Thursday, January 29, 2015

Week 2: Team 4 Earns Another Victory with Hustle & Effort

     1              2              F
Team 2                 26           21           47           1-1
Team 4                 40           27           67           2-0    
With Zack Krupp making his season debut and without the services of Justin Perlut, Team 4 took on Team 2, captained by Joe Jenkins and Tobias Green, in a battle of 1-0 teams. From the opening tip, we immediately outhustled and outrebounded our opponents by grabbing offensive rebounds and getting easy buckets.

Trying my best to not be like Shaq from the foul line
We also looked great with defensive rebounding, boxing out sizable players and beating them down the court for transition baskets and 3-pointers from Vince and Brian. After building an early lead, we did get sloppy in the middle of the first half as Jenkins and company began trapping us, forcing us into a few bad passes/turnovers. However, once we cracked the code and got better ball movement, we found things easier going. Once Krupp knocked down his first 3-pointer, he began knocking down more shots and also driving to the hole with authority.  Couple that with several surprisingly easy layup opportunities for our team, and we built up a 40-26 halftime lead.

Matching up on defense
The second half was more of the same story-a strong start, a little lull in the middle, and a strong finish to put the game out of reach. With our team, it was nice to know we were going to get out on the fastbreak and either get an easy hoop or find a shooter for a three. Overall, it was a great team win to get to 2-0. We also may have found a team photographer in my dad, Bill Smith Sr., who took some photos of us in action.

Happy to get a win
We followed it up with a devotional titled “Which Jesus?”, a discussion on how we sometimes tend to define who God is and the danger in that.

Week 3 is a 10:30 AM tip against Team 1 captained by Gabe Clayborne and Josh Settles. Without sharpshooters Brian Ramsland (in Arizona) and Justin Perlut (lower body injury), we will have to work hard to get our third victory.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Week 1: Team 4 (Insert Better Team Name Here) Squeaks Out Victory, 54-53

                               1             2             F
Team 4                 30           24           54           1-0
Team 3                 17           36           53           0-1

Given the luxury of sleeping in and playing the 10:30 AM game, we came out hot in the game against Lafayette Bell and company. With steals, fastbreak points, Eric Freckman looking like Pau Gasol in the post, and some 3-pointers, we built a nice lead in the first half. We played solid team D on Lafayette, forcing others to beat us. With a 30-17 lead at halftime, a strong start to the second half could put this game out of hand.

This, however, was not the case. Lafayette got going offensively, and Kameron Hill also knocked down some 3-pointers to get them back into the game.  Couple that with Billy looking like Shaq on the foul line in the second half and the offense looking a little stagnant, and we had a ballgame.

They cut the lead to just one point in the last few minutes with a chance to take the lead for the first time in the game, but our D held strong. Also, Ben Asper got fouled shooting a three and knocked down all three attempts (with the help of a shooter’s roll on the first one). He knocked down two more big ones late, making him 5-of-5 at the charity stripe during crunch time.

Leading 54-51 with 2.8 seconds left, Team 3 called timeout and drew up a play to send the game into overtime. With the suspense high, the game finished on a layup at the buzzer, which we were more than willing to give up. A 54-53 win was a good start to the season, and we did this without 6-foot-5 Zack Krupp.

Week 2 is an 8:30 AM tip against Team 2, captained by Joe Jenkins and Tobias Green. They won 55-29 in Week 1, so it’ll be a battle of 1-0 teams.

Harvest Hoops Team Preview Part 2

With the Harvest Hoops season starting, here is the player breakdown for Team 4 provided by Billy Smith in last week's email:

Ben Asper (captain): Nicknamed "The Golden Child", give him an open 3-pointer or a baseline drive, and you'll pay the price. (Go to bed old man, we are playing at 6 AM tomorrow!)

Billy Smith (captain): Will have to contend with guys 4-5 inches taller and with much more muscle. 

Brian Ramsland: His 3-pointers go in on a line and faster than the blink of an eye.

Eric Freckman: My fellow partner in crime on the glass, Freck crashes the glass harder than anyone in the league. Eric will give teams that don't box out (most of them) fits.

Joey Hillenbrand: Have never met you, but can't wait to play with you. If you have any family ties to former MLB player Shea Hillenbrand, then we will be golden!

Justin Perlut: A lethal shooter from deep, Justin also penetrates and finds open guys all the time. He also plays hard-nosed defense.

Vince Bartolome: A great shooter (I sense a theme here), Vince will knock down big shots and handle the ball as well.

Zack Krupp: If you are 6-foot-5 and can shoot, you will fit in great with our squad (minus the 6-foot-5 part).

Harvest Hoops Team Preview Part 1

With the Harvest Hoops season starting, here is the player breakdown for Team 4 provided by Ben Asper in last week's email:

Ben Asper (captain): The odds are 50/50 that he makes it through the season un-injured.  Too often his mind thinks he is 23, but his body doesn't follow along.  He will be playing more at the three point line and less above the rim.

Billy Smith (captain): The fastest guy in the league...does he ever get tired?  He will have more fast break points than anyone, and when his Bill Cartwright jumper is on, watch out.

Brian Ramsland: Even though he's one of the oldest players in the league, he makes players half his age look silly.  When he gets bored of making normal 3 pointers, he shoots them blindfolded to challenge himself.

Eric Freckman: Pound for pound, one of the most physical players in the league.  He has even started to add a three point shot to his repertoire, but watch out for those elbows, they are deadly.

Joey Hillenbrand: First year in the league and he plans to take the league by storm.  He will be bringing some international flavor because of his time recently spent in South Africa.

Justin Perlut: He will shoot three pointers a few feet behind the line when he gets bored of making normal three pointers.  He has been known to take a charge even though his body might not agree with the decision.

Vince Bartolome: He has come out of a four year retirement to light up the league with his three pointers.  He may be a little rusty like MJ was with the Wizards, but if he can play like MJ with the Wizards, we will be happy.

Zack Krupp: Another first timer in the league, with his 6'5 size and three point shooting ability, he will be a lot like Jimmy Butler, doing it inside and outside.