The first round of the 2014 P.I.T.S League Playoffs concluded last night, there were two games played. Both winning teams moved on to the second round which will be played tonight at Largo High School in Largo, Maryland. The first game starts at 10pm Eastern with the second to start at 11pm Eastern. There were several big performances turned in last night, let’s recap the action.
The first game was a matchup between Core and Hot Spaucho, it also featured a matchup of two very talented wings in David Potter and Devin Sweetney. Those two locked horns early in the game, with Potter getting a block then burying a three. Sweetney responded immediately by getting to the line off of a great cut. It would be easy to talk about this specific position battle for another 500 words or so, but it’s a team game. Hot Spaucho looked different with the return of Lex, he easily slid back into his familiar role opposite Reek. The duo presents problems for opposing teams due to their size and game, they are both versatile bigs with Lex being a bit more of a true power forward. Add Potter at small forward and that is a very difficult front court to deal with, Core found that out last night.
Hot Spaucho got out to a great start due to a strong defensive effort, the pushed the lead to as many as 14 points in the first half. It would have been much worse if it wasn’t for Sweetney, he was the one player on Core that was able to get his own shot whenever he wanted and they really needed his production. Glenn had come up big for Core all season long, he had a very inefficient outing in a large part to the defensive pressure by Hot Spaucho. At the half, Potter and Lex lead Hot Spaucho with 18 and 10 points respectively. Devin led the way for team Core with 13 points.
The second half started with Devin going at David again (Sweetney vs Potter), of course David responded. Potter had a stretch where he went on a personal 8-0 run to push his team’s lead to 20. No matter what Devin did to keep Core in the game, it just wasn’t enough as the entire Hot Spaucho team was rolling. The refs called the game early, with Hot Spaucho advancing to the second round with a 73-47 victory. Reek didn’t have more than four points, but he left his imprints all over the game. Through rebounding, defense, passing and sheer hustle his presence was felt. It was a great win for Hot Spaucho, the face Jamar & Rob’s Mob tonight at 10 pm. They’ll need another strong team effort if they wish to advance to the championship game tomorrow night.
Potter: 27 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists (Hot Spaucho)
Reek: 4 points,13 rebounds, 2 assists (Hot Spaucho)
Lex: 20 points,7 rebounds (Hot Spaucho)
Devin: 18, 7 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal (Core)
The night cap featured last season’s runner up and one of the perennial powerhouses in the league, Made Men took on Drew’s All Stars. The first half was played at Made Men’s pace, it was a slow, sloppy game. Yet, it was exactly how it had to be played to keep the high powered offense of Drew’s All Stars in neutral. The last thing they wanted was for Corey Allmond or “Boo” Jackson to get going, both of which are fully capable of carrying a team on the offensive end.
While Drew’s All Stars are lauded for their offense, it was their defense that allowed them to finish the first half with the lead, 25-19. The defensive player of the year, Jamarl, was assigned to Byron Jones(B-Man). It was a very good strategy by Coach Drew, they basically challenged Made Men to abandon their perimeter laden offense and throw the ball inside to Travis Garrison. While Garrison was able to have a strong game, it didn’t come from post touches. Garrison had the only mismatch for Made Men on the offensive end, there wasn’t enough help from the supporting cast.
In the second half, Made Men started strong with a flurry of baskets from Travis Garrison. They were able to cut the lead to single digits several times, a B-Man three pointer cut the lead to two early in the half. The problem for Made Men was that the “others” got involved offensively for Drew’s All Stars. While Corey and Boo will get theirs, it’s a problem when the supporting cast is scoring as well. Speaking of Corey and Boo, they both got it going in the second half. Corey was the focal point of the Made Men’s defensive scheme, but that left Boo to go one-on-one far too often. Mr. Jackson took advantage of it, for a stretch in the second half, Boo took over. Jamarl and D-Nice got involved as well, while all of this was going on, Corey continued to pick his spots and knock down shots. Coach Drew’s team was up 51-38 at one point, Made Men made another run but this time they couldn’t cut it to single digits.
They also couldn’t keep their composure; their inability to focus on what they could control cost them yet another playoff game. This late game meltdown was eerily similar to last year’s performance in the championship game, multiple technical fouls were handed out and Drew’s All Stars enjoyed a procession to the charity stripe. Drews All Stars survived and advanced, they will play the young Outsiders.
Corey Allmond – 30 points and 5 rebounds (Drew’s All Stars)
Byron Jones – 18 points (Made Men)
The other first round game was played Monday, the Outsiders beat 1st Class 82-78 in double overtime. The Outsiders were led by Rodney Clarke (Rookie of the Year), he finished the game with 22 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 steals. JoJo had 22 points and 8 rebounds in a losing effort for 1st Class.