Over the past several seasons, Hey Arnold! has built a reputation as a high-flying, high-scoring team that throws in three-pointers in bunches and basically overwhelms other teams with offense. The Arnold! squad is usually the top-scoring team in the league and often has one or two individual players vying for the individual scoring title. They also win--a lot. They average under one loss per regular season and have won multiple division championships. Therefore, it's news when they only score 52 points in a game and it's big news when they score 52 points in a game and lose.
Hickory got a double-double (10 points and 12 rebounds) from Josh Arnold and a near-double-double (26 and nine) from Guillermo Bay in a stunning 61-52 win over the previously unbeaten Arnold! team. Hickory jumped out to a 12-0 lead and never gave it up. The lead was down to two at halftime (29-27), but Hickory held on throughout the second half for the big victory.
Scrap Attack gave unbeaten JFZ all it could handle before falling, 45-44. Rocko Holmes solidified his lead for the individual rebounding title by grabbing 17 boards for JFZ. His team can finish off an undefeated season this week when they take on JAK at 1:00.
Sour Patch Kids almost pulled off the second big upset of the day when they led The Hawgs for 34 1/2 minutes before falling, 79-76. Sour Patch jumped out to a quick lead behind the outside shooting of Osama Solieman and Ashraf Alfatesh and led, 38-37, at the half. The Kids increased their lead in the second half and hung on until the clock ticked inside two minutes to play. The Hawgs finally took the lead on a driving layup by Donte Williams and then sealed it on two clutch free throws by Junior Hackworth. Williams and Hackworth combined for 58 points and were a combined 14-15 from the free-throw line.
Radio star Mike Luke threw in eight three-pointers, but it wasn't enough as his Eastside All-Stars dropped their seventh straight, 75-65, to Illuminati. The problem with his team--as with many teams during the summer season--is that they almost never have their full squad available. There's always somebody missing for one reason or another. This time Marquez Price showed up and poured in 27 points, but big man Chris Wharam was a no-show. Even with an 0-7 mark to this point, Eastside could prove to be a tough out come playoff time.
Speaking of which, this will be the last week of the regular season. We will then be off August 2nd and 9th while the gym floor gets resurfaced. Single-elimination playoffs (in six divisions) begin August 16 with championship games being held August 30th. (The Fall season begins September 6th.) We break the four regular-season leagues into six smaller divisions for the playoffs, so you may match up against a team you haven't played before. The 12 teams that will make up the top two playoff divisions constitute the strongest top-to-bottom dozen teams in Tucson Basketball League history. It should be crazy.