When I looked at that schedule and seen Ariyuan vs. Drew All-Stars followed by Lincoln Park vs. Backyard Band, I knew it was going be a good night.
When I got there I was surprised to see Quinn Cook and Josh Selby also in attendance, just a day after participating in the Oladipo Celebrity game. Cook would suit up with Ariyuan while Selby joined Back Yard.
Ariyuan walked out as the victors, defeating the Drew All-Stars in overtime, 60-64, in what turned out to be one of the best games of the year. Ariyuan had a balanced game, 4 players scoring in double figures; Quinn Cook, Marcus Ashton, Corey Allmond, and the new guy, Dre.
Quinn Cook led the team in scoring with 16 points, 14 points coming in the second half. Cook had a slow start in the first half, looking tired on some possessions, even having a few turnovers. Second half was a different story though, as he sealed the game with 2 free throws. He also scored the bucket to send it into overtime after stealing the ball from Goodman Legend, D-Nice; finishing at the rim with a tough contested layup.
Ariyuan started the game with an 11-4 run in the first 8 minutes (20-minute running clock), knocking down 3 straight trey balls. Drew All-Stars would follow with a 10-6 run of their own, to cut Ariyuan's lead to 14-17 at the 10 minute mark.
From there on out it was back and forth.
Terry Hosley led the Drew All-Stars with 18 points. Terry aka “New Jack City” made a name for himself Inside The Gates this year. Going for 30 in his first game against Hoop Culture, also being apart the Goodman All-Stars that defeated the Dyckman All-Stars.
Once the game was over, Hobo Chic turned to the Goodman Banner and released a loud yell, showing the emotion of being bumped in the second round in years past. Hobo Chic and Team Ariyauan has been playing some good basketball so far in the playoffs, especially Corey Allmond. And you can't forget about Marcus, who is the best shooter in the league, no debate.
Ariyuan will play the BF Crazies on Friday, aiming to advance to the Final Four
Backyard Band will also join the Team Ariyuan in the Elite 8.
Lincoln Park had a 52-48 lead with less than 5 minutes left before Backyard went on a 6-0 run to take the lead with 2 minutes remaining. Backyard finished the game on a 10-0, walking out the gates with a 58-52 victory.
“I don't care about nothing else,” Brian Chase said about the big win against Lincoln Park. “I don't care about no points, the whole objective is to win championships. I've won a few championships down here and I just want to win more championships”
If he play like he did against LP for the remainder of the postseason, Backyard might walk away with the whole thing. B-Chase finished 11 points, 6 of which coming on that final run. Scoring wasn't his main priority, being more of the floor general, but when he did score, it was nice to watch.
Backyard had a stacked team, which I think you need to beat LP, who was missing a couple players, Bruce Massey, who was crowned Defensive Player of the year, and Pierre, who was the Rebounder of the Year.
Backyard came into this game with Chase, Selby, Jeff Allen, and D-Pain, who is the brother-in-law of Baby Shaq. All 4 players finished in double figures, Selby leading the team with 14 points. Pain and Shaq had some great battles inside the paint, both trading buckets with their back to the baskets. At one point in the seocnd half Pain walked over to the sideline and said to PIG of FunkHouse "SHAQ GOING SCORE ON WHO?. Both dudes are not little so it was very interesting watching those two bang down bottom.
Jeff Allen, who was quiet in the Goodman vs. Watts game on Sunday, scored 7 points in the first half against LP. Things were chippy between him and Jamal from LP, Allen suggesting Jamal was grabbing him in the post every time they tried to feed it to him, but the refs never called it.
LP before the game cleaned house in the Season Award Ceremony. Ojo, who scored 13 points against Backyard, was crowned MVP and Scoring champ, while Danielle Jones aka Mrs. Baby Shaq was crowned coach of the year. Danielle is first female head coach Inside The Gates and went undefeated in her first regular season; her and Shaq were on vacation when LP loss in the Regular Season Championship to Team Madness.
“I'm happy with the season” Jones said. “This is a great team so coaching is easy [for me], all I have to do is manage the subs”
Jones was asked by her husband and the rest of the team to coach the squad this year and it was a great decision. The main thing that everyone preached after the game was family first and I can tell this squad is a family.
Unfortunately, Lincoln Park, despite being one of the only teams that hasn't called up a “wild-card” (pro player) they will once again be watching the remainder of the playoffs.