It's always good for a team when they have the best performance of the entire season in the playoffs. Such was the case for the Radcats on Sunday as they dumped a deluge of three-pointers on Redmen and walked away with a stunning 20-point victory, 91-71. The Radcats hit their first four threes and were up by double-digits just a few minutes into the game. And it wasn't just one or two guys; everybody was draining threes. They hit 10 threes in the first half and another 10 in the second half. Roland Ramon, who is generally considered to be one of the two or three best three-point shooters in the history of the Tucson Basketball League, hit eight threes for the Redmen, but it wasn't nearly enough. The Radcats will face Frosty Hesson in the semifinals next Sunday.
The aforementioned Frosty Hesson team was part of a strange streak on Sunday. Hesson beat the Bandits, 51-48 in a back-and-forth contest. In the next game, Bricklayers beat Hickory by that exact same score, 51-48. The next two games on that court also ended in three-point margins, with Skoden nipping Team Lace-up, 81-78, and Cardinals beating Team UGLY, 63-60. In the game after that, Nova Jose scored at the buzzer to give his Heat team a five-point win over Blue Coconuts. And, a couple games after that, Flagrant 2 had a three-point win over KP Ballerz.
The Bricklayers-Hickory game was a wild one. The Bricklayers got off to a torrid start and held a 20-point lead at one time. But the Hickory trio of Derek Ogden, Guillermo Bay, and Matt Swinford chipped away at the lead until they cut it to two with 10 seconds left. A Bricklayer free throw made it a three-point game. Hickory hurried the ball down the court. In the final few seconds, it was missed three (in and out), offensive rebound, missed three at the buzzer. A great game.
The Skoden-Lace-up game was a classic. Tied at 70 with two minutes left. Tied at 75 with one minute left. Just spectacular.
In other action, Da Wolves, Average Joes, and The Hawgs all came away with hard-fought, single-digit victories. Zona got by Flashback, 54-52 and the Tucson Tigers pulled away in the final minutes for an 86-79 win over Wolves.
In the final game of the night, Looney Goons and Talkin' 'Bout Practice put on a real show. High-flying dunks, long-range threes, outrageous defense. It was a single-digit margin, back and forth, all night, until two Looney free throws in the final seconds pushed the final margin to 10 points.
All in all, it was a great day in the gym, although the cold and rainy (and even foggy) conditions outside meant that the relative humidity was nearly 100 percent and it made for some crazy sweaty conditions inside. It was like July in December (except for the heat).
Semifinals next week.