Here are highlights from D-League playoff action:
The tip-off game of the night was a consolation game between the two teams that lost in the quarterfinals last week. It saw rising sophomores Teddy Sourlis and Jack Solano match up in an exciting contest. The opening quarter was the highest-scoring of the game, as both teams seemed to get every shot to fall. Sourlis led the way for MTV, scoring 12 points and dishing out four assists in the first half alone. Despite his actions, it was Howley Financial who entered halftime with a 33-31 lead. The Moran brothers of MTV controlled the third quarter, as Aiden and Dane combined to score eight points to give their team a two point lead late in the period. However, in the waning seconds of the third, Howley regained its lead by hitting a three-pointer at the buzzer to go ahead two points after three quarters. Jack Solano took over in the fourth for Howley Financial, giving his team a commanding 11 point lead with two minutes left. While MTV would cut the lead the six with a minute to go, that was the closest it would get the rest of the game.
The middle game was the most exciting of the night, a matchup between #3 seed Crazees and #2 Undici. Despite missing its two leading scorers, Undici made the semi-final a little too close for comfort for Crazees. Crazees jumped out to a 12-2 lead eight minutes into the game and it appeared as if it would run away with it, but Undici had an answer. A 7-0 run to end the quarter put Undici down just three, and in striking distance entering the second. The teams traded buckets in the second and third quarters, staying close through the middle quarters. Jack Cornette and Jack Carolan carried the load offensively for Crazees, while Jackson Patton had impressive second and third quarters of his own. After back and forth action in the third, Crazees entered the fourth with a three point lead. Much like the rest of the game, the teams matched each other shot for shot in the fourth quarter. However, Undici made a push late in the fourth, taking its first lead of the game with three minutes to go. Thanks to a couple of big steals by Tommy Bavuso though, Crazees took the lead right back and found itself up one with 28 seconds left. Undici was forced to foul, and they fouled Crazees’ Ryan McCann. McCann, cool and collected, calmly drained two clutch free throws, giving his team a three-point lead that it would not relinquish. Undici had an unfruitful possession on the other end, and Crazees advanced to the championship.
The second semifinal was another exciting contest, a game much closer than the final score indicates. #1 Seed Red Bank Armory took advantage early, taking a lead in the first quarter thanks to a few Findaballer turnovers. A three-point lead entering the second grew to five by halftime due to the Red Bank Armory combination of Ian O’Connor and Jackson McCarthy, who combined to score 19 of Red Bank Armory’s 28 first-half points. Findaballer finally got it going in the third, and after a Nick Donlon layup four minutes into the quarter, Findaballer took its first lead of the game. Unfortunately for Findaballer, that would be the only lead they enjoyed the whole game. Red Bank Armory responded quickly, outscoring Findaballer by four to end the third and enter the final period with a three point lead. After three quarters of up and down basketball, Findaballer’s touch left it in the fourth, and the team lost control of the game. O’Connor took over for Red Bank Armory in the fourth, dominating Findaballer to the tune of eight points, four rebounds, and three steals in the last quarter alone. Red Bank Armory took the momentum and ran with it, sailing to the championship with ease.
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