, who is well into his 50s and, not that long ago, hit 20 three-pointers in one game. And riding herd over this group is player-coach Jim McFarland, who is in his 70s and retired from Raytheon a long time ago.

Anyway, whenever a new team requests (demands) tougher competition, we give them to The Hawgs, with generally predictable results. This time, it was Hawgs 105, Rim Rattlers 69. It was close until it started and then The Hawgs pulled away to a 54-29 halftime lead. Donte had 22 points and Marcus pulled down 13 rebounds. Fred had 26 points, while Jon and Kent combined to hit 11 threes and score 37 points. As David Byrne of the art-funk group Talking Heads once said, it was "same as it ever was."

In other games:

Black Mambas 59, Elite 53 - The Black Mambas had four players score in double figures, led by Fernando Avina's 19 points. 

Frosty Hesson 60, Tortugas 46 - Lonnie Lee had a double double (15 and 12), but it was the inspired play of Chris Rod (12 and 6) that led Frosty to the win. For his efforts, Chris, who has played in the League since the 1990s, won this week's Player of the Week honors.

INGWE 66, KP BallerZ 50 - Johnny Marjory and Jordan Lindsey combined for 37 points and 27 rebounds to lead INGWE (which means "panther" in Swahili).

The Fam 50, Glass Monkeys 34 - Jarred Mallon hit six threes and scored 20 points in The Fam's win.

My Ivy League-educated engineer daughter (who is our Excel spreadsheet expert) has been out of town for a while but is now back, so the stats should be posted shortly. And, starting with the games of October 21st, we will be implementing our new feature, in which scoresheets from each game will be posted on the website (and stats will be updated) the same day. It's going to be way cool.