Buffalo, NY- The playoffs are finally here. After nine incredibly entertaining and hard fought weeks of regular season action it was time for Buffalo’s #1 basketball league to enter the home stretch of the playoffs. In the first game of the day CKNY took on two-time champions R.I.P. Ent. While R.I.P. Ent has struggled with the loss of Mitch Reese, who has missed most of the season with an injury, they had a formidable lineup for the playoffs as everyone came out for the big game. Vaughn Williams did his best to fill the gap left open by Reese by scoring a team high 13 points. But CKNY simply had too much firepower. Dave Hall was in top form and played at a level not seen since he joined the league with the Hoosiers many seasons ago. He led all scorers with 21 points, while Garrett Korig chipped in another 18 points to lead CKNY to a 69-47 victory.
In game two the number one seed Court Justice battled it out with Frank Musso and White Men Can’t Jump. Perry Davis had another monster game scoring a game high 37 points, but Nick DiGangi was his only teammate to hit double figures. As is typical of Court Justice, they came loaded for bear, with a roster full of BSWA legends. Moe Bailey (26 points) put an exclamation point on his performance with a nice alley-oop dunk tossed from none other than Brian Walter, who chipped in 13 points of his own. Court Justice wil advance to the semis after pulling out the 87-72 win as they look to become the first three-time champions in leagues history.
Next up were the Raw Dawgs who got a tough break drawing Sponge Bob Square Pants as their first opponents. After a miserable regular season Sponge Bob seemed to pull it all together for the playoffs. The Raw Dawgs jumped out to a quick lead to start the game behind the excellent shooting of Kevin Fretthold (29 points), but had no answer for big man Jon Burgio (36 points) down the stretch. When they tried to double team Burgio in the second half, their shooters responded to do the damage from the outside. For the Raw Dawgs, it was a disappointing end to a magical season. For Sponge Bob, it was enough to put their poor regular season performance behind them as they continue the chase for their first title in franchise history.
The final game of Eastern Conference play was the only game that came down to the wire as Buffalo’s Finest just barely slipped by Concrete to advance to the semis. David Robinson led all scorers with 27 points which gave Buffalo’s Finest just enough ammo to squeeze out the 67-65 win.
In the first game of Western Conference action JLin & The Temptations thought they were rewarded for a fine regular season performance with a matchup against THE Goon Squad. Mario DeNicola had other plans. After battling their way into the final playoff spot in the division, DiNicola was not about to go quietly and did his best to to keep the Squad in the game, he scored nearly half the teams first half points and was determined not to let their season slip away. While James Kim and company were surprised at the solid effort, they were not deterred. After a number of disappointing seasons in the league captain/GM Kim believes he finally has the squad in place to bring home a title. After their 67-56 win over THE Goon Squad, they are just two more wins away.
The U.H. got a tough draw against the VeryAggressiveGuys, who destroyed them in their regular season matchup. But The U.H. is a prideful team, full of league veterans like captain Mike Capuana, sharpshooter Will Castro and spiritual leader Josh Lopez. This is not a crew that is going to go silently into the night. Catro (14 points) and James Capuana (8 points) did their best to keep it close, but the VeryAggressiveGuys were just too much to handle. Jasen Ineson scored a game high 17 points, while dedicating his fine performance to his injured comrade Jake Walkow, who is currently suffering from a damaged knee. While this game was no repeat of the regular season massacre, the VeryAggressiveGuys did what they needed to do to lock up the win and get a ticket to the semis next week.
When the schedule was posted in early February, many BSWA analysts figured that this was the year for the Billies to win it all. They started the season strong and appeared to be in pole position to bring it all home. Yet cracks appeared in their armor as they racked up a number of late season losses. On Sunday evening, their entire season came to a screeching halt. After falling behind by nearly twenty points, captain Rich Lynch was ejected from the game after a pair of technicals. Mark Ward (20 points) and Justin Andreozzi (24 points) came to play, but the rest of the team was amiss without the presence of their court general Tim Graffam, whose importance was magnified after the loss. Shawn Satarian (37 points) played his heart out and will be rewarded for his efforts with a rematch of their double OT loss against JLin & The Temptations in the regular season.
In the final game of the night Pimpin’ Ain’t Easy squared off against Nick Pfohman and the Flint Tropics in an entertaining matchup featuring two contrasting styles of play. Pimpin’ Ain’t Easy jumped out to 37-30 lead at the half by pounding the ball inside to Troy Langworthy (23 points) and Clayton Hess (24 points). Yet in the second half Jordan Bass (26 points) knocked down three consecutive threes, a free throw and a layup in a matter of minutes to get the Tropics back in the game. While the Tropics were able to gain a small lead with about seven minutes remaining, Pimpin’ Ain’t East went back to the basics of feeding their big men inside to wrap up the W and advance to the semis for a rematch against the VeryAggressiveGuys.
What better way to celebrate Mother’s Day than by inviting your mother to watch you play in the semis of Buffalo’s most vaunted basketball league? Enjoy a nice brunch with your mother, then invite her out for the action! Only two wins are now between each team and the signature 36″ Champions League trophy. Do you have what it takes to lead your team to victory? Find out this Sunday. The action begins at 7 pm!