In one of the great playoff games in recent memory, Fleet outlasted Blue Coconuts in triple-overtime to advance to the semifinals of the Hanging Gardens Division. We don't keep stats during the playoffs because people are insane enough as it is during this three-week period. (The quest for a TBL Championship T-shirt brings out high emotions.) If we did keep stats, Blue Coconut Zach Jones would be in some kind of record book. He absolutely dominated Fleet's big front line, scoring on a dizzying combination of post moves and soft jumpers. He also grabbed double-figure rebounds and blocked several shots. The game was close throughout and both teams had chances to win the contest in regulation and in the first two overtimes. Fleet finally pulled it out and will advance to face Scrap Attack in the semifinals this coming Sunday.
In other first-round playoff action:
Sonora 84, Just a Game 71 - The Nogales-based Sonora squad was hitting on all cylinders, blasting away from three-point range to overcome the inside height advantage of Just a Game.
We Dem Boyz 82, Dawgs 72 - In a shootout, We Dem Boyz rode the hot hands of L.J. Turner and Khalil Green to overcome the scoring of the Dawgs' Cornell Littleton and Leo Polo.
Sour Patch Kids 63, Magic 51 - The League's leading scorer this season, Gabe Fronzaglio, hit several late threes to help the Kids pull away in the closing minutes. The Magic squad had ridden the enthusiasm of a raucous crowd to keep the game close throughout.
Game Time 51, Hardesty 47 - The Hardesty squad, paced by the scoring of Kyle and Jordan Love and the outside shooting of Justin Hardesty, led the game for 34 of the 36 minutes. A couple late buckets by Jeremiah Dibble and a big three by Zach Ryberg gave Game Time the lead late and they hung on for a tough victory.
A-Pack 60, Franchise 37 - A-Pack, behind the scoring of David Ramirez, came out on fire and controlled the game from start to finish. They will face the high scoring Sonora squad in the semis.
DTC 49, R.U.B.S.K. - In the battle of the initials, DTC hung on for a tight win.
Frosty Hesson 39, Fast Breaks - In what was probably the second-most-exciting game of the day, Frosty Hesson led throughout, only to see a late three-pointer by Fast Breaks bank in with five seconds left to give the underdog Breaks a one-point lead. Hesson big man Lonnie Lee missed a shot from the side, but Greg Muzi grabbed the rebound and put it in at the buzzer for the win.
Ninety-Six 78, Scout Team 56 - The Ninety-Six squad had been slogging through a so-so season before erupting in the playoff game. Meelow Martinez hit multiple threes, Randy Zimmerman controlled the boards, and Anthony Frasquillo scored inside to pace Ninety-Six to a surprisingly easy win over Scout Team.
LeBrontourage 64, Purple Nurples 33 - When making the playoff bracket schedule, we try to set up good match-ups. That generally requires everybody on both teams to actually show up. The Nurples have a guy who is easily one of the top three players in the league. I specifically asked him if he was going to be there for the playoffs. He said he would, but then didn't make it and the Nurples absorbed a 30-point whuppin'. They may well have lost even with him, but it wouldn't have been by 30.
SWAT 61, still got it 52 - Patrick Lam hit several big shots down the stretch to pace SWAT to a mild upset victory. The still got it squad boasts the league's leading rebounder in Steve Wolsfeld and the top free-throw shooter in Chris Klassen, but they're missing the scoring of Junior Hackworth, who, after four weeks, is still in his new job in California. (I have five weeks in the office pool as to when California will drive him crazy and bring him home.)
Deadly Venoms 72, More Jumpers 56 -Fernando Avina and Freddy Zamora were absolutely on fire at the outset of this game, allowing Deadly to open up a double-digit lead. The Jumpers clawed their way back in during the second half, but Jamill Fennell hit some big free throws down the stretch for the win.
G-Sauce 50, Rowst Gawds 36 - The Sauce squad set up a church-team showdown with their homies, Oro Varsity, in this week's semis.
Xavier 59, WAR 58 - In another game that went right down to the end, Xavier scored late to slip past WAR by a single point.
W.O.B.S. 80, FndF 67 - The Wolves of Ball Street got balanced scoring to hold off a vailant effort by FndF's Saul Mancinas. W.O.B.S. will take on Lights Out in the semifinals.
One last quick note: My IT guy tells me that something is wrong with the website's host in Salt Lake City, whatever that means. E-mails to me through the site are not getting through. They're working on it to get it fixed, so if you have any questions or if you want to get a team in the league, please be patient. Give it a couple days and try it then. Thank you for your interest.