Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Lucky Losers

Reading, MA – In the final game of the spring session, Origins Unknown took on first place Intervale with a chance to lock-up a playoff spot but stumbled in the final 10 minutes, losing 91-77. Luckily, Howse Corp also lost later in the night, leaving OU in sole possession of 4th place, with a ticket to the REAL Final 4 (March Madness-schmadness)… Perhaps the second time will be a charm, as the OU bunch will take on the #1 seed….Intervale!

The final regular season game followed a similar pattern of other recent games against top-tier teams, as OU was competitive for the first 25-30 minutes– only to have a bad stretch of play derail things. OU played Intervale even in the first half, as the bunch shot the ball well, and kept pace offensively. Intervale’s top two scorers were also having a great night from the inside and outside, and the teams stayed within 2-3 points of each other from the tip.

The second half started with promise, as OU fought their way to a 5 point lead after several minutes. Things turned quickly though, and after some Intervale three point bombs and some OU missed shots – they were staring at a small deficit. OU missed several chances from then on out, and Intervale didn’t let up. A few turnovers later, OU was staring at a 14 point gap – without the energy to make a run.

OU finishes the season at a mediocre 6-4, which is somewhat remarkable based on the lack of team depth this session. Intervale wound up with the #1 seed, followed by NE Finest in the #2 seed, and The Muskets wrapped up the #3 seed.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Tale of Two Halves

Reading, MA - Origins Unknown outplayed New England's Finest for one half, and seemed to be in the thick of a tight game when the second half commenced at the Readingdome. But, NEF went on an impressive second half run, and a five point lead quickly turned to a fifteen point deficit in a matter of minutes. With OU's spirit on the ropes, NEF never let off the gas. As OU proceeded to play a style that resembled "a comedy of errors" (according to Cap'n Wife Deanna) - NEF finished strong and ran away with the win, 80-64.

OU DID put together a solid first half against their younger and quicker opponent. Cap'n Mike was able to put up a strong shooting performance - knocking down long three after long three which helped match the quick offensive pace of the NEF bunch. Meanwhile, Jay "5 Minutes Late" Wandtke came out without any time to warm up and had a solid half on the low block and defensively. His presence allowed OU to pressure the shooters, but NEF boasts an athletic line-up which still found ways to score. OU seemed up to the task - with Danger Dan Fisher leading the way against Finest's best player - a very solid guard with a deadly shot and a quick first step. As the half wore on, OU battled their way to a five point lead at the half - 42-37. While OU held the lead, it was clear that legs were starting to tire against the team with what seemed like unending energy.

The second half was flat-out brutal - there isn't another way to explain it. NEF started trapping OU guards at half-court, and it seemed that every time OU got the ball out of pressure a turnover or missed shot was the result. NEF was still running at full throttle and when OU did turn it over, they paid on nearly every trip. NEF's own Cap'n and loudest talker let his game do the talking in the second half, as he nailed several long three pointers after being held mostly silent in the first half. The only second frame highlight was Shu-ter Patel's 14-inch Jordanesque shot captured in the below picture (no word on whether the shot went in)!

OU super-fans Lil' Cap'n Max and Deanna agreed that OU looked old in the second half... The 43-22 scoring difference certainly didn't help anyone's confidence either - although the team agreed in the post game interview that OU regulars James "Stretch" Hogan IV and Nick Dominator-Swain would have changed the outcome drastically.

OU now sits at 5-3 in league play, and is currently on the outside looking in, for one of the four available playoff spots.

Meanwhile, Lil' Cap'n Max continues to work on his game in an effort to join Origins Unknown as soon as possible.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

OU Bowl Over Warriors

Reading, MA - In the fast-paced, high pressure world of being a YMCA Men's League Team Cap'n - things can often change in a matter of minutes. One minute, you think the team is down to three available players for a game that night... The next, you not only have enough guys, but you also have an extra player who you've never played with that turns out to be an absolute motor on the court. Such is the life I have chosen.

So, when I got a call from Nick Destroyer-Swain saying he didn't think he could make it for the game Thursday - I was concerned. Then, when Nick called back an hour later and told me that he would be able to make the game AND had another buddy who could play with us... Well, I was just a tad relieved.

Nick would put in one of his more dominating performances of the session, dropping 34 in his last game before heading south to Connecticut to continue his career in medicine. And, his buddy Derek - a Roomba-like energy player - fit in with the existing OU crew perfectly.

On the other end of the court, the Warriors showed up game-ready, but unfortunately had to take the brunt of Nick's presence. They were missing several key players, and after starting out the game 3 for 3 from behind the three-point line - they were overwhelmed by OUs speed and tenacity. OU pushed the pace and remained tenacious on the defensive end for all 40 minutes. By the end of the first half, OU had already built a 20 point lead, and was cruising towards the W. Threes were droppin', post play was poppin', and OU wasn't stoppin' (That sentence has to put me in the running for a Pulitzer).

The second half was a simple continuation of the first... Derek and Danger Dan Fisher continued to run all over the court, and Cap'n and Shu-ter Patel simply spotted up wherever there was open space. On top of all the points he scored, Nick also had about 20 rebounds, 20 free-throws and 20 collisions where he was a bus and an unlucky Warrior's player was a Mini Cooper.

The final score of 97-62 didn't really do the Warriors justice, as they battled with a less-than full line-up. OU, meanwhile, moves to 5-2 on the session - with three games remaining.