Week 4 of Men’s Spring League action was loaded with pivotal match-ups. As the dust settled on the season’s penultimate week of the regular season, the standings came more into focus, and the seeding picture for the looming three-week playoffs began to take shape.
Game#1: Ladybird Engraving 60 – Co-op 56
On paper, this match-up featured two winless teams, but a deeper look at the rosters and stat lines showed even more similarities. Not surprisingly, the teams continuously traded 6-point runs throughout the game, the half-time score was close (33-32), and scoring was dominated by single players from each squad (Birds Jayden Moss – 29; Co-op’s Kevin Titian Jr – 27).
In the closing moments of this tight match-up, a controversy was barely avoided. Down four points, Co-op’s Eddie Fred launched a 3-point shot as the clock expired. It seems the Birds’ Jayson Matthews on the shot follow-through made contact with Fred. If the bucket had been made, the “And 1” would provide a chance to tie the game. However, the no-call became irrelevant as the shot bounced harmlessly off the rim as the buzzer went.
Game#2: Dave Ralla 56 – LB Woodchopper 45
This was a head-to-head contest of the 2-1 teams battling for sole ownership of second place.
Both teams moved the ball looking to set up uncontested jumpers, mostly from 3-point range, letting their big men battle for the boards. Scoring was streaky for both sides, but evenly spread. Every player contributed to the scoring. Midway into the second half, Team Ralla found its range, allowing them to build a double-digit lead. Reg David’s 12 points, along with Cecil and Elliot Mack’s 10 apiece, led Ralla’s scoring.
For the second week in a row, Gredy Barney led scoring for the Woodchoppers with 15. Skyler Quesnel-Campbell put up 7 in their losing effort as well.
Game#3: Italian Stallions 65 – Twisted Willow Studios 55
Two of the top teams squared off in the final game of the evening. A fair-sized crowd was on hand to watch, as this game’s outcome had a cascading effect on the standings.
Expecting up-tempo styles of play and sniper-like, long-range accuracy, it was surprising when the teams attacked with aggressive dribble drives to the rim and feisty defensive play.
Two significant differences emerged in the second half, however. First, the controversial fouling out of Twisted’s big man Evan Peters with six minutes remaining. The second, Stallions’ young big man, Isaac Jack, established himself early in the half with quick slashes to the hoop and a strong offensive rebounding effort. Jack’s play led to 12 second half points for a personal best of 16 points.