For the first time in at least 15 seasons (maybe more), The Hawgs will not be in the top-level championship game. They had a rare bad shooting day against GGTM, which, for their part, shot lights out in the 70-56 win. Three of the guys who were part of that killer Amphi High squad back in the early part of this decade--Fred Simms, Dom Banks, and Malcolm Millner--were instrumental in putting GGTM in the finals for the first time ever. They will take on MedShield, which just squeaked past Squad, 58-55, in the other semifinal. MedShield, which consist mainly of former Catalina Foothills players, made the finals in their first season ever.
--In the Smash Division, Frosty Hesson displayed a surprisingly robust offense in a 56-42 win over Below The Rim. Harold Stevenson got things off to a good start by hitting two long threes for the Hesson Squad. They will face The Ruffles, who beat The Fam, 75-63, in the other Smash semi.
--If the aforementioned Hawgs had a bad shooting day, Scout Team had a horrendous offensive effort in its match-up against Richardson Squad. Things were so bad that Scout Team had to hit a shot at the buzzer to get up to 10 points at the half. Meanwhile, the steady play of Josue Hernandez and Bryan Ogata led Richardson to the 42-27 victory. They will play Hickory in the Cafferty Division finals. Hickory was without their leading scorer, Guillermo Bay, but they got strong inside play from Bob Krygier and Derek Ogden in the win.
--Ashraf Alfatesh continued his string of impressive three-point shooting displays in the win by Lost Treasures over Just a Game. The Treasures will face Everybody Loves Draymond, who handled The Regulators, in the Vince Finals. The Just a Game-Treasures game was a major disappointment. Two teams with generally nice guys in a game that turned ugly almost immediately from the jump. Unnecessarily physical play, mouths running for no reason. Rob came close to calling the game and declaring both teams the losers. Every few years, we have to purge this nonsense as the knucklehead playground nonsense starts seeping into the League. So, those of you who are participating in the Fall 2019 season, you've been warned. I talked to one of the guys who was running his mouth and he said, "That's just part of my game." Well, if throwing a celebration every time you score a basket is part of your game, then your game sucks ass.
--When setting the brackets for the playoffs, I used an algorithm designed to create the most-competitive divisions possible. In the Landry Division, we hand Gotem and Geeks, two teams that have multiple players in common. With both teams having to play first-round games, the odds that both would reach the finals was one in 16. So, naturally, both teams reached the finals. We could have them play each other, but, as it turns out, their situation helps us out with a different situation. Late in the regular season, Barrio Benchmen lost some of their players for different reasons and had to pick up some new guys. To put it nicely, the new guys are a definite upgrade and just appear to be in the wrong bracket. Therefore, we are exercising our prerogative and making a switch. Gotem, which snuck past Hey Arnold! by one point in a classic game, will take on the Benchmen for the Landry Division title, which Geeks will play Kareem Abdul JaBallers for the Coach Taylor title. It should work out for the best, but if it doesn't, we'll blame Bernie Sanders.
--The next-to-last game of the night was unbelievable. Zona, who posted a gaudy 6-2 mark in the regular season, was matched up against STH, which had an even-better 6-1 mark, including several games against top-level teams. The Vegas line would have had STH as a solid 10-point favorite, but Zona came out bombing away from long range and never let up. David Kime hit several threes in the first half as Zona built a double-digit lead. STH hung in and made a strong run late in the game, led by Saul Mancinas' inside play. But, after cutting it to four points, they could get no closer and Zona had the upset victory. They will play Scrap Attack, which used the outside shooting of Johnny Williams and Sean Roebuck and the inside play of Kevin "Hacksaw" Harris to get past Flashback. Aaron Anderson and Charlie Hintz played well for Flashback, but the team was without star guard Tacho Lara, who is nursing a sore back.
We're going to be contacting the teams that signed up for the Fall League to determine whether we should start on September 1st or the 8th. Both have drawbacks. The 1st is Labor Day Weekend, while the 8th is the first day of the NFL season. When my scorekeeper contacts you, please respond. The Fall League starts up in two or three weeks and runs through the middle of December. Please contact me through the website if you're interested in getting a team in. Thanks.