Friday, June 20, 2008


The Celtics they ain’t…

Origins Unknown came into last night’s game against Alliance Exteriors with a sparkling 4-0 record, and some really great overall performances - They left the game with their heads down, and with a few players openly wondering if retirement should be their next move. The game was a dud in every possible way. Offensively – Defensively – Scrappiness… Yuck. The result was their lowest point output in memory (48), and a pimp-slap by their AE opponents.

From the outset, the game was not a typical OU effort. Cap’n Mike showed up after tip-off due to a hellish hour-long ride from 6 miles down the road. And, both teams struggled to get their legs underneath them – scoring a combined 6 points in the first 4 minutes. Alliance Exteriors is a throw-back team with very little team speed, but good size, as well as a gritty disposition. The grittiness ended up being the difference on this night.

The first half was a slop-fest from every possible angle. The only people playing decently for OU seemed to be James “Stretch” Hogan IV and Chris “Big Country” Johnson. Meanwhile, the guard-play for OU was flat out stinky. There were missed lay-ups, forced shots, air-balls, turnovers and lots of other head-shaking issues for Danger Dan Fisher and Cap’n Mike. The game highlights certainly aren’t going to be on any Hall of Fame induction videos…

Alliance Exteriors, on the other end, was getting the job done. They spread the floor well, and didn’t force shots often. It seemed as if OU could create no momentum, and even when Big Country or Stretch scored down low, AE was always making a shot back up the other end of the court to diffuse any run. The lead stretched to double digits, and OU never really made a dent in that gap. The second half was much of the same… Jumpers continued to clank off the rim, seemingly mocking the OU shooters as the clocked continued to roll. Even as OU committed to getting to the hoop (and drawing fouls), the foul-shots bounced left, right, short and long.

It was just one of those nights that good teams quickly put behind them… And that is what OU will do, as they prepare for next week’s game against the Warriors.

Last week – OU used a great comeback to down Howse Corp in the final minutes…

Friday, June 06, 2008

Muskets lose...Lose cool.

Reading, MA - Unlike after their Winter finals win, I don’t think the Muskets were sending any “great job, the world is wonderful, the refs were fair and didn’t influence the game” emails to the league commissioner after last night’s slug-fest with Origins Unknown. Especially since they came out 70-58 losers and clearly thought the refs played a big part in the loss.

It was a game that had a "lil bit of everything". Danger Dan Fisher and Chris "Big" Johnson were suiting up for their first full game of the session. The Muskets had two new athletic faces, who are taking over for two solid low post players who are out for the summer. Cap'n Mike showed up clearly not himself, battling a stomach bug that was as messy as his jumpshot. Plus the intensity was as high as ever between these two teams - which is always fun.

From the tip, OU needed a few minutes to figure out the "new" Muskets. The two new guards certainly increased the overall team speed, but after getting their legs underneath them, OU was able to match their speed and find other areas to exploit. While Cap'n Mike was sluggish and missing jumpers left and right, the rest of the OU crew was solid as a rock.

Johnson checked into the game after Mike lost his legs in the first four minutes, and immediately used his size and strength to power his way to the bucket. Fisher and Shu-ter Patel were also doing their part. Fisher made some very difficult shots and Patel made them pay for collapsing the post. James "Stretch" Hogan did his part as usual, playing excellent defense on the elusive Leroy Johnson and cleaning the glass like the Windex man.

The first half was a blur, but OU held a small lead at the end. In the second half, things got a little testy between the teams. First, Cap'n Mike was in the middle of a little back and forth discussion between him and the Muskets about a foul called on him. A tad delirious, Cap'n thought Ralphie had a little more to say than he wanted to hear. Then, the Cap'n found himself in the middle of a questionable technical foul call on Leroy Johnson - that perhaps shouldn't have been called at all. But, the Muskets were clearly rattled. They started arguing, and also voicing their displeasure with the refs. OU capitalized and went on a run that they were able to maintain until the buzzer. A run that included solid free throw shooting, and agressive offense.

The post-game situation was equally intense as both Johnson brothers argued with each other as they tried to argue their case to the ref. Leroy was clearly heard saying some questionable things to the big ref ("You're a the biggest trouble maker out here" was one such thing), and it will be interesting to see if any penalties come from the incident.

Cap'n Mike was happy to put the game behind him in which he finished 7-8 from the line, but about 1-10 from behind the three-point stripe. But the other signs are all positive for the OU crew, and they were once again ecstatic with their performance. The offense is spread out... Each player is contributing... They are contesting shots... And they are playing hard in every contest. The win pushed OU to 3-0 with a pending match-up with the other undefeated team - Howse - next week.