Game One – Hot Spaucho faced the reigning champs in the second round, to play in the championship game they would have to take down the back-to-back champions in Jamar & Rob’s Mob. A tall task for any team, much easier said than done. Hot Spaucho looked a bit different as there was a noticeable omission in the starting line up. Their extremely versatile front line wasn’t the same at the start of this game as Alex wasn’t on the floor out of the gates. Reek and David Potter started up front, giving Spaucho a much smaller line up. Which was extremely interesting considering they had to deal with a 6’9 wing in Demarr Johnson.
The underdogs didn’t appear to be fazed at the start of the game, jumping out to a quick lead. Their defensive intensity played a huge role in the fast start, similar to their first round game. The difference in this game being they were playing a group of veterans, Rob’s Mob started to settle down when they were down 14-9. Curtis Yarbough found Johnson for a three off a very nice drive and kick, that one shot spurred a run. In a matter of minutes, Rob’s Mob had a nine point lead after Tay Twyman drilled a three pointer in transition. Hot Spaucho made a mini rally of their own, but Rob’s Mob still lead 29-20 at the half. Demarr Johnson led all scorers with 16 at the break.
David Potter had a quiet first half with just seven points, his team needed him to step it up in the second stanza. All it took was a missed shot, Potter attacked the rim and shot-blocker in “Supa” Dave, it appeared that Dave got a good portion of the ball but the official thought otherwise and sent Potter to the line. After knocking down the ensuing free throws, Hot Spaucho had cut a nine point lead to just two. Of course, DJ (Demarr Johnson) responds with an easy basket. Potter answered him by hitting a three, which also cut the deficit to three. DJ channels his inner Dirk Nowitzki on his next shot, then followed it up with a three to give his team some breathing room. Hot Spaucho refused to go quietly into the night, Reek decided to make an impact on the game. The kid had a huge block, a tough drive, and an impressive layup resulting in an and-1 opportunity to put his team back in position to take the lead. Hot Spaucho even managed to take a one point lead with 3:50 left in the game, having the lead several times down the stretch but it just wasn’t enough. Johnson and Twyman refused to let their team lose, it was if they took turns hitting big shots for Rob’s Mob when the game was in the balance. DJ finished with 32 points, Twyman with 19 as they led Rob’s Mob to a 68-61 victory and a trip to their third consecutive finals.
Game Two -As in the first matchup of the night, there was a clear favorite and underdog in this game. The underdogs weren’t given much of a chance by many prior to tip-off, Drew’s All Stars were already penciled in as one of the two teams in the Finals in the minds of many. With this game being nothing more than a formality, folks couldn’t have been more wrong! There may have never been an underdog with a more appropriate team name….The Outsiders. This young team had shown they weren’t scared of any team in the league during the course of the season, maybe some fans didn’t watch all of their games but this wasn’t a team that was going to wilt under the bright lights.
Drew’s All Stars found that out very early in the game, the youngsters jumped out to a four point lead. It wasn’t a surprise when Corey Allmond responded by scoring the first four points for Drew’s group to tie the game. It went score for score for a while before the Outsiders put a run together, the 7-0 run was punctuated by a pretty alley-oop from Rodney Clarke to Steph Battle. Christian “Boo” Jackson got going as the game began to get physical, he took advantage of the style of play and went to work. Drew’s All Stars boasted two of the most gifted scorers in the league in Allmond and Jackson, fortunately for the Outsiders, they were one of the few teams in the league equipped with the length and athleticism to not only stay with the two outstanding scorers, but bother them as well. The youngsters took a six point lead into the break, leading Drew’s All Stars 32-26.
Drew’s group needed contributions from the supporting cast as their two main guns were struggling to find a rhythm on the offensive end. Unfortunately, they didn’t get what they needed. The kids however, were playing their style of basketball which featured a ton of ball movement and spirited defense. The Outsiders led by as many as 12 points before the game got insanely close, as the time ticked off of the clock, the game got more and more chippy. One of the officials was overheard saying “under two minutes, we’re not calling any fouls”, the rest of the statement isn’t appropriate to print. That type of physical play definitely pointed the momentum needle into Drew’s All Stars favor, they took advantage of it too. They cut the lead to just two at one point, 63-61. The energy in the gym was crazy as fans began to realize that the veteran team was ready to take the game from the youngsters and possibly give everyone the matchup they waited all season long to see, in the finals between Drews & Rob’s Mob. The Outsiders would have none of that, they got the ball to Steph Battle. Steph immediately attacked the basket, getting fouled in the process. Battle was a tough cover for Drew’s bunch all night, he calmly went to the line and sank both free throws. Boo responds by attacking the basket on the opposite end, he would also knock down both shots at the charity stripe. Nate Flowers got fouled when Drew’s All Stars employed a half-court trap on the ensuing possession, he would also knock down the pair of free throws, pushing the lead to four. Drew’s team turns the ball over, resulting in Steph throwing down another lob from Rodney, the lead is now 69-63. D-Nice goes to the line for Drew’s All Stars on the ensuing possession, he breaks the streak of players knocking down both shots as he splits the pair. The Outsiders break the press and Flowers slams it home to give them the win and punch the Outsiders ticket to the championship game! Corey Allmond led all scorers with 27 points, Steph Battle had 20 and Rodney Clarke had 17 for the Outsiders.