The schedule for the championship games of the Winter 2016 season is posted. We have a weird situation. Because the gym was under repair that one day (March 20th), the season has gone on a week longer than anticipated. One of the teams in the championships is Hey Arnold! Their roster is almost exclusively Native American and there is a big Gathering of Nations in New Mexico on Sunday. Rob, Junior, and I don't know enough about Native American culture to label the event as quasi-religious in nature. What we do know is that we really like the way the Hey Arnold! guys play (well) and don't complain, so we're going to make a move. It's actually not even unprecedented; with the League now in its 29th year, pretty much nothing is unprecedented. The Hey Arnold! - Deadline game for the Manhunter From Mars championship will be at 4:00 on May 15th. (That's the day that the next league season starts.) If you don't like the decision, you can always appeal it to the League Commissioner, but that won't help. If you still don't like it, it's perfectly okay with Rob, Junior and me if you start your own league.
Remember, no games on Mother's Day (May 8th). Mother's Day is sacred.
As for the semifinal games:
Just a Game 74, Dawgs 51 - Just a Game used a powerful rebounding effort to pull away from the Dawgs in the second half. They did it without Lalo Ramos, who was on vacation in San Diego. To the best of our knowledge, there is no truth to the rumor that, with the playoffs coming up, the rest of the guys on Just a Game pitched in to send Lalo to California.
Hickory 49, Sunshine Boys 38 - A battle of long-time teams in the league. John Brady and Matt Swinford hit some big shots down the stretch to pace Hickory. Speaking of Indiana basketball (Hickory), did you hear Ted Cruz refer to the rim as a "basketball ring"? That's just sad.
Deadline 56, still got it 47 - Leading scorer Chris Klassen was in Vegas, scouting players for the Pima College women's team. This put a lot of pressure on Junior Hackworth, who played valiantly but couldn't overcome the scoring onslaught of Deadline's Darian Martin.
Tune Squad 53, R.U.B.S.K. 51 - Devon Roemer is graduating from the University of Arizona and moving to Portland, Oregon, where he got a job. He would like nothing more than to win a TBL championship on his way out of Arizona. His Tune Squad team scratched out a two-point victory to reach this week's championship game against Frosty Hesson.
Hawgs 74, Illuminati 53 - Donte Williams went off.
Outlawz 53, Lights Out 41 - Lights Out's leading scorer Steven Singletary missed the game and Lights Out missed an opportunity to reach the championship round.
Game Time 79, Sour Patch Kids 65 - Game Time got balanced scoring and Sour Patch Kids were uncharacteristically cold from three-point range.
Hey Arnold! 61, Rebel Alliance 58 - It was a tight game throughout, but clutch shooting from Adam Gomez and Michael Johnson paced the winners.
W.O.B.S. 69, We Dem Boyz 66 (OT) - Christian Noriega hit a three-pointer in overtime to lead W.O.B.S.
More Jumpers 64, Franchise 58 - In one of the best games of the day, More Jumpers race out to a lead and then hung on for dear life as Franchise cut it to two late in the game.
Fleet 85, Caballer-olds 43 - Yes, that score is right. Mike Dillard of Caballer-olds missed the game with an injury and Fleet dominated.
Los Compas 56, A-Pack 53 - Another close game with Los Compas using a blistering fast break to overcome the offensive punch of A-Pack's David Ramirez.
Super Heroes 58, Elite 54 - This back-and-forth game went down to the wire, with the defending champs pulling it out in the final minute.