The second round of Port Alberni’s Men’s Spring League double-elimination playoffs was chock-full of upsets and unexpected finishes as two teams were sent packing much earlier than expected.
Game 4: #3 Italian Stallions (49) – #5 LB Woodchoppers (82)
LB Woodchoppers limped through a snake-bitten season, suffering through a plethora of roster and injury battles and had not tasted victory since their regular-season week one victory. However, in a twist of fate this week, the Choppers found themselves largely healthy while the preseason favorite, Stallions, found themselves down four key players (Coby Felsman Jr., Gabe Barbosa, Rune Sinclair and Sam Wynans).
Isaac Jack dominated the paint at both ends of the court, scoring 13 first-half points, and was the main impetus behind their opening 12-1 scoring run. Earl Tatoosh and Gredy Barney tried to keep the Stallions from falling too far behind with their sharp shooting from the arc and some timely double teams on Jack. The result was a massive Woodchopper 21-8 run to end the half.
Despite Barney’s 23 pt heroic effort for the Stallions, the Woodchoppers’ continual pressure proved too much. Bell’s 27 pts and Jack’s 26 pts alone were enough to show the wounded Stallions the door.
Game#5: #1 Ladybird Engraving (86) – #2 Alberni Co-op (55)
With the top two seeds facing off for a direct drop into the title game, this match-up would be about who could steel their nerves quickest.
The pace was frenetic from the opening tip-off. Unfortunately for Co-op, it was as if there was a piece of plexiglass on top of the rim, as shots would just not drop for them.
Jayden Moss (22 pts), Chris Gow (10 pts) and Eddie Fred (10 pts) were the biggest contributors in Co-op’s losing cause.
Game#3: #4 Dave Ralla (74) vs. #4 LB Woodchoppers (80)
Ralla raced out from the opening tip-off to an early double-digit lead. The Woodchoppers got their legs back and rallied, however, and the halftime score was knotted at 40’s.
The second half was a spirited affair. With minutes remaining in regulation, the Choppers’ big man Isaac Jack fouled out. Kieran Harding and Bobby Rupert, sensing their chance, made daring plays to tie the game 69-69 at the buzzer.
In OT, the Choppers were able to close out an 80-74 victory. Greg Wiatr had 20 pts in the loss. Ken Johnson’s season-high 18 pts for the Woodchoppers were significant in this victory.
Playoffs continue on Thursday, June 6 at ADSS. Co-op will take on the Woodchoppers at 6:30 p.m., and the winner of this game will square off against Ladybird for the championship game at 7:30 p.m. A second championship game (if needed) will take place at 8:30 p.m.