Sunday, February 15, 2009

Muskets Jammed By OU - Hogan Bruised But Not Broken

Reading, MA - Origins Unknown and the Muskets locked horns for another epic battle in the fiercest basketball rivalry this side of Duke/Carolina and Celtics/Lakers. Yet again, the game came down to the wire with both teams having a shot to win - but this time, OU came out on top with the 73-69 victory.

The game would include one of the hottest shooting halves of Cap'n Mike's career, as he torched the Musket defenders for three pointer after three pointer (Unofficially, 8 in the game). But, this isn't about the greatest shooter to ever hail from Hillside St. in Newport, VT... This is about T-E-A-M O-U. And, the entire OU bunch was resilient and tough in their win.

The first half saw OU establish their offense early, as Jay "Tooeazy (cause the sh*t is too easy)" Wandtke had his post game going. His mid-range jumper was spot-on, and he controlled the block by keeping Big Doug off balance and unsure what to expect.

The Muskets countered with three bullish offensive players on their end, a wiggly point guard, and Ralph. The three Muskets big men accounted for most of their points, and rarely took shots outside ten feet from the hoop. With OU banging back defensively, the three big men had their moments, but were ultimately kept in check by Nick DS, Shu-ter Patel and Wandtke. With Cap'n Mike hitting almost everything he threw up, OU raced out to a 15 point lead at the half.

Of course, the lead evaporated in the first six minutes of the second half, as the Muskets clamped down defensively, and focused all of their energy on taking the ball to the hole. OU wasn't getting many open looks, but Nick DS came to the rescue by continuing to attack and finding baskets when needed most.

The game went back and forth for the remainder of the half until OU took the lead and held on for good with under a minute left. It was a another solid win for the OU crew, and one that proved they could handle not only the quicker teams, but the bigger teams as well.

The win pushes OU to 5-0 in the session, and matches their best league start in the past two years.

UPDATE - James "Stretch" Hogan IV has been diagnosed with a deep bone bruise in his knee, and will not require surgery, as initially feared. Recovery is, however, expected to take 1-3 months. When reached for comment, Hogan rejoiced saying, "This is good news. The knee is still sore, but I'll be back sooner rather than later."

Saturday, February 07, 2009

OU Makes Sweet Music In Win

Welcome to the
100th blog post here at the award-winning Bloggin' and Ballin'. It's been a great ride... "Sweet music", if you will. Sweet, like the music this band/group must have made back in the day. Recognize anyone? Is that an accordion, Big Country?

Reading, MA - Origins Unknown made sure the 100th blog post was a positive one, with a fantastic Thursday night win over the very game Northwestern Mutual team, 78-70. What made the win special was that this was a four on four battle of wills, and OU outlasted the younger NM bunch.

NM nearly forfeited the game before it started, as only 3 guys were present at 8:00. The clock started, and their fourth showed up to get things going with the clock at the 16:00 minute mark. Sufficiently warmed up at this point, OU went to work on the offensive end. Jay "The Devens Destroyer" Wandtke had a size/height advantage and went to work on the low block - using his strength to overpower his NM defensive counterpart. Cap'n Mike was also able to effectively drive to the hoop, and knock down some three pointers to help OU off to a solid start.

Meanwhile, Danger "Dan" Fisher was in lock-down defensive mode, and limiting their solid point guard to difficult shots and drives. The energy worked for the first 10 minutes, as OU built a 12-point lead. NM then made their own run, as their wing players started making some shots and OU ran into their own offensive drought. As the half wound down, the teams found themselves locked in a battle.

OU started the second half with solid, yet unspectacular, play. Buckets were hard to come buy, but the team scraped and clawed the NM team to a virtual dead heat. OU made a strategic second half defensive switch, which allowed Wandtke to stay closer to the hoop and keep HIS lane on lock-down for the remainder of the game. Both teams struggled to keep their legs on the defensive end, but found moments to make big shots and keep the fans on the edge of their seats. OU found themselves down a couple points with five minutes left in the game, when NM called a timeout. From there, it was all OU.

Up until that point, Shu-ter Patel had played great defense and hit some shots here and there - but his next two buckets would prove to be his biggest contribution, as he helped OU regain the lead for good. Another huge play followed, as after another defensive stop, Fisher tight-roped the baseline under the OU hoop and hit Cap'n Mike for a three pointer which had the Cap'n running up the court doing the Sam Cassell dance.

After a few more stops, and a couple of free throws, the game was over and OU basked in the adrenaline of victory. The win moves OU into sole possession of first place, with a 4-0 record and a big game against old foes The Muskets next week.

No official word on the James "Stretch" Hogan IV injury, but
Bloggin' and Ballin' will keep you posted.