Think about this: We had a playoff game on Sunday night that went overtime and ended with a score of 100-98 and it wasn't the most exciting game of the day. Of the final five games played on Court 2, the margins of victory were 3, 3, 2, 5, and 2. And the first game of the day on that court was one of the strangest Tucson Basketball League playoff games in years. In that game, the Soul Snatchers (a team that has won multiple championships) had one of the worst scoring performances of all time. Nine minutes into the game, they had ONE POINT! And it wasn't like they were being locked down by their opponents. They probably missed 10 layups or two-footers in those first few minutes. It was just bizarre. With five minutes left in the half, they had four points and were down 19-4. They scored at the halftime buzzer to finally get to double figures, but were down 25-11. They made a couple brief runs in the second half but never really got going (or got close). They ended up losing, 42-25, their lowest point output in team history. Very odd.
The next game was on that court was incredibly exciting. Frosty Hesson and Scout Team staged a classic. Hesson jumped out to a comfortable double-digit lead early on and held it through halftime. Then, Scout Team (more specifically Kurtis Startt) started bombing away from long range. Scout Team took the lead with about seven minutes left and eventually built it to nine points. But Hesson wasn't done. They clawed their way back and took a three-point lead with under 20 seconds left. A missed free throw by Hesson left the door open and Startt hit a clutch three right as the buzzer sounded. In overtime, Hesson got out to a quick five-point lead, but Scout Team got a steal and a layup and then Startt hit another monster three at the buzzer too send it into another overtime. There would be no further magic as Frosty Hesson held on for A 76-73 victory.
In the aforementioned game, Team UGLY and Wolves put on a show. The pace of the game was absolutely insane. Wolves held a 45-39 lead at the half and then things kicked into high gear. The teams traded the lead back and forth throughout the second half with threes raining down. Wolves held a two-point lead with five seconds left when UGLY's Masai Dean, recently of Cholla High School, stepped to the free-throw line. After bricking the first one, he missed the second one on purpose. The ball got batted around, touched by players from both teams. It ended up in Dean's hands and he put up a soft jumper that rolled around and fell in right at the buzzer. UGLY got a quick three to start the overtime and held on for the 100-98 win.
A couple quick notes:
--This coming Sunday will be the semifinals for all of the Divisions, with the championship games to come on April 30th. The next season (Summer 2023) will start on May 7th and run through August.
--There have been a couple complaints about teams using guys for the playoffs that didn't play during the regular season. We're looking into them and if they turn out to be true, the offending team(s) will be kicked out of the playoffs. Believe me, I know how badly players and teams want to win a T-shirt with me on the front, but that's some lame-ass sh-tuff. We used to be able to spot teams who were trying to do that, but we have multiple courts now. When I confront teams, they will invariably say, "Oh yeah, he played with us back in February, but then his work schedule changed." Yeah, but now it has magically changed back? I will kick you out and not lose a minute's sleep over it.
--Two or three guys asked me if the League fee is going up. It is not. I wish I could find a way to have it go down. We're paying the higher rent for the courts and we were able to give the refs a long-overdue small raise. We're breaking even, which is all we've ever wanted to do. We're good for what I hope will be a long time.
--We will be having a Free Agent team next season, consisting of individuals who are new to town or just don't know anybody. We've had limited success with such teams in the past, but hope springs eternal. Many people think that's from Shakespeare, but it's actually Alexander Pope.
--For a couple years now, I have been telling players not to take charges under the basket. Quite honestly, the main reason is that most people simply don't know how to do it right and the risk of injury goes way up. Now there is a movement afoot to ban the dangerous play from the NBA, especially after Giannis and Ja both got hurt on the same day. They are definitely going to do something (make that semicircle bigger and farther away from the basket, ban the weak-side player from sliding over). It used to be considered good defense. Not so much any more.