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.


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