FALL '17 WEEK 8 HIGHLIGHTS, VANCOUVER METRO BASKETBALL LEAGUE

November 28, 2017

Ball So Hard 71 vs Two Fifty Crew 68

BSH - Alan “The Boogieman” Hogan 24, Devon Carney 16, Eric Kung and Tyler Tanabe 8 each

TFC - Luka Petkovic 29, Justin Mason 16, Luca Bonamici 14

To be young is to be exuberant, irreverent, and a good part of naivete!  That is the formula for young talented players and teams that look to challenge the established, juggernauts of the league. Ball So Hard has established themselves as one of the elite teams in the league for a while now.  Looking across the lines at the young Two Fifty Crew team, they would see a team that was ready for a battle….and battle they would!

BSH is known for their high paced offense and defense.  TFC is known for their high octane offense, but their defense is slightly underrated.  The first half would present the viewing audience with a puzzling picture of who is the dominant team in this matchup?  Both teams had a balance of scoring and defensive stops, but both teams would stick their “hands in the cookie jar” when it came to fouls.  Alan Hogan would have an emphatic block (tallying 4 blocks in total), and let the opponent know all about it!  That would lead to a mini run that would give BSH a slim halftime lead!

After a bunch of “hand raising” and “questions” on violations and fouls, both teams put their foot on the pedal and raced up and down the court like it was a tag team drag race!  The end of the game would see TFC battle their way back to 2 points with under 30 seconds left in the game.  With everything on the line, BSH attacked the creases, and worked the ball around to the Captain/Founder of BSH Harry Basra.  Harry was setup on the baseline for a 17 foot jumper, that hit nothing but the bottom of the net with less than 3 seconds left in the game!  Big shot and a big win for BSH!

TTP 69 vs Shockwave 63

TTP - Dan Mack 16, Seemo Elusini 15, Trevor Myers 10

Shockwave - Michael 30, Enzo Vanderlinden 16

TTP need a win to jump into the mix for top spot in their division, and they had a great opportunity to do it tonight.  Shockwave was looking for their first win of the season, and to play spoiler in TTP’s effort to reach the top spot.

Shockwave is always a dangerous matchup due to their high scoring individual players.  At times they can start their own mini runs that can lead to possible upsets.  This game would be the same, with both teams attacking the paint looking for all opportunities to score.  The halftime score would be a small piece of the picture to the struggle each team had in this matchup.  The second half would see TTP take a small advantage with it’s balanced scoring, but just when they thought they were pulling away, Shockwave would reel them in.  Michael led all scores with 30 points and 6 rebounds to boot.  He almost single handedly brought Shockwave all the way back, but TTP would close out the game with free throws to secure their chance at the top spot in the division!‍

Agaveros 75 - Walk Ons 79

Walk Ons - Max Neumann 30, Demi Harris 23, Gerald and Mo Asadian 10 each

Agaveros - Pep Lluis 23, Oscar Salvador 17, Andres 14

Agaveros had everything on the line in a game that would decide their fate going forward in this season’s Metro league!  A win would put them in a pretty position for the playoffs, to face off against Ball So Hard, Sofa King Good, or The Stallions!  Even with that possibility ahead of them, they had a big task ahead of them tonight.  The Walk Ons were sitting in 5th place with the Two Fifty Crew, and they too were looking for a win to get the advantage in the playoff standings.

At times the Agaveros team shows flashes of brilliance on offense with their hard cuts and constant movement.  That movement usually leads to very open shots.  The same thing was apparent throughout this game.  Great off the ball movement, passing, that would lead to open shots and wide open shots!  However...it was like “Masons at a brick throwing” convention!  It was baffling to see the almost effortless ballet of movement in the half court, that freed up several players for open shots, only to see an orange object hitting off of the red rim like it was a Starburst commercial!

In light of the somewhat “house building” project that Agaveros was performing in the beginning of the game, they would find ways to put the ball in the bucket under heavy defense!  The Walk Ons seemed to be in a trance observing the Metro League’s version of the San Antonio Spur motion offense.  Even after taking a nearly 20 point lead in the first half, they would find their lead dwindle gradually in the 2nd half.  They would find themselves clinging to a single digit lead until the end.  Max Neumann and Demi Harris are contenders for the highest scoring duo in the league, and they needed every point from those two to pull this game out.

Stallions 86 vs Sonic Boom 57

Stallions -  Mark Halfnights 18, Braden Jones and Roger Sheung 17 each, Dustin Entwistle 14

Sonic Boom - Elliot Mason 28, Mike Schmidt 10, Joel Kibangula 8

With The Stallions coming into tonight’s game with only 6 players, Sonic Boom would have a perfect opportunity to make their bid for one of the league's biggest upset!  SB didn’t have much of a bench for this game either, but nonetheless it was a big opportunity!  The Stallions seemed to be unphased by the lack of bench players for this game.  The captain for The Stallions, Roger Sheung, was cooler than a cucumber strolling into the world famous Richmond Oval.  Almost like he “knew” what was going to happen.

SB in recent weeks has established a zone defense that looks traditional, but is also very awkward looking.  Almost like watching a left handed person sign a piece of paper!  Sometime the elbow is way up in the air.  The paper they are writing on is tilted at a weird angle.  You know?  It just looks unnatural!  LOL.  In the beginning the zone worked to confuse the initial Stallions attack, but it didnt take long before the Stallions began to gallop!

The dangerous thing about the Stallions is not just the fast pace, it's the ability to start the fast break with any player they have!  Without Brody Greig in the lineup to start the track meet, the Stallions took turns pushing the ball up the floor every chance they had.  SB became very frustrated by the game getting away from them, that there was a heated halftime discussion between various members and the Captain/founder Mike Schmidt!  As animated as huddles can get, it was over almost as soon as it started. The hot blooded incident didn’t help to get SB back in the game in the second half, and the Stallions would go on to win by a big margin.

Fire Squad 72 - Duncan Donuts 86

Duncan Donuts - Weilan Huang 22, Ryan Szeto and Noah Levy 15

Fire Squad - Gene Wolff 31, Ahmed Mohamed 16, Issac and Ollie 14 each

“Ability is what you’re capable of doing.  Motivation determines what you do.  Attitude determines how well you do it” - Lou Holtz.  “The Harder the Battle, the Sweeter the Victory” - Les Brown.  “Remember That Guy That Gave Up?  Neither Does Anyone Else”! - Clint Lomax.All of these motivational quotes belong in this game, and was pointing in the direction of Fire Squad!  In a game that would determine their playoff lives, FS showed up with 4 players!  The Firing Squad was in the same situation as FS in the standings, and knew that whomever captured victory in this game… would be in the playoffs!

Led by Gene “Lone” Wolff, FS would charge into battle!  Not exactly “The Alamo”, but the odds were against FS especially with the deep bench that the Duncan Donuts brought!  In playing 4 on 5, the obvious disadvantages are viewed on the surface.  Yet the flipside of that is the team with the advantage, sometimes find themselves trying to figure out how to structure their defense.  Do you double everywhere?  Do you zone up in certain places?  That confusion and uncertainty led to FS making a huge run led by Gene Wolff to close the halftime lead to 12 from 22?  The second half would see FS cut into that lead bringing it down to 4!  That push would be capped by one of, if not the best, block shot of the season!  As DD hit the fast break, Ryan Szeto caught the ball on the right side of the floor and went in for a driving layup!  Ryan was met quickly, rudely, and violently at the rim by Issac of FS!  The block was loud, body crushing, and demonstrative with Issac saying a word (check Instagram Stories for video)!

In that instance, everyone was whispering about a possible upset and setting up one of the biggest wins in Vancouver Metro history!  DD would pull together and begin to wear down the tired FS, who put out max effort to get it to that point in the 2nd half.  DD would go on to win and clinch a playoff berth.  As for FS, they played an inspired game that will be talked about for a long time!‍