Friday, May 18, 2007

Bowing OUt

The annual power struggle between Origins Unknown and the Crusty Muskets was once again settled last night in the semi-finals of the Reading YMCA league. This time, the Crusty Muskets used their veteran smarts (i.e. holding and hand-checking), and excellent shooting to dismantle the out of sync OU squad 67-53.

OU, playing without two of their cornerstones James “Stretch” Hogan IV and Shu-ter Patel, put together a line up that hadn’t played together in months. Meanwhile, CM came out blazing – looking every bit like a team that has played together for 39 years. Leroy Johnson and Lil’ Ralphie shot CM to an early 10 point lead in the first half, as OU struggled to get into a flow offensively. Many trips down the court turned into a one on one battle, with little ball movement and poor spacing. OU clearly had the athletic advantage, but were unable to capitalize on drives as shots seemed to just miss, or passing lanes that were usually opened were closed. In addition, CM was doing just enough “Bruce Bowening” to disrupt the flow and concentration of OU. Cap’n Mike was clearly frustrated as he felt the hand-checking and grabbing was going un-noticed.

But, in typical OU fashion, they put together a run at the end of the half through hard work, and actually brought the game back to even before the buzzer sounded.

Second halves are typically when OU creates separation from their opponents. Without Hogan and Patel, however, the Muskets actually seemed to be the fresher team with their 4 bench players. They stuck to their game plan, and even with Johnson slowing offensively, were able to spread the offense around to build a 7 point lead. The OU shots seemed to be clanging off the rim, while nearly every CM shot was bouncing around the rim and falling through. In addition, OU had another horrid game from the free throw line, while CM was cool under pressure. In the end, the game was decided with 2 minutes left, as OU was unable to mount any type of comeback.

The loss caps the worst season in OU’s 3 year run. Much of the disappointment is easily dismissed to injuries, forfeits, and missed games by key personnel. OU agrees that, while the competition seems to have improved as of late, when the squad shows up - they are still the team to beat.

Friday, May 11, 2007

"Big" Win for OU

Reading, MA - Origins Unknown expected a first round battle in the Reading YMCA Men’s League Playoffs, and got one (for about 10 minutes), before putting forth a complete game and lambasting Northwest Mutual by 25 points.

OU had all facets working in the victory. Chris “Big” Johnson was utterly unstoppable in the post. Shu-ter Patel came back off the injured reserve to knock down several big shots. James “Stretch” Hogan IV played his usual stellar defense, while slicing his way to double digits in points and rebounds. And, Rusty Howse knocked down several “howdhemakethose” shots.

Cap’n Mike was also back in action after a month of travel kept him off the hardwood. He showed some cobwebs early on, but was able to get back in the flow with some coco crisp passing and solid defense.

And, OU wasn't even full strength! Danger Dan Fisher and Dr. Greg Robinson were both out of action.

Northwest Mutual started off the game with a 10-2 run, making OU pay for their sluggishness. But, in the midst of the run, they awoke a sleeping giant in Johnson. After missing his first shot, Johnson had a Shaq-like presence on the court – posting up anyone (and everyone) on his way to his best game in light blue.

OU pulled back even with NM, and then ahead, piling up a 10 point lead at the break. From there, OU continued to push the tempo and impose their will on their opponents. NM’s best shooter tried to shoot them back into the game, but had no luck against the long-arms of the law – Cap’n Mike and Stretch Hogan.

In the end, it was too much of OU doing what OU does… playing the OU way. According to the QuickScores web site, OU will take on the Crusty Muskets in Round 2 at 6:30.