Greg Tucker makes a statement for the N.W.O. as they knock off Mike Ridge and jordanfarmarsonly.com in League A. In League B, White Men Can’t Jump begin their title defense with a big win over the Sometimers.
Buffalo, NY- It’s off to the races in Buffalo’s biggest basketball league as over 180 ballplayers took to the court in opening week. There were plenty of new faces to go along with a slew of league veterans. The Toon Squad, who saw their 21 gaming winning streak come to a crushing end at the end of season ten, suffered a big blow in the off-season as they learned that their All-Star point guard Adam Brasky would miss the entire season with a devastating knee injury. In his stead they recruited Healthy Buffalo’s #4 all-time scorer John Papincak of Swoopin’ In On Ya Girl glory as he looks to fulfill his dreams of a Healthy Buffalo title. They made short work of Norfolk N’ Chance in the opening week cruising to an 83-58 victory behind Papincak’s game high 31 points.
N.W.O. opened up the season with a big win over jordanfarmarsonly.com. League newcomer Greg Tucker made the most of his one chance to make a first impression by dropping 40 points in his first ever Champions League action. He was nearly unstoppable while leading N.W.O. to 65-57 win.
The Irwin brothers rejoined Bryan Price and Brian Walter, attempting to rekindle the magic that sparked KW Appliance to a title in the first ever Kronies Jamfest season. They appeared to barely skip a beat as they made short work of league newcomers, Ernie Johnson’s My Dad. Anthony Irwin carried the team with 25 points in the 63-48 victory.
The Buffalo Braves joined forces with the remnants of R.I.P. Ent in an attempt to create a super-team. The formula worked in Week 1 as Aris Schultz (15 points) and Mitch Reese (16 points) led a balanced attack over the Cleveland Beamers, despite another monster game offensively for Edvin Ramulic (31 points).
In another blast from the past, Antwan Campbell of Team America fame (circa 2004) made his first appearance in a Chas Kirsch administered league since the old KCAA days. Except this time the team name is D-Block. They recruited 2 Live Krew big man Andrew Alfieri (21 points) and got off to a hot start over ERA Team VP Real Estate. Graham Soffel (15 points) and Josh Nelson (22 points) put forth a strong effort in the loss as they fell 73-57.
It’s a new look Healthy Buffalo squad for season XI as Uchenna Gigi and Roy Wallace split off to form new teams. They are now anchored by former United Hoops captain Justin Stokes, who led all scorers with 23 points. Newcomers Those Guys came ready to play as Brayden Sears (19 points) and Connor Sears (13 points) led Those Guys to a win in their inaugural Champions League game 54-45.
What do you get when you subtract Lenny Frears from Pimpin’ Ain’t Easy? The Mad Scientists! As Frears parted ways with his former teammates, they carried on into season XI as the Mad Scientists. They walloped league newcomers the TigerHawks 88-33 giving the TigerHawks a bit of an initiation into the league. Troy Langworthy (23 points) and Clayton Hess (21 points) led the Scientists in the win, while the strong second half play of Anthony Faulise (15 points) gives the TigerHawks something to build on for the rest of the season.
The VeryAggressiveGuys made their triumphant return to League B as they will attempt to recapture their title, currently held by White Men Can’t Jump. Their opening week opponent was another league newcomer Barbecue Chicken. Barbecue Chicken were led by Devin Chavanne (formerly of League B’s Toon Squad), who led the Chicken with 19 points. Yet after honing their skills in the top division it was going to take more than some Barbecue Chicken to hold down the VeryAggressiveGuys, as Jasen Ineson (17 points) and Marcus Thompson (15 points) led the VeryAgressiveGuys to the win in a nail-biter, 51-49.
In one of the most interesting games on the opening day schedule, former Healthy Buffalo teammates Uchenna Gigi and Roy Wallace, each with dreams of holding the giant 36″ Champions League trophy at half court, split off in hopes of finding greener pastures while captaining their own teams. Wallace grouped together a bevy of league veterans including Randy Martin, Will Castro, and Zoron Smith to form the West Side Connection, while Gigi had his own crew ready to roll called Run N’ Gun. It was a tight game at the half, but in the second half the West Side Connection found some separation and pulled out the 67-53 win.
In the 8:20 pm slot it was a matchup of two of the league’s most storied franchises as the Billies squared off against the team formerly known as the Fastbreakers, known now as the Triple Threats. When captain/founder/GM of the Triple Threats was asked about the name change he replied, “We never got any fast break points…” Triple Threats is more apropos particularly with the pickup of former champion Danny Glover. Do a quick YouTube search for that name and just beneath all the Lethal Weapon clips you will find a classic Healthy Buffalo finish as Glover made a monster three to carry the Spartans into OT. That’s the kind of magic they are expecting with Glover on the roster. Unfortunately it wasn’t going to happen in Week 1 as the Billies were able to handle the reworked Triple Threats, even in the absence of their all-time leading scorer Mark Ward. Frank Pieri picked up the slack in his absence to carry the Billies to a 62-52 opening week win.
The title defense began at 10:10 pm for White Men Can’t Jump as they faced off against a disgruntled Sometimers team, whose veteran roster had trouble coping with the late game in opening week. Joining the rest of the Healthy Buffalo diaspora, Neil Trapper joined Uchenna Gigi and Roy Wallace as the third former Healthy Buffalo player to captain their own team in season XI. It will be interesting to see which of the three teams finishes the strongest as it is likely that Gigi, Wallace, and Trapper all have a bit of a bad taste in their mouth as the Healthy Buffalo team failed to build much chemistry and to live up to the early season hype in season X. Frank Musso (22 points) led White Men Can’t Jump to a 49-42 win over the Sometimers as their title defense has officially begun.