Game 9 recap: Gearing up for the postseason

Jammers Int. Weekend League, SE12
Game 9, Sat. 12.03.16
UWC Dover Campus

ENTOURAGE BBALL INC vs. KELEKONAS: 63 – 53

The 9th game of the Jammers international Weekend league (Season 12) between longtime rivals Entourage Bball and the japanese team, Kelekonas, followed a familiar script; hustle was the key factor.

Unlike previous meetings, the Entourage players stormed out and took the lead with the first play of the game. That was a nice change of pace for a team lacking in scoring punch at the beginning of games. Leading by example, player coach Dave O. scored 4 of the teams first six points to start the game.

Kelekonas, known for very accurate shooters, stayed within striking distance but conceeded multiple baskets in transition to the always attacking Evan (21 points) and the inside presence of Entourage’s power forwards, Tolga and Sébastien.

Close1st half, 3rd quarter surge....Game.
Close 1st half, 3rd quarter surge….Game.

With only 6 players available to defeat Kelekonas earlier in the season, Entourage Basketball was able to count on 9 this time including JJ, a multi-position veteran, back from a knee injury. The team absorbed the usual scrappy play by their opponents but looked flustered in the 2nd quarter as the japanese crew closed to within 3 points to end the first half.

Following the relatively benign first half, tempers flared multiple times in the final two quarters. Kelekonas players, unwilling to handle the stifling defense being played against them, threw elbows, tantrums and one even launched the ball at his defender, leading to an unsportsmanlike foul call.

Entourage Bball switched tactics, playing a zone defense in the 3rd quarter which seemed to limit their opponent’s open shot opportunities. The lead grew to 8 points and the men in black & green managed the lead well, more aggresive player interactions notwithstanding, till the final buzzer.

Ten made Freethrows also helped secure the win for the defending champs who, with a 7-2 record, are rounding nicely into shape for the playoffs next month. The five game win streak is a testament to the squad’s dedication to improving and an urge to defend their title.

Performance rating

Backcourt dc34546c84e753f093e7fcc9b4f7d138dc34546c84e753f093e7fcc9b4f7d138dc34546c84e753f093e7fcc9b4f7d138
Slow to get rolling on offense but showed strong defense for majority of the game (especially man-to-man D). Tendency to play “heroball” flared up in the 2nd quarter, but level-headed guard play in the 4th quarter helped keep the rallying opponents at bay. Season high 21 points by Evan.
Standout players: Evan, Dave J. 

Frontcourt dc34546c84e753f093e7fcc9b4f7d138dc34546c84e753f093e7fcc9b4f7d138dc34546c84e753f093e7fcc9b4f7d138
Strong on the boards against a scrappy Kelekonas frontcourt. Overly aggressive at times but good scoring in the paint. Slow feet in the 2nd quarter led to plays breaking down and some frustrated guards. Good recovery to close out the game. Too little contribution in limited minutes by the younger bigs.

Standout players: Dave O, Sebastien

Overall dc34546c84e753f093e7fcc9b4f7d138dc34546c84e753f093e7fcc9b4f7d138dc34546c84e753f093e7fcc9b4f7d138
The expected tight man D by Kelekonas never really bothered the black & green. A few players, #1 specifically, continuously running their mouths while not contributing much led to multiple on-court skirmishes plus lots of trash talk but the refs had the flare-ups of bravado under control.

Potential for a nailbiter was calmly negated by solid execution and utterly devastating defense in the 4th quarter. Well handled game going into the playoffs.
Game co-MVP’s are Dave O. and Dave J. Player coach leading by example with solid defense and timely baskets, while Dave J. (the tank) kept bailing the team out with his scoring touch at the end of the shotclock.
Standout player: The two Dave’s.

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