Friday, November 21, 2008

OU Cleans Howse

Reading, MA - The first round of the YMCA Fall League Playoffs is in the books, and Origins Unknown survived a great effort by the Howse Corp team to advance to the second round. OU had all six active players suited up for the game, and they needed every ounce of effort to get past HC, who torched the nets for much of the game behind the ridiculous shot making of their captain, Rusty Howse.

OU got the job done however, and their confidence was set in place early by strong play off the tip. The OU tap play worked like a charm this time around as James "Stretch" Hogan IV won the jump to Cap'n Mike on the offensive end of the circle. Immediately streaking down the far side of the court was Danger Dan Fisher for a quick two and they were off to the races.

Cap'n Mike and Chris "Big Country" Johnson both had strong first halves on the offensive end of the court. Johnson, returning from one of his rougher outings, played with more confidence and aggressiveness around the hoop and had a lot more success with other hustle hoops. Off the bench, OU benefited from the immediate impact that Jay "The German Highlight Film" Wandtke provided at both the offensive and defensive end. While OU was playing well, Rusty and the boys started making some shots and drives to keep the game close. There were several highlight plays on both sides of the court during the first half. Double-pump drives by the HC squad over and over... OU shotmaking and an exciting missed follow up dunk by Hogan. The game seemed to have it all.

Up single digits at the half, OU had their hands full with an en fuego Howse Corp in the second half. They threw every defender on Rusty at some point, with little luck in stopping the streaky shooter as he creatively dumped in shot after shot. Finally, OU made a small run with minutes left in the game. Shu-ter Patel nailed a huge three and then Cap'n Mike threw a half-court alley oop to a high-flying Wandtke, which woke up the small crowd.

With a 6-point lead and the game seemingly in hand, OU managed to miss four straight free-throws to give HC a chance to stay close. After a huge three by the HC side, OU finally sealed the game with two free-throws and a steal and lay-up.

The win sends OU into the second round, following a one week layoff for the Thanksgiving Holiday. It is unknown whether OU will face the Muskets or Intervale next round, after an upset by Evans over Nothing But Net.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Howse No Match For New OU

Reading, MA - Two teams with contrasting styles got together for another friendly (but exhausting) game of hoops Thursday night at the Burbank Metrodome. Howse Corp, with their fiery effort and endless energy took the court against the slightly out of shape, but long and gritty Origins Unknown squad. In the end, the much improved OU team led wire to wire and pulled off the double-digit victory.

OU again used a spread out attack to take the early lead. After Cap'n Mike airmailed his first three off of the tip, he settled in to drop two quick threes with a little help from his friends. With a decent size advantage, OUr's J-Dub Wandtke and James "Stretch" Hogan IV controlled the post play early and often. Hogan with his traditional slashing game, and J-Dub with his post-face-destroy moves helped OU build a quick 10-point lead to which Howse could never quite dent. Once Chris "Big Country" Johnson got in the game, there were times when Howse had a hard time seeing the basket over OU's outstretched arms. As the clock ticked down towards halftime, OU worked the ball around for a last shot which resulted in an open jumper for Danger Dan Fisher (which he calmly drained to send the teams to the half).

Howse somehow kept the game competitive through sheer will and scrappiness. Even with a 12 point lead at the half, the game felt much closer. Howse may have only had 2 players in double figures, but they never seem to give an inch even when the game's outcome is clear. OU continued to work through the second half, and even as their shooting percentage dropped a bit - a post move here - another three there - kept OU in control.

The win improves OU's record to 5-4 as they head into their final regular season game against China Cuisine. Another win will likely lead to a 4 or 5 seed in the upcoming playoffs, which they are much better positioned for with the new rotation.