A quick note: All 24 of the teams that played in this past Sunday's championship games will NOT play this week. I have to get in the new teams and make sure that they understand what the League is about and how to act. They will play against teams that went out in the first round of last season's playoffs. It's something of a soft opening, with the main opening on May 15th. Remember, there will be no games on May 8th, Mother's Day.
I understand that I am occasionally prone to hyperbole, but please believe me when I say that this was probably the greatest day of championship games in the entire history of the Tucson Basketball League. Of course, the fact that we had 12 Division championship games might have had something to do with it. (In our first season, in 1988, we had two Divisions.) But what a day this was! Before noon, we had already had an overtime game and a double-overtime game. As the day went along, we had scores of 65-63, 52-48, 53-50, 58-52, and 51-50.
The greatest thing about it was that the entire day was just good, hard basketball. No whining, no crap-talking (well, very little and none of it personal), and no hard feelings. Teams congratulated each other in one great show of sportsmanship after another.
Hickory helped get the day off to a great start with a spectacular game against Below The Rim. In the entire game, neither team had a lead greater than five points. During a seven-minute stretch in the second half, the two teams had a combined nine lead changes. Below The Rim held a slim lead with about three minutes left, but Hickory, behind the shooting of Guillermo Bey and the rebounding of Derek Ogden, came back to tie the game and send it into overtime. The two teams traded baskets in the first overtime, but in the second OT period, Alex Torres hit a driving layup for Hickory and was fouled in the process. He hit the free=throw for an old-fashioned three-point play and Hickory hung on for a thrilling 53-50 win.
In the last game of the night, 520 Hoopers and That One Team staged a classic. Tied after 10 minutes, tied at halftime, tied with two minutes to go. Then, Ashraf Alfatesh hit two monster three pointers to give That One Team the victory.
For the third straight season, the Rattlers squared off against The Hawgs in the championship game in the top Division. And for the third straight season, The Hawgs emerged victorious. It wasn't easy. All-Everything playmaker Donte Williams picked up three fouls in the first five minutes and had to come out of the game for the first time in...FOREVER! Jon Brogan took up the slack by hitting several big threes. Williams came back in the second half and basically took over the game, leading The Hawgs to an 81-61 win.
Championship game scores:
Outlawz 51, Franchise 50
Tucson Tigers 73, Fleet 53
Skoden 67, Underdogs 59
That One Team 58, 520 Hoopers 52
Black Mambas 52, The Show 48
Mustangs 65, The Suns 63
Scrap Attack 65, AAG 55
Dad Bods 57, Just a Game 45
The Regulators 50, Mad Middle Aged Men 40
The Fam 62, Mansfield Ballers 49