mediabistro.com Basketball Association
@ PS 134, NYC
March 7, 2008
GAME SUMMARIES, LEAGUE LEADERS, SCHEDULE, PICTURES, and TEAM ROSTERS below.
Week Eleven Finals
Despite the trades, the game looked to be a blow-out as Tom "Big Body" Fleishman scored the Hugs' first 11 points. He quickly became distracted by some minutiae of German history, however, and was held to just six the rest of the way. The Super D's refused to go away and bolstered by the two transfers (7 points for Shanoff, 6 for Stein), found themselves down 31-23 at the half.
With the teams trading buckets to start the second half, it was clear someone would have to step up and as he's done so many times, Bean was that someone. Clearly rested from his questionably timed vacation the previous week, he slipped and slashed through the Delegate's defense, finishing with 9 in the second half and 19 overall. Stein 11 after the break did his best, but failed to control the tempo. Matt Creamer capped an excellent season with 10, while Jacob did the #23 jersey proud finishing with 9.
For the winners, Amy "I was happy with 4" Hauck chipped in 8, as did Geoff "Top of the key" Nelson, while Dan had a season-high 6.
The Super Delegates Jacob 9, Jane 4, Matt 10, Shanoff 7, Stein 17
Client-9 35, La Resistance 31
At tip, Client-9 found itself with 7 players, missing only Brie "Questionable commitment" O'Reilly and fallen comrade Chris "My doc's impressed" Ytuare. La Resistance, on the other hand, played with five, although gimpy Steve Friedman cheered his teammates from the $2,500 courtside seats.
With shots not falling (a 9 specialty) and lacking any semblance of a half-court offense, the Client clamped down on defense and tried to slow the pace. The short-handed Resistance obliged and even the fleet of foot Brandon Fitzgibbons seemed content to jog the ball up court in the face of 9's stifling transition defense.
The turning point came before halftime when the Commish drove into the lane and collided with Jessica, who reinjured her ankle and was forced to limp to the sidelines. Friedman valiantly donned his uniform and took the court looking like a cross between Willis Reed and Michael Jordan. Play resumed, and when the whistle blew, La Resistance led 17-13, behind 7 from Colin and 5 from his little bro.
There's an old MBA adage that in a war of attrition, the team with the most players wins. The seemed to be the case in the second half, as wave after wave of Client-9 substitution pounded an already demoralized La Resistance team into submission. The team quickly erased a 4-point deficit, eventually jumping out to an 8-point lead with a little over a minute to play. Two threes by Brandon (and some seriously atrocious free-throw shooting) made the game close enough to keep the TV audience happy until the final whistle, but in the end Client-9 stood tall, claiming the 9th MBA crown.
La Resistance Steve 3, Duy 0, Colin 7, Carmen 2, Brendan 16, Jessica 2
La Resistance 47, The Super Delegates 32
Client-9 43, Performance Enhancing Hugs 31
Client-9 47, La Resistance 34
In a first half controlled by the Delegates -- who were clearly unconcerned with the night's primaries -- Hickey and Friedman traded baskets (and some choice words), but it was the former's teammates who made the difference. Matt Creamer and Dan Bolin tallied 7 and 4, respectively, to lead their squad to a 24-20 halftime lead.
It looked grim for La Resistance when Friedman limped off the court early in the second half with his team down a dozen. Client-9's Gene Walsh, sacrificing himself for the good of the league (an attempt to get noticed by another, more successful team, perhaps?), jumped off the sidelines and joined the Resistance. Walsh's position on the court afforded him an excellent view of the Fitzgibbons wrecking crew as Colin (16 points in the second half) and Brendan (13) led an astonishing comeback and forced overtime. The extra session was all Resistance and the team claimed its second victory in as many weeks.
La Resistance Steve 14, Colin 20, Carmen 2, Brendan 15, Duy 7, Gene (second half sub) 2
Performancing Enhancing Hugs 48, Client-9 35
The victory, however, would not come during week eight. Despite good spirits before the game and a pre-game shoot-around that saw a record 40 percent of the shots drop through the net, 9 fell for the fifth week in a row, this time by the hefty margin of 13, 48-35. The loss was especially painful because the Performance Enhancing Hugs were playing without their heart and soul, captain Dan Shanoff.
The Hugs came out firing, with Bean and Tom Stein each torching the Client-9 man-to-man for 9 points in the opening stanza. (My fault, fellas). Four points from Gene and Jeremy and 6 from the Commish kept the Client within striking distance, down 24-16 at the half.
The second half was more of the same. Every time 9 put a couple baskets together and looked to make a game of the , the Hugs would respond with a dagger, albeit one that bounced on the rim multiple times and (some might say, miraculously) went in. Much like a raging bull fighting a matador, eventually these individual wounds became too much and the Client boys (sans Brie "Questionable Commitment" O'Reilly) faded down the stretch. For the Hugs, the victory was a vital remedy for last week's embarrassing blowout. For Client-9, it was just another loss in what's become a trying season. But never fear, the team will rally. Watch out for us in the playoffs; that's all I'm saying.
Performance Enhancing Hugs Bean 17, Geoff 4, Tom S. 17, Tom F.
6, Ivan 2, Amy 2
Setting the tone for the bitterness that seemed to infect almost every minute of the week-seven contest, Brendan Fitzgibbons (7 points) stole the ball from Hugs point guard Bean on the Hugs' very first possession. Bean had been a prolific, acrobatic and deeply feared scorer through the first half of the season, prompting yet another Mediabistro whispering campaign, one involving Bean's utilization of drugs, late night satanic rituals and animal sacrifice, and La Resistance, heavy with shooters but light on stoppers, drafted young Fitzgibbons especially to shut down the jumping Bean. Brendan was up to the task, prompting the highly competitive Bean to elbow young Fitzgibbons, which prompted the highly competitive Fitzgibbons to elbow the highly competitive Bean back, which caused the ref to call an intentional foul on Dan "Socrates" Shanoff, which caused Shanoff to complain to the ref, "Hey, why are you calling a foul on me, it's Bean and the ringer causing all the commotion."(Ranking MB executive Carmen Scheidel has already ruled that Fitzgibbons is not a ringer, since he's related to two other La Resistance players, and since the team has been decimated by injury and a couple emotional breakdowns already).
As Shanoff complained and as spectators cringed and covered the aforementioned kids' eyes, 52-year old La Resistance power forward Steve "Old School" Friedman shook his head sadly and was heard to mutter, "I can almost remember when I was scrappy."
The rest of the game was marked by trash talk, hard fouls and offensive fireworks by La Resistance. When the Hugs came out of their zone defense in the second half, La Resistance immediately and mercilessly pounded the ball inside to Jessica "The Beast" Fitzgibbons, who scored four straight baskets. When the Hugs sagged on The Beast, La Resistance went to Colin "I'm 6'4" and 225 pounds but I would rather not play with my back to the basket" Fitzgibbons, who, it must be said, is a very good shooter, ball handler, and who has a decent handle. Duy Linh "I'd better shoot when I touch the ball because I don't know when I'll touch it again" Tu poured in two baskets (early in the game) and Old School Friedman knocked in a variety of mid-range jumpers and jump hooks off drives and fakes that he considers subtle and athletic but that he is sure he heard Socrates Shanoff characterize as "pitiful old man moves."
After the game, there were reports that Bean was seen carrying a large bag that looked to be filled with dead guinea pigs and a giant bong, but that is unverifiable.
Bean was held to 14 points. Other Hugs hit for 20 points. The Fitzgibbons trio combined for 39, with Brenden scoring 7, Colin 13 and Jessica 19. Duy had 5 and Friedman hit for 22. Carmen earned an honorary 3-pointer for her role as assigning editor of this piece. (Noah, please add 3 to my ppg. The Ed.)
La Resistance Steve 22, Duy 5, Colin 13, Brendan 7, Jessica 19
The Super Delegates 47, Client-9 44
In the second half, The Super Delegates closed the gap and lead changes were the order of the day. A runner in the lane by Nate and jumper after jumper by Gene helped Client-9 maintain a precarious one point lead into the final minutes. A completely unnecessary timeout by Client-9 (Nate) with 74 seconds left to play would prove pivotal.
Eamon ("I age like a fine wine") brought the ball up the court down by a point with forty seconds to play. Catching the defense off-guard, he pulled up and took a three as Steve desperately tried to get a hand in his face. A questionable whistle blew simultaneously as the ball swished through the net. A four-point play, the first in the history of the MBA. Down by three, Client-9 brought the ball up the court. The Delegates had made a fatal mistake, leaving Gene open on the left wing and the money man banked one home to tie the score.
With eight seconds to go underneath their basket, The Super Delegates once again turned to the Grey Fox. Coming off a beautiful screen, the man was left all alone from three-point land. Splash down. A desperate attempt to push the ball up court went for naught as Steve's three was blocked at the buzzer.
The Super Delegates Jacob 8, Jane 0, Dan 8, Steve 5, Eamon 19, Sarah 0, Ivan 7
La Resistance 33, Client-9 31
At first, it didn't look like the Shanoff-less squad could withstand the heat on Tuesday night against a determined, if undermanned, Client-9 squad. With Nate "Chuck Hustle" Purinton taking the place of Chris "Scoring Punch" Ytuare, lost to a season-ending knee injury in week three, the Client jumped out to an early 10-2 lead, thanks to 8 points from the Commish, and stormed to a 17-12 halftime lead.
Lacking the fiery halftime speeches of their missing captain (who, the team agreed, played his best game) the Hugs could have rolled over. Instead, it showed its trademark resilience, chipping away at the lead and eventually moving ahead with Tom squared (Stein 15 points, Fleischman 8) leading the way.
Client 9 suddently found itself down by four with 30 seconds to play, but drew even thanks to sloppy Hug ball handling. After Bean and Co. finally got the ball up court and settled into its offense, a questionable foul on 9's defensive stalwart Steve Krakauer put Fleischman on the line, where he confidently knocked down the front end of a one-and-one. Client, tiring and unable to secure the rebound, was forced to fouled Bean, who also went one for two. Those hoping for a storybook finish were sorely disappointed when two Davis turnovers within a span of four seconds (how is that even possible?) gave the Hugs the victory.
In what will be remembered as an excellent debut, Purinton scored 11 in the losing effort, but did take what might have been the first charge in MBA history.
Client-9 Noah 16, Steve 8, Nate 11, Jeremy 2, Brian 0, Mike 0
The Super Delegates 53, La Resistance 35
And provide that adrenaline Hickey did. After five minutes, the score was New Guy 8, everyone else 0. Although the silky smooth jumper didn't find the bottom of the net for the rest of the half (money quote from the impromptu postgame press conference: "I have about six things wrong with my body. I knew I only had about five good minutes.") La Resistance couldn't recover from its opponent's fast start, falling behind 29-16 at the break.
Inspired play by the Fitzgibbons pair kept La Resistance within the striking distance of a long-range missile, but without the scoring punch of Steve "South Pacific" Friedman, it couldn't overcome the Delegate's balanced offense (17 for Matt, 15 for Eamon, 10 for Dan and 8 for Jacob).
La Resistance Duy 12, Mike 4, Colin 13, Carmen 0, Jessica 6
Performance Enhancing Hugs 54,
La Resistance 51
After losing two games, the Commish is still too depressed to do write-ups. Sorry. Back next week.
After scoring the first five points of the game, Chris Ytuare drove to the lane and went down in a heap. Shell-shocked (and forced to pick up Brendan "brother of Colin" Fitzgibbons as a fifth man), an undersized, outmanned Client-9 squad found itself down 17-12 at halftime.
Forced out of its pestering man-to-man defense by the deft touch of Steve "MVP" Friedman (17 points) and the big body of Colin "brother of Brendan" Fitzgibbons (9), Client-9 came out of halftime in a 2-3 zone with Noah "Shaq's my free throw coach" Davis pluggingthe middle as an unconventional 5'10" center. Despite the defensive scheme's obvious shortcomings (get it), La Resistance couldn't solve the zone, and Client-9 used the unrelenting energy of Fitzgibbons, 10 points for Gene Walsh, and 6 from Brie "Dirk's got nothing on me" O'Reilly to pull away.
Steve "Best birthday ever" Krakauer had four points to commemorate his 24th.
Client 9 Noah 10, Gene 10, Steve 4, Brie 6, Chris 5, Brendan 6
Performance Enhancing Hugs 52, The Super Delegates 48
Thanks to 10 first half points from Dan Bollin and 6 from Craycroft, the Super D's lead 23-19 at the break. The margin fluctuated up and down throughout the second half, but the Hugs could not take the lead and with less than a minute to go, found themselves down six.
While Steve Blinn pleaded with his Delegates teammates that the game was not over, the rock solid Hugs point guard drained one three-pointer, then another 30 seconds later to tie the game and send it into the first overtime of MBA season 8. The Sweet Sixteen was still 48 hours away, but somewhere Gus Johnson was screaming uncontrollably in excitement.
In OT, the Hugs used its balanced offense to outscore a tired Delegates five. When the final whistle blew, Bean, the boys, and Amy "4 points a game" Hauck, walked away with a well-earned win.
Performance Enhancing Hugs Dan 10, Tom S. 8, Tom F. 7, Bean 17, Amy 0, Ivan 12
The Super Delegates 44, La Resistance 35
The night's first game was a battle of attrition between two undermanned squads. With no subs on either side, La Resistance forged ahead to an early lead, only to be caught by a determined Super Delegates squad midway through the first half. Led by the deft left hand of Jacob Craycroft, SD led 34-22 when the half-time horn sounded.
With both teams visibly tired from the punishing pace of the opening stanza, jumpers and layups starting falling short, while errant passes kept those behind the scorer's table on their guard. La Resistance battled valiantly, but even the arrival of Mike Kim with seven minutes to go couldn't spur the charge the team needed, as they fell 44-35. Craycroft finished with 18 and Dan Bollin fighting off the distraction of his impending trip to see the elephants chipped in 8 for the winners. Steve "Just Give Him the MVP Trophy" Friedman had 17 in a losing effort.
The Super Delegates Jacob C. 18, Jane 4, Matt 6, Jenny 7, Dan 8
Performance Enhancing Hugs 65, Client-9 48
For the Hugs, that answer was Tom Stein.
The lanky swingman with an unstoppable inside-outside game dropped 22 on a shell-shocked Client-9 squad that spent the moments before tip-off committing each other's names to memory. This strategy didn't help as they quickly fell behind 29-4 thanks to the Hugs' unbelieveably hot shooting. [Editor's Note: Stop being a sore loser.]
A Client-9 timeout and a switch to man-to-man defense did little to stop the offensive onslaught of Stein, the slippery Bean, and the other Hugs, who led 40-19 at the half.
Client-9 battled back at the start of the second half, eventually pulling within 8, but key offensive rebounds by the Hugs bruisers keep the lead safe. When the horn sounded, the team had its first win of the season, 65-48. Captain Shanoff finished with 15 points (6 scored on banked home three-pointers that he notably did not call), while Noah tallied 14, Chris had 12, and Steve cracked double digits with 10 in the losing effort.
Performance Enhancing Hugs Amy 2, Dan S. 15, Geoff 8, Bean 10,
Dan V.2, Tom 22, Ivan 6
La Resistance 46, Performance Enhancing Hugs 40
The opening game of MBA season 8 was a seesaw battle throughout, with La Resistance repelling the Performance Enhancing Hugs whose brilliant name was worth the wait late-game efforts and walking out of the gym with a 46-40 victory.
The first half saw players from each side learning their roles and, in some cases, their teammates names. The at times disjointed opening 20 minutes ended with Performance Enhancing Hugs on top, 21-20, behind 7 points from its hot-shooting point guard David "Bean" Bienenstock.
The teams continued to slug it out after the break with neither team opening up a lead of more than 5. After a Jesse Wright trey from deep in the corner tied the game at 39 with just over 4 minutes to play, La Resistance found its second (third? fourth?) wind and outscored a tired Hugs side 7-1 to pull away and earn the W.
In what might later be seen as the first step in an MVP campaign, Steve Friedman had 23 for the winners, despite twice missing the front end of a one-and-one late in the game. Jessica Fitzgibbons chipped in 10 in the winning effort, while Bean dropped 15 and Geoff "Buy a Belt" Nelson finished with 8.
La Resistance Steve F. 23, Jesse W. 3, Mike K. 2, Jessia F. 10, Dennis
6, Dave W. 2
Client-9 44, The Super Delegates 32
While both sides struggled early on, Ytuare found his touch first, netting 14 in the opening period, leading his team to a 24-15 advantage. Jacob Craycroft (5 first-half points), Dan Bollin (4), and Matt Creamer (4) kept SP in the game.
The first few minutes of the second half found Client-9 cold, while The Super Delegates solved the porous 2-3 zone thrown at them and scrapped back into the game. After a key timeout called by Brian "Hangtime" Huss, C-9 emerged refreshed and refocused. The Super Delegates clamped down on Ytuare (1 point after the break), but had no solution for the crafty Walsh, who scored 7 after halftime for a game-high 15.
Client-9 Noah D. 6, Steve K. 4, Brian H. 4, Gene W. 15, Chris
More pics here.
Contact the commish if you have questions.
Learn more about AvantGuild, our premium membership service.