June 8th, represented Championship Week of the P.A. Men’s Basketball League. From the opening tip-off of the first game to the final whistle of the championship game, the evening was full of furious and frantic action.
Championship: Boston Pizza 46 – Dave Ralla 51
One team entered this championship game undefeated, in round robin playoff-pool action, while the other slipped in via point differential tie breaker from theirs. This was a Dave (Dave Ralla) versus Goliath (Boston Pizza) chess match that featured excellent defensive play and offensive counterattacks.
Boston Pizza frustrated Team Ralla with a stifling and disciplined 2-3 zone for most of the first half. Ivan Cheng eventually found his sweet spot, going four-for-five from beyond the arc for the big blue (Ralla). BP’s faced an energetic man defense, from Team Ralla, that was not afraid to physically grind away at the big men or the ball handlers.
Boston Pizza, however, countered by generating many short jumpers off of drives to the hoop. With scoring from six different players in the first half, there was concern that Ralla’s D may crumble. Halftime BP’s 28 and Dave Ralla 19. Second half action, BP’s continued their zone D, but Cheng stayed hot hitting from downtown on 3 consecutive possessions. With the extra attention later paid to Cheng, Sam Moncur found more room to operate, scoring 12 of his 18 points in the second half. BP’s continued with their furious hoop-driving and pull-up shooting style, but saw their legs begin to fade as open looks became harder to make. A nail-biter to the end, but these Daves (Ralla) were able to slay their giant and victoriously hoist the championship trophy!
Third and fourth place game: Tseshaht Market 66 – Ladybird Engraving 80
The score of this one does not tell the full story. This was a game, that until the final three minutes saw 13 lead changes and five ties.
While Tseshaht Market was led by Brenden Lundy-Sam’s 22 points, they spread the scoring around throughout the game, with six different players recording points. Half-time score Tseshaht 38 – Ladybird 33. Mike Lange may have led Ladybird’s first half scoring, getting 16 of his 30 points during that time, but the team found their rhythm in the second half, seeing significant contributions from the rest of the roster. This included two back-breaking three-point shots on successive possessions, by Lloyd Felsman, to give them their biggest lead of the game with under two minutes to play and steal all momentum. Felsman finished the game with 21 points.
Fifth and sixth place game: Co-op 104 – Twisted Willow Studio 78
After starting the season in dominating fashion, Co-op surprisingly found themselves playing in the fifth place game on the heels of a late–season collapse. Twisted Willow similarly had trouble racking up wins this season, but were competitive throughout. Both teams opened their final game shooting very cold. It wasn’t until three minutes in that we witnessed the first points of the game, and once the scoring got going it came by the bucket load.
Co-op opened with serious runs of 10-5 and 20-7 to close the first half 47-23. Twisted rallied in the second half with a monster 18-2 surge, but it was too little too late.
Matthew Edgar nailed eight, three-point shots enroute to a 30-point night for Co-op, while Evan Peters had 24 points for Twisted