MANHATTAN - Week Two of the GABL proved to be a contentious, grueling stretch of basketball. Nobody who made it through unscathed will ever forgot the horrors and triumphs of Thursday the 4th.
Beast of Burden 56, Team Fouls 36
Held in check during week one, Ismael Rodriguez broke out in big way, leading Beast of Burden with 26 points, including 4 3-pointers in the second half. His torrid shooting came amid an otherwise chippy game, which sometimes devolved into a test of brutality. Late in the first half, for example, Robin Luna and Kyle Ervin earned the year's first ejections after their tug-of-war for a loose ball extended past the whistle.
The outcome of this game was never truly in doubt, even before the untimely loss of Ervin. Beast of Burden ran out to an 11-point halftime lead, bolstered by Rafael Rodriguez's 10 points, and it was clear from the get-go that on this particular night, Team Fouls would have trouble handling their frontcourt pressure. Their various appeals to the referee for more attentive policing fell on deaf ears, and the long slide into defeat had begun.
Brian Love and Kyle Pilkington had strong games for Beast of Burden, scoring 8 and 6, respectively, while Andrew Weiner was a bright spot for Team Fouls, scoring 11 points and upping his league-leading 3-pointer total to 7.
Hospital Bombers 46, Dunk-a Schoen 40
Energized by being labeled underdogs before the game, the Hospital Bombers turned in a true team effort to earn their first win in league play. Although no player scored in double figures (Nate Purinton came closest with 9, including 7-8 from the foul line), everyone contributed to the hard-fought win. Jake Berkowitz scored 7, most of them in the second half, and Bob Van Kolken's post defense nullified Dunk-a Schoen's potent attack.
Ben Weitmarschen turned in a great performance for the losers with 16 points, but stars Whitney Warren and Zach Heinzerling were held in check for most of the contest, combining for only 13 points. Without this offense, Dunk-a Schoen could never generate the momentum needed to unseat the impressive victors.
Steve Friedman and Kerry Brown, who missed action in week one, provided a huge boost for the Bombers, scoring 7 and 6, respectively. The win puts them squarely among the league's elite, and serves notice that the bitter taste of week one's loss will not linger. Dunk-a Schoen, meanwhile, have serious questions to answer, and may be on the look-out for a free agent guard acquisition.
The Cray's Nest 50, Layup Line Heroes 34
Lars Rasmussen, the "King of Glass," extended his vicious reign on the offensive boards, scoring 15 points and asserting his presence in the paint. Together with Vance Tucker, who scored 12 points of his own, he completely overcame and annihilated Team 5's size advantage.
It was a disappointing showing for the Heroes, who could not conjure up any offensive spark in response to the Cray's Nest's defensive strategy of overplaying and denying star center Keith Gormley. Without this high-post catalyst, their offense stumbled and faltered. Despite the intense focus, Gormley managed to score 17 the hard way. But his teammates had an off night from beyond the arc, and the tight zone from their opponents utterly stymied any hope of penetration. Dan Abrams managed to score 5 points and nab several steals in the losing cause.
For the Cray's Nest, now the league's last undefeated team, Jordan Glickson added 10 points, most of them on fast break opportunities. In his return to action, captain Jacob Craycroft scored 4 points.