HURLEY'S GYM, JERSEY CITY, NJ -- The Hot Boys started the season on fire, winning 6 in a row, and now they're making sure to leave ashes in their trail as they head to their first championship game.
The Hot Boys (8-1) been a hard team to beat all season, and the one team that subjected them to defeat they now faced again in the playoffs: Indy Team 2.
The Indy squad came in looking for another upset, but it didn’t go the same way this time. Playoff games we expect physicality and competition and these two teams certainly did not disappoint. Hot Boys and Indy Team 2 played at a fast pace all game and mixed in some trash talk along the way.
Hot Boys led by as many as 6, but it was a tie game by the 5-minute mark. Neither teams had many flaws on offense or defense, it just was just a battle on every possession and came down to who hit more shots. Hot Boys led at halftime 34-29 with Aaron Gadsden leading the way with 8 points, he’d finish with 11. For Indy Team 2, Ramone Webster had 9 points to lead all scorers, he’d finish with 10 points.
Hot Boys picked up their game in the second half immediately extending their lead to 11. It wasn’t that Indy played bad defense, they actually played great defense, but Hot Boys were able to knock down a lot of tough shots, specifically from Ronald Prophete and Antonio Burnett II.
Indy Team 2 didn’t trail too far for too long as they climbed right back in the game behind Mike Minion and Drew Leatherman. It was a 2-point game with 1:30 left on the clock and Indy let their chances slip with back to back turnovers. Remy Braddock had one of those steals, which Hot Boys scored, and Ronald Prophete had the other and put the icing on the cake with a one- handed slam dunk.
Hot Boys won the game 59-54. Indy Team 2’s Drew Leatherman finished with 19 points, 2 assists, 3 steals and 5 rebounds and Mike Minion added 16 points, 4 assists, 2 steals, 12 rebounds and 1 block. For Hot Boys Ronald Prophete finished the game with 14 points, 2 steals, 4 rebounds and 1 block, Antonio Burnett finished with 10 points, 1 assist, 2 steals and 3 rebounds and can’t leave out that Jorhan Sanks had 4 blocks in the game.
Hot Boys will meet nWo (8-1) in the championship game.
HURLEY'S COURT, JERSEY CITY, NJ -- (2 weeks ago) - Indy Team 2, a team looking to secure the last playoff spot, dominated against Wolfpack from tip-off down to the very last second. The game was extremely fast paced and full of energy. To start, the game remained close as neither team got too far away, but then Indy turned into Monstars. They had a lot of fast break points off turnovers led by Loic Tauris. Loic, normally quiet, had a loud first half putting up 13 points, 3 assists, 4 steals and 5 rebounds.
Wolfpack playing zone defense did not work, nothing worked to slow Indy down. Indy had great ball movement along with the best chemistry we’ve seen all season. They led by as many as 15 going into halftime up 44-31. Wolfpack’s Tait Pirkle led his team with 10 points.
Indy continued to stay hot in the second half going up by 20 in the first 3:30 minutes, hitting three consecutive 3’s. Indy’s unselfishness on offense and making that extra pass is the main reason they played so well. Wolfpack had a complete breakdown on offense and defense and was never able to get back in the game.
Indy led by double-figures the rest of the way outplaying Wolfpack with more assists (27-6), more steals (12-10), and more rebounds (47-17).
Tait Pirkle finished with 20 points, 6 steals and 3 rebounds in the 80-64 loss. For Indy, Ramone Webster put up 17 points, 4 assists, 3 steals and 3 rebounds, Paul Yakulis had an outstanding 16 points, 3 assists, 1 steal and 10 rebounds and Mike Minion added 15 points, 12 rebounds, 8 assists and 1 steal as Indy Team 2 locked up the last playoff spot. They'll face the 7-1 Hot Boys in Round 1.
JERSEY CITY, NJ -- 2 of the top 3 playoff teams, nWo and Blue Chips, went head to head for a win they both really wanted. By now, nWo has already made a statement as the team to beat and this matchup was no different. They got off to a fast start, playing as they always do, but Blue Chips took some early low percentage shots. The good thing is Blue Chips defended the paint well, bad thing they didn’t cover the 3-point well at all. nWo loves to take 3-pointers and leaving any player wide open is a sure way to lose against them.
The competitive nature continued and nWo went up by as much as 12. Blue Chips needed to start making that extra pass, but the game wasn’t out of reach. Then nWo’s second unit came in and started pulling away. Blue Chips gave up too many easy shots, they must defend better and communicate more to have a chance. nWo led at the half 37-27 with Farod Robinson’s 10 points and Blue Chips were only down 10 thanks to Ricky Hoffman who led all player with 11 points.
Blue Chips get off to a hot start the second half with three consecutive 3’s, but it still wasn’t enough because they couldn’t get stops and turned the ball over with risky passes. nWo is just a hard team to slow down, no matter how close you get. They have too many guys who can step up. nWo went up by 16 thanks to uncontested 3’s, but then Blue Chips proceeded to go on a 7-0.
Blue Chips actually knocked down more 3-pointers (11-7) than nWo all contested, but still didn’t come closer to within 7. nWo went on a run to finish the game strong winning 79-71.
Ricky Hoffman finished with 21 points, 2 assists, 1 steal, 10 rebounds and 2 blocks, Jamiel Paige added 21 points as well, 1 assist and 9 rebounds and Pat McMonogle put up 11 points (all in the 2nd half), 1 assist, 2 steals and 8 rebounds.
For nWo (7-1), Will Kales finished with 17 points, 3 assists, 2 steals, 5 rebounds and 1 block, Gabe Robinson 10 points, 1 steal, 9 rebounds and 1 block and Matik Jones put up 11 points, 2 assists, 3 seals, 11 rebounds and 1 block.
Look out because these two teams will meet again in the playoffs!