Buffalo, NY- After months of anticipation the playoffs have finally arrived. In game one John Papincak led Swoopin’ In On Ya Girl to a win over the Buffalo Braves. Papincak stepped up to the plate in this one, leading all scorers with 33 points. This postseason is particularly important to Papincak as he reflects upon his legacy after seven seasons in the league without a title. Is this finally the season to make it happen? Swoopin’ In On Ya Girl jumped out to a quick lead early despite starting the game with only four players and held on to the lead the entire game. Galem Stone had an excellent performance in a losing effort, scoring a team high 20 points and doing his best throughout the game to keep the game close for the Braves.
In game two, Full Clip beat the Fastbreakers to advance to the semis. Paul Quarcini had a nice performance on the inside, but their guards were unable to get it going from outside to balance out the attack. Full Clip got contributions from everyone and displayed why they may be the most balanced team in the league with a strong combination of shooting, size and defense. Jon Marsh, fresh off capturing the scoring title in League A, led all scorers with 22 points.
In the next game Norfolk N’ Chance was stuck with a tough matchup as Sponge Bob once again struggled through the season and created a problem for their post season opponents. Unlike last season however, where they came into the playoffs as the seventh seed and knocked off the Raw Dawgs and eventually advanced to the finals, this season Norfolk N’ Chance wasn’t going to let them off. Josh Becker (22 points) and Adam Brasky (23 points) continued to display their importance to the franchise as they led a solid attack to knock off one of the leagues most storied franchises. Burgio did his damage for Sponge Bob scoring a game high 30 points, but he missed his sidekick Adam LaFleur who moved out of town midway through the season. Norfolk N’ Chance will advance to play Full Clip in the semis next Sunday.
In the first game of League B action Team First knocked of White Men Can’t Jump and put a premature end to their fantastic regular season. Mike Gumpah (17 points) led all scorers en route to a two point victory and a trip to the semis. Sam Bono led White Men Can’t Jump with 14 points, but it wasn’t enough to keep their title dreams alive.
The next game was another vintage Champions League matchup as the Billies took on the VeryAggressiveGuys. The VeryAggressiveGuys put the lockdown on the Billies to start the game, holding them to just nine first half points. The second half started on a sour note as Healthy Buffalo iron man Dan Graffam took a hard shot under the basket and suffered a right eye contusion. Graffam was forced out of the game, but valiantly stayed on the sidelines to watch the Billies fight to keep their season alive. Unfortunately for the Billies, the VeryAggressiveGuys would take this one in a 54-41 win to advance to the semis against Team First.
In the 8pm game Reloaded looked to deliver the first major upset of the day as they took a 14 point lead deep into the second half against Healthy Buffalo. Brian Walter jumpstarted the come back knocking down a handful of threes, while John Bowen (15 points), Marcus Hervey (6 points) and Quentin Holliday (7 points) applied the full court press to disrupt their offensive attack. With about a minute remaining Healthy Buffalo took their first lead and held on to it to, winning the game 60-56 to advance to the semis.
Pimpin’ Ain’t Easy looked to avenge a humiliating early season loss the the Schiler Park Boyz in the 9pm game. In their regular season matchup the Schiller Park Boyz destroyed Pimpin’ Ain’t Easy by nearly 50 points. Captain Lenny Frears was determined to not let that happen again. Despite being a 1 versus 8 matchup, this wasn’t your typical 1 versus 8 matchup as Pimpin’ Ain’t Easy finished at the .500 mark and went to the finals in season seven. With both of their point guards in action this week the game had a distinctly different feel to this time around as Pimpin’ Ain’t Easy was able to negate the effects of Schiller Park’s signature press. Being able to break down the press both opened things up on the offensive end and cut down on Schiller Park’s offensive opportunities on the other end of the court. Lenny Frears and company have now become the first eight seed to knock off a one seed in league history and will advance to the semis to play Healthy Buffalo next week.
In the final game of action YAO Know What I Ming battled the Raw Dawgs, who attempted to make a strong post season push after nearly falling apart at the end of the regular season. They started out this one with four players as captain Joe Nezezon rushed in to the game late. They allowed YAO to jump out to a quick double digit lead early and were unable to recover as YAO led by double digits throughout and will advance to play John Papincak and Swoopin’ In On Ya Girl next week in the semis.
Next week will be both the semifinal round and the finals. Stop up to watch the action! All league players are welcome to the post game party following the action right at the Knights of Columbus.