In a game that went right down to the final seconds, Game Time completed a furious comeback to edge Caballer-olds, 49-48. Game Time held a 22-21 lead at halftime and it remained tight throughout the second half. The Cabs finally opened up a five-point lead with a couple minutes left, but Game Time hung tough. Zach Ryberg, who scored 28 points in the game and earned league Player of the Week honors, hit a big three to cut the lead to one with 30 seconds to play. The Cabs failed to score and Game Time called time out to set up the final play. They dumped it down low to Jeremiah Dibble, who had been battling the Cabs' Sean Spiece all night long. Dibble and Spiece went into their Charles Barkley/Charles Oakley routine, with Dibble trying to back his way into the lane and Spiece having none of it. With the seconds ticking down, it appeared that Dibble would have to settle for a little hook shot, but at the last moment, Phil Raimo lost his man and cut to the basket. Dibble threw a nice over-the-shoulder pass and Raimo laid it in for the winning points. Great game.
In other action:
--The Jeff Clark-less Fleet team blew a double-digit lead and then, after having been tied by the Donte Williams-less Hawgs, closed out the game on a 17-5 run to win the battle of powerhouses. The two teams have combined to win more than a dozen A League titles in recent years and their games are always spectacular. Santiago Meza had 11 rebounds and four Fleet players scored n double figures in the game. Fleet held a nine-point lead at the half, but the Hawgs battled back to tie the game at 60-60 with five minutes left. It appeared that the momentum had shifted, but Fleet went on a withering run to win, 77-65.
--still got it 80, Sour Patch Kids 69 - Junior Hackworth poured in 31 points on seven threes and grabbed nine rebounds to lead still got it.
--Dawgs 51, Scout Team 46 - Numbers just kinda' jump out at me, like they did at that guy in "A Beautiful Mind." (Although I'm not nearly as smart nor nearly as crazy as that dude was.) We had four games on Sunday where the margin at halftime was the same as the final margin, meaning that in each case, the two teams played the second half even. Such was the case with the Dawgs, who held a 24-19 halftime lead and ended up winning 51-46. Sergio Carranza had 23 points for the winners, while Kevin Caldwell had 23 points for Scout Team.
--Icy Hots 53, Scrap Attack 51 - The Game of the Week certainly lived up to its advance billing as the two teams fought it out o the very end. In this game, Icy Hots held a one-point lead at the half and then outscored Scrap by another point in the second half. Danny Hunnicutt scored 18 points in the victory.
--We Dem Boyz 65, Super Heroes 59 - The leading scorer in the league in recent seasons, L.J. Turner, had seen his average drop off a bit the season. But in a late-night shootout, Turner returned to form with 32 points on seven threes to go along with nine boards. But he was overshadowed by Todd Minton of the Heroes, who scored 40 points on nine threes. Minton also had nine rebounds. Late in the first half, the Boyz had built a nine-point lead, but Minton hit threes on four consecutive possessions to draw his team even. In the second half, the Boyz went ahead on a bucket by Tyler Haws and held on from there.
Finally, in recent weeks, Hey Arnold! had been bitten twice by the forfeit bug (meaning that other teams had forfeited to them). I used a rare anomaly in the schedule to give the Arnold! squad an extra game, but it meant that they would have to play back-to-back games against two of the best teams in the league. They would also have to do so with one of the thinnest rosters in the league. (Quite often, Hey Arnold! has only five players.) In the first game, they took on Naco's Tigers. After dropping an early game to The Hawgs, the Tigers have been on fire. They had won three straight against top-flight competition. Hey Arnold!, which, at more than 82 points per game, is the top-scoring team in the league, scratched out a strange one-point lead at halftime, 23-22. The game seesawed back-and-forth throughout the second half. The final 30 seconds of regulation were too bizarre to recount. Suffice it to say that there were three lead changes and a tie at the final buzzer. In the overtime, the Tigers hit a quick three, then held on for a 58-52 win. In the second game, Arnold! and Lights Out engaged in a shootout, with Lights Out pulling out a 74-66 victory. Steven Singletary had 31 for Lights Out.
One of the teams that forfeited to Hey Arnold! was WAR. Accordingly, Hey Arnold! will take WAR's game this coming week due to the forfeit policy. A philosopher once said that truth is the first casualty of war. In this case, WAR is the first casualty of the forfeit policy.
We've only got three weeks left of the regular season, with the playoffs set to begin August 14th. Play hard and have fun.