WE START THE FALL 2021 SEASON THIS SUNDAY (SEPTEMBER 19TH). THE SCHEDULE WILL BE UP ON TUESDAY. AS ALWAYS, THANKS FOR BEING A PART OF WHAT WE DO AND WHO WE ARE.
We had the biggest Championship Sunday in the 33-year history of the Tucson Basketball League, with 10 Division Championship Games. We had several close games, a couple not-so-close games, and one game so bizarre that it defies description. So, naturally, we'll start with that one.
For a variety of reasons, teams that are in their first season in the League rarely win Division championships. Perhaps it's the pressure of trying to win those collector's-item championship T-shirts. Yesterday, however, four of the 20 teams in the 10 championship games were new teams. Three of them lost and the only reason that one actually won is that the Beige Sharks - Streetz matchup pitted two new teams against one another. One of them had to win. And, to be fair, Streetz is made up of guys who played in the league it the 1990s and early 2000s. They're all ballers.
Anyway, there's a new team called the Rainbow Drillers. They're young and therefore...well, they're young. Their first two games in the League, they brought a guy with a tie and sport coat as THEIR COACH!! They had a so-so record in the regular season, but they caught fire in the playoffs, beating two good teams to reach the championship game. And then...the wheels came off, the engine dropped out, the chassis corroded, and the seats exploded. Their opponent, Franchise, came out on fire and took a 26-0 lead. Yes, 26-0. The Drillers collectively couldn't hit their butts with both hands. They got open looks but couldn't hit anything. It was 43-18 at the half and then it got worse. Way worse. It is the only game in the history of the Tucson Basketball League that I have ever stopped with multiple minutes left on the clock. Franchise was heading towards triple digits and I simply wasn't going to allow that to happen.
In other games:
--DTC 47, Frosty Hesson 45 - This game was tight all the way. DTC held a 20-19 lead at the half and held on for the tight win.
--Streetz 57, Beige Sharks 32 - Streetz used a strong inside game to blow a close game wide open in the second half. Veteran Job Borboa dominated the boards inside for Streetz.
--Bad Dream Team 55, Dad Bods 47 - Dad Bods had an atrocious first shooting half and fell behind 32-19. Bad Dream Team expanded the lead to 20 in the second half, before Dad Bods mounted a furious rally to cut the lead to two points with a minute left. But the Dreamers hit a bunch of free throws and hung on for the win.
--The Expendables 44, Smokin' 3s 33 - What a wild night for a mom named Debbie. She had a son playing on each team. It was close until the end when veteran (and I mean VETERAN!) Rodney Flores hit a monster three from the corner to put the game on ice.
--Gotem 61, Team Elite 43 - The inside work of Ervin Felder and Zeke Odima proved too much for Team Elite to handle, but it was impressive that Elite made it to the championships in their first season.
--Scrap Attack 68, Fleet 59 - Brady Hagerty hit several long-range threes to lead the victory. Both teams were without their respective star guards. Sam Okougbo was out for Fleet and Scrap was missing Johnny Williams, who was the League's leading scorer this season.
--The Hawgs 76, Rattlers 64 - In the semifinals, The Rattlers stunned LeBrontourage, but they were brought back down to earth by The Hawgs in the finals. James Pegues and Donte Williams led the charge for The Hawgs, who won, like, their eight millionth top-division title.
--Hey Arnold! 76, Glass Monkeys 54 - This was a really exciting and then strange game. Arnold jumped out to a 17-7 lead, then the Monkeys went on a 22-2 run to take a 10-point lead, only the have Arnold! close the half with a 15-5 spurt to knot the game at 34-34 at the half. In the second half, it started raining threes and Arnold! cruised to victory.
--Lost Treasures 46, The Show 32 - A couple months ago, Lost Treasures lost a heartbreaker in the championship game of the Winter 2020 season. But this time they came out a winner behind the long-range shooting of Ashraf Alfatesh and Jeremy Rinker.
Congratulations to the stat leaders of the Summer 2021 season. As mentioned, Scrap Attack's Johnny Williams won the scoring title. Big Gabe Reyes won the rebounding title. Mark Meredith of Icy Hots was the leading free-throw shooter and Andrew Rayna was the top three-point shooter.