MANHATTAN - It was a week for the grinders in the GABL. Hot offenses were shut down, while the D-units circled the wagons. This was Big-10 style basketball, circa 1997. No frills, no fuss, no fancy frolicking. And not much scoring.
Hospital Bombers 35, Dunk-a Schoen 33
Are Dunk-a Schoen cursed? The GABL world is abuzz with the idea of hexes and voodoo and other mystical phenomena as Dunk-a Schoen missed layup after layup in what will forever be known as 'the game that got away.'
Coming off a dominant victory over Team Fouls, the Schoeners had a chance to storm back into the playoff race with a win over the undermanned Bombers. Geoff Nelson, Nate Purinton, and Steve Friedman were all absentee, and the game set up as a wonderful opportunity. But staunch defense by the Bombers, tough inside play by Player of the Week Bob Van Kolken, and a slew of missed gimmes by Dunk-a Schoen doomed them to this close loss.
Zach Heinzerling and Ben Weitmarschen both reached double digits for the losing side, scoring 13 and 12 respectively. But stars Whitney Warren and Kevin Felder were held in check for most of the game, and Van Kolken's 13 points, along with 6 each from Jake Berkowitz, Avi Kent, and Kerry Brown, were enough to secure the win. After last week's narrow loss to The Cray's Nest, the Bombers are back in a tie for first place, though the tiebreaker favors their rivals.
Team Fouls 33, Beast of Burden 24
Without star point guard Rafael Rodriguez, Beast of Burden looked lost. Their offensive options were fairly limited, and a stolid defensive effort by Team Fouls kept them mired in a game-long slump.
Andrew Weiner, shooter extraordinaire, led Team Fouls with 12 points, including 3 from behind the arc. Chris Bonastia added 6, and sub Brian Filiatraut dominated the boards and scored 6 of his own. For Beast of Burden, Robin Luna had a season-high 9 points on several nice drives, while Ismael Rodriguez was double-teamed on the perimeter and could only muster 6. Brian Love had a three in each half to round out the scoring.
The win brings Team Fouls to 2-5, only one game out of playoff contention. Beast of Burden falls to 3-4, holding on to the fourth and final post-season spot.
Layup Line Heroes 46, The Cray's Nest 35
Led by Keith Gormley and Matt Brinkmann, the Heroes owned the interior against the league's top rebounding team, a feat never previously accomplished. Despite strategizing at length, The Cray's Nest could not find a foothold inside, and cold outside shooting doomed them to their second loss.
Gormly led all scorers with 17 points, including a crucial 3-pointer late in the game, and Brinkmann had 11 to go along with his many rebounds. On the perimeter, Saula Feliciano played an impeccable point guard, setting up his teammates and scoring 12 points of his own. A late surge from The Cray's Nest threatened to narrow the gap, but excellent free throw shooting kept them at bay; as a team, the Heroes were 13-15 from the line, far in excess of their usual 54% mark.
Lars Rasmussen led the Nest with 8 points, and worked hard underneath, while Shane Ryan and Gene Walsh scored 7 apiece. But Ryan and Vance Tucker, who came in averaging over 10 points per game, were held in check throughout, and seemed sluggish at times. Jacob Craycroft, team captain, added 6 points in the losing cause.
With the win, the Heroes are alone in third place. The Cray's Nest falls to 5-2, but remain in first by virtue of the tiebreaker.