Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Sweet Smell of Victory

Reading, MA – Five days later, the buzz and elation has yet to wear off the Origins Unknown crew, as they pulled off a memorable upset in the Final 4 against Stifflers Mom, beating one of their rivals to move on to the championship game of the Reading Men’s Professional 4 on 4 League (RMP4O4L).

It wasn’t easy, as OU once again dug themselves a deficit to crawl out of in the first half. Stifflers was energetic to start the game, and seemed to overwhelm OU early on with their physical play. Stifflers is a rather loud bunch, posessing a compete level of 10 most of the time. Even without veteran standout Kevin Plankey anchoring the paint, Stifflers was getting major contributions inside (from their tight-end sized big man), and outside (from their hot-shooting tatted up guard). Stifflers balanced attack was bending OU’s will early on, as they started out in a 13-3 hole – but OU made just enough shots to keep them within range. The lead stayed in the double-digit range for most of the first half, but there were a couple signs of life from OU, including a beautiful tip-in at the rim by Kevin “Bombs Away” Bekier, and some tough shots by Cap’n Mike and “Pistol” Pete Gray from the outside. But at the end of the half, Stifflers was still having their way overall, and led 39-29.

After a brief intermission, the second half was absolutely dominated by OU. The teams exchanged a couple punches early, but then OU went on a quick run to close the gap starting with a Pat “Two-Point” Murray baseline jumper. After a few more "makes" by Danger Dan Fisher, Shu-ter Patel and others a critical technical foul was called on Stifflers for interfering with the ball after a basket, and Pistol Pete stepped up and calmly knocked down the two free throws to give OU their first lead of the night at 49-48.

From there, OU maintained the pace and even increased the lead. Cap’n Mike made a few deep threes, and a couple mid-range jumpers, and was clearly feeling it. “It was just one of those games,” said Cap’n Mike. “At this point in our careers, we all think about hanging up the high-tops – but games like this always give us the kick in the ass we need for a couple more sessions.”

With the game still close, one of the final nails in the coffin was a classic back-door layup by Pistol Pete, which visibly deflated the Stifflers crew. Solid 8-8 free throw shooting down the stretch sealed the deal, and OU celebrated the win by heading to Chili's for beers (shocker).

OU will meet the Muskets in the Finals on the 26th.

Saturday, April 07, 2012


Reading, MA - It's been a string of games unlike any other in the 10-year history of Origins Unknown... 3 straight overtime games to end the regular season, and start the playoffs. OU went 2-1 in the 3 games, and now finds themselves in the semi-finals of the Reading YMCA Men's Pro League.

It all started nearly a month ago, when OU took on the always-dangerous Muskets. The Muskets had been comfortably atop the league standings for the session, while OU continued to play good, but not great, in the middle of the pack. From the start, the Muskets controlled the game. Doug and Tim proved to be a handful on the block, as they went for 33 and 27 respectively. OU found themselves down 9 late in the game, but two huge 3 pointers from "Pistol" Pete Gray and Kevin "Bombs Away" Bekier brought OU to within 3 points as time wound down. Following a couple missed Musket free throws, OU found themselves with the ball and 1 second left in the game and Shu-ter Patel in-bounding the ball from the side, Cap'n Mike was able to cut across the court and catch-and-shoot while falling towards the sidelines. The ball hit the front of the rim, and bounced up, around, and in to send the game into overtime. Unfortunately, the Muskets bounced back in overtime to take down the gritty OU crew, sending them to a 5-4 record.

The second OT-thrilla was the season finale against Howse Corp. Neither team was interested in defense during this game, and the pace was frantic and reckless. Neither team was able to establish much of a choke hold on the momentum. Pistol Pete and Cap'n Mike led the scoring for OU (Scorekeeper Pete again slighted Cap'n about 10 points in the score book, but who's counting). On the other side of the ball, Danny was hard to guard as he found the bucket and kept Howse close the entire game. In the end, the teams went to overtime, where OU eventually made the final shots to win. The victory gave OU a final season record of 6-4 and 3rd place in the standings.

And, finally this week, where OU took on Midnight Express in the first round of the playoffs. Midnight Express brought a 6'7" guy to the game who had seen limited or no action all session. He certainly made ME a much better team overall, as he facilitated the offense well from the high post, and had a nice mid range game. OU played well at times, and used some solid defense in the second half to keep the game close. Pistol Pete and Bekier once again made big shots down the stretch, but it was a lucky (for OU) missed free throw by ME which allowed the game to go to overtime for the third straight game. In this match-up, OU scraped together a couple great shots, including a fantastic reverse-layup from Danger Dan Fisher, plus some shaky free throws to seal the deal.

Next up, OU will take on Stiffler's Mom in the Final 4 next Thursday.

Sunday, March 04, 2012

Bekier Bombs Away

Reading, MA - Led by Kevin Bekier's "record setting" performance, Origin Unknown downed Millwall Thursday night and hit the century mark in the process - winning 100-65.

Bekier, a Steve Kerr-esque sniper shooting guard for OU, hit 9 three-pointers en route to a 27 point performance. What was amazing is that he didn't hit any two point field goals or free throws during the game. "I must say in all the years I have scored I have never seen anyone individual score 27 points and have no foul shots or 2 point field goals," said scorekeeper Pete. "Kevin, great 3 point shooting."

In addition to Bekier's outburst, Pistol Pete Gray dropped a game high 33 points, and Cap'n Mike added 23.Millwall did start out the game with good pace, as Feisty Dave Walker knocked down 3 early jumpers to give the veterans the early lead. OU, however didn't panic and chopped down the deficit by shooting more three pointers than two pointers. As Millwall pounded the block with Demos and their other big man, OU was content to shoot jumper after jumper.

OU was also able to get out on the break midway through the first half as a "Lebron-like" Pat Murray led three consecutive fast breaks which resulted in lay-ups. As the half ended, OU had built a comfortable double digit lead, which would prove impenetrable in the second half, as Bekier would catch fire.

The second half was more of the same - fast breaks and threes, as the entire OU bunch got in on the action. Towards the end of the game Millwall's Fiesty invented the catchy new phrase of "Shu-on-one", referring to a Shu-ter Patel coast to coast fast break. As the clock ticked down, and OU clinging to a 30 point lead, Cap'n waddled up the court to drain a 23 footer for an even hundo (100) - much to the delight of the OU faithful. "I just think we needed that three to really ensure the victory and get our morale up," said Cap'n.

The win gets OU to 4-3 in the league with an upcoming match-up against Nick B. Cap'n Mike did not get to the line in the victory, and still sits at 12-16 on the year.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Fallin' Hard

Reading, MA - In the above video caught by paparazi at Jay Peak in Northern VT, Cap'n Mike gives surfing a shot... the results are pretty much as you'd expect for an nonathletic athletic guy like the Cap'n. Much like the Cap'n in the video, Origins Unknown fell hard this week at the Reading Center. OU and Stifflers Mom locked horns in a mid-season battle, and while OU played hard, the crew never quite overcame a slow start and eventually lost, 66-63.

The game followed the recent trend of unreasonably poor first half shooting for OU. With both Cap'n and Pistol Pete Gray clanging jumpers off the YMCA rims, Stifflers took advantage to jump out to a double digit lead. The Stiffler's lead was built through balanced inside and outside scoring, as Kevin P anchored the post and the athletic guards patrolled the three point line.

Match-ups like this prove to be toughest for OU, as they are typically more of a perimeter oriented team, and tend to play more of a finesse game. OU 'bigs', Shu-ter Patel and Pat Two-Point Murray did their best to box out the bigger SM bunch, but their opponents were tenacious on the offensive glass at times. OU finished the half treading water, and found themselves in a hole with only 20 minutes remaining.

OU came out of the halftime break with a bit of fire in their belly, and after a timeout in which they reiterated that they should work the ball around on every possession, the squad proceeded to - you got it - go three straight trips up the court with zero passes! It was hard to be upset with the play however, as Shu-ter Patel, Danger Dan Fisher and Pistol Pete all hit their shots and dropped the lead below 10 for the first time since the beginning of the game.

After a technical foul on Stifflers, and a couple additional free throws on an ensuing trip, OU cut the deficit to 4. They would actually pull closer as the clock wound down, but missed a late three to tie, and ultimately ran out of time as a 3/4 court shot sailed comfortably away from the miracle they needed.

The loss brings OU back to .500 in the league, with an upcoming game against Millwall. Cap'n was 5-6 from the line during the game, and now sits at 12 for 16 on the year.

Monday, February 20, 2012

OU Drains Daggers To Down Howse

Reading, MA - Two teams with almost as much history as the Celtics and Lakers locked horns at the Readingdome Thursday night, and while the game was ugly at times, there were still flashes of greatness found throughout Origin Unknown's 81-70 victory over Howse Corp.

Howse Corp suited up 5, including ageless wonder Rusty Howse, Dennis, Dave, Gage, and the dynamic Danny M. OU countered with Cap'n Mike, Shu-ter Patel, Danger Dan Fisher, Pat "One Man SWAT Team" Murray, and Pistol Pete Gray. The match-ups were seemingly even to start the game, but OU came out of the gates colder than ice and lacking any defensive effort. The lackluster beginning for OU led to an early run for Howse, and in a matter of 10 minutes the lead had ballooned to 13. Rusty and Dan were bombing from deep and OU looked sluggish and out of sync. The game was only 10 minutes old, but OU was on the verge of getting blown out to compound their disappointing loss to Nick B in their previous game. Two critical things happened around the 10-minute mark: Cap'n Mike called a timeout to "Doc Rivers" his team on the bench, and he also removed the uncomfortable shirt under his jersey, which was clearly bad luck and causing OU to play like poo. Little did they know that these brilliant moves would prove to be difference makers.

OU started clawing back into the game through more patience on offense, and a renewed focus on defense. It wasn't pretty, but as the half came to a close, OU had brought the lead down to 4.

The second half saw OU make an impressive run, as Pistol Pete and Cap'n Mike got hot from the outside, one right after another. On several successive trips up the court, the pair each drained three pointers to swing the deficit quickly into a double-digit lead. The momentum had officially shifted during this stretch, and the entire OU team started to feed off the positive energy.

While the offense was finally clicking, Shu-ter Patel and gang started to lock down the defensive glass, which helped OU get out in transition and push the tempo. Patel and Murray, who both appeared to finish with double digit rebounds were key to OU's success. "It was a great second half for us, and a lot of fun," said Murray after the win.

The win gets OU to 3-2 in the league with an upcoming game against Stiffler's Mom. Cap'n Mike was 0-0 from the line, and 3-4 from the line in the previous loss to Nick B (nothing to see here...). He sits at 7-10 on the year.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

OU Tattoos Millwall

Reading, MA - Millwall was in town for a Thursday night battle with Origins Unknown - fresh off their trans-Atlantic flight from London - Millwall FC. A little background before we get started... Led by Demos K, the Millwall Reading YMCA Man's basketball team, is his latest business venture in the world of high-level professional athletics.

Well, maybe not exactly. The game was less about high-level athletics and more about aging warriors who look forward to Budweiser as much as they do the tip-off. On this night, the OU 'athletes' took it to Millwall most of the game, and cruised to a 88-55 win.

OU and Millwall have been playing for years, and some of the long-time players are still on hand to hoop it up on Thursday nights. For Millwall, there's the feisty point guard, the solid swing-man, and Demos. OU original gangstas Cap'n Mike and Shu-ter Patel were on the court, with help from other veteran OUrs - KBex and "2-point" Pat Murray. In addition, OU had the extra help from Nothing But Net's Nate and Pistol Pete's son Danny - whose presence was felt throughout.

The game was a bit sleepy to start for OU, as Millwall started out of the gates solidly leading 7-2. But OU soon found the range, and the crew started spreading the ball around. After short bursts of offense, OU would sub in their new bodies to keep the pressure squarely on Millwall. And, as they ran and ran, OU quickly caught Millwall, and then built a lead that wouldn't be relinquished.

Millwall's Leroy played a gritty game, but was hampered by a very gimpy calf. He wasn't able to free himself for his 'typical' array of shots, and the lack of scoring punch hurt Millwall's ability to keep it close. OU, meanwhile, was grabbing rebounds, hitting the breaks, and finding the open jumpers that they needed to sustain.

As the lead hit 10, 20 and eventually 30 - OU found scorers from all positions. "Scoretable Pete" would later say that OU had multiple double-digit scorers and no one with more than 16 or 18 (although no one is quite sure that the scoring is ever accurate).

For the game, Cap'n Mike was 2-2 from the line and now sits at 4-6 for the session. More importantly, the loss led to the feisty point guard getting the Millwall Lion tattooed on his leg (picture below) to show his loyalty to the squad.

Friday, January 20, 2012

OU Survives...Barely

Reading, MA - Origins Unknown was able to put together a great first half of basketball Thursday night at the Reading YMCA, and held on tight during a crazy second half to win by three over a un-killable Midnight Express team, 82-79.

The game saw OU get off to a scorching offensive start, as they built a double digit lead in the first 5 minutes. Cap'n Mike kicked off the game with a put-back rebound while flying in from the weak side, and after another 15 quick points it looked like OU was on their way to a blow-out. Midnight Express was unable to find their range, while Pistol Pete Gray, Shu-ter Patel and K-Baller Bekier knocked down shot after shot. After seemingly shooting 80% in the first 20 minutes - OU was "only" up 18 at the half.

They would need that 18 point lead (and could have used a bigger lead) as the second half would be like a scene out of Hoosiers for Midnight Express. Midnight Express came out guns a blazin and quickly started knocking down shots. With 12 minutes left in the game, OU's lead had shrunk to 10, and Midnight Express had a guard that was borderline unconscious at this point, making everything that he put up. OU meanwhile, was relying on one on one play too often, and they started missing many of the shots that were going earlier in the game. Cap'n Mike in particular, had several open looks, but was unable to knock them down (slamming head against the keyboard right now).

As the game wore on, OU battled hard and Pistol Pete kept them slightly ahead as Midnight Express continued to apply pressure. As the game neared the end, Midnight Express was still trailing by a few points and started to foul. Unfortunately for OU, even their good free throw shooters were unable to convert and left the door slightly ajar. Leading by 2, Cap'n Mike was fouled with just 2 seconds left. He calmly knocked down the first free throw, but missed the second as Midnight Express cleared the rebound and called an immediate timeout. This set up their final play, which ended up being an oh-so-close heave from half court, which ended up rimming out. In fact, I had seen this shot before, with almost the same exact outcome...Where was it... Oh yes, that's right! The missed Butler shot that gave Duke their most recent championship!

The win gets OU to 1-1. Cap'n Mike was a measly 1-2 from the line in the game, and now sits at 2-4 on the season. Cue the boos.