Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Sweet Smell of Victory

Reading, MA – Five days later, the buzz and elation has yet to wear off the Origins Unknown crew, as they pulled off a memorable upset in the Final 4 against Stifflers Mom, beating one of their rivals to move on to the championship game of the Reading Men’s Professional 4 on 4 League (RMP4O4L).

It wasn’t easy, as OU once again dug themselves a deficit to crawl out of in the first half. Stifflers was energetic to start the game, and seemed to overwhelm OU early on with their physical play. Stifflers is a rather loud bunch, posessing a compete level of 10 most of the time. Even without veteran standout Kevin Plankey anchoring the paint, Stifflers was getting major contributions inside (from their tight-end sized big man), and outside (from their hot-shooting tatted up guard). Stifflers balanced attack was bending OU’s will early on, as they started out in a 13-3 hole – but OU made just enough shots to keep them within range. The lead stayed in the double-digit range for most of the first half, but there were a couple signs of life from OU, including a beautiful tip-in at the rim by Kevin “Bombs Away” Bekier, and some tough shots by Cap’n Mike and “Pistol” Pete Gray from the outside. But at the end of the half, Stifflers was still having their way overall, and led 39-29.

After a brief intermission, the second half was absolutely dominated by OU. The teams exchanged a couple punches early, but then OU went on a quick run to close the gap starting with a Pat “Two-Point” Murray baseline jumper. After a few more "makes" by Danger Dan Fisher, Shu-ter Patel and others a critical technical foul was called on Stifflers for interfering with the ball after a basket, and Pistol Pete stepped up and calmly knocked down the two free throws to give OU their first lead of the night at 49-48.

From there, OU maintained the pace and even increased the lead. Cap’n Mike made a few deep threes, and a couple mid-range jumpers, and was clearly feeling it. “It was just one of those games,” said Cap’n Mike. “At this point in our careers, we all think about hanging up the high-tops – but games like this always give us the kick in the ass we need for a couple more sessions.”

With the game still close, one of the final nails in the coffin was a classic back-door layup by Pistol Pete, which visibly deflated the Stifflers crew. Solid 8-8 free throw shooting down the stretch sealed the deal, and OU celebrated the win by heading to Chili's for beers (shocker).

OU will meet the Muskets in the Finals on the 26th.

Saturday, April 07, 2012


Reading, MA - It's been a string of games unlike any other in the 10-year history of Origins Unknown... 3 straight overtime games to end the regular season, and start the playoffs. OU went 2-1 in the 3 games, and now finds themselves in the semi-finals of the Reading YMCA Men's Pro League.

It all started nearly a month ago, when OU took on the always-dangerous Muskets. The Muskets had been comfortably atop the league standings for the session, while OU continued to play good, but not great, in the middle of the pack. From the start, the Muskets controlled the game. Doug and Tim proved to be a handful on the block, as they went for 33 and 27 respectively. OU found themselves down 9 late in the game, but two huge 3 pointers from "Pistol" Pete Gray and Kevin "Bombs Away" Bekier brought OU to within 3 points as time wound down. Following a couple missed Musket free throws, OU found themselves with the ball and 1 second left in the game and Shu-ter Patel in-bounding the ball from the side, Cap'n Mike was able to cut across the court and catch-and-shoot while falling towards the sidelines. The ball hit the front of the rim, and bounced up, around, and in to send the game into overtime. Unfortunately, the Muskets bounced back in overtime to take down the gritty OU crew, sending them to a 5-4 record.

The second OT-thrilla was the season finale against Howse Corp. Neither team was interested in defense during this game, and the pace was frantic and reckless. Neither team was able to establish much of a choke hold on the momentum. Pistol Pete and Cap'n Mike led the scoring for OU (Scorekeeper Pete again slighted Cap'n about 10 points in the score book, but who's counting). On the other side of the ball, Danny was hard to guard as he found the bucket and kept Howse close the entire game. In the end, the teams went to overtime, where OU eventually made the final shots to win. The victory gave OU a final season record of 6-4 and 3rd place in the standings.

And, finally this week, where OU took on Midnight Express in the first round of the playoffs. Midnight Express brought a 6'7" guy to the game who had seen limited or no action all session. He certainly made ME a much better team overall, as he facilitated the offense well from the high post, and had a nice mid range game. OU played well at times, and used some solid defense in the second half to keep the game close. Pistol Pete and Bekier once again made big shots down the stretch, but it was a lucky (for OU) missed free throw by ME which allowed the game to go to overtime for the third straight game. In this match-up, OU scraped together a couple great shots, including a fantastic reverse-layup from Danger Dan Fisher, plus some shaky free throws to seal the deal.

Next up, OU will take on Stiffler's Mom in the Final 4 next Thursday.