C.O.A. vs. Scrapes and Gravel
Both of these teams were toward the middle of their division, but it was definitely going to be an exciting matchup to watch after two pros, Brandon Jennings and Jordan Crawford, joined C.O.A.
Two minutes in to the game, Jordan Crawford slammed it home after Scrapes and Gravel left the paint wide open for him to go through. This put C.O.A. up 6-4.
Jordan Crawford came down again two possessions later and nailed a three to put C.O.A. up 12-4.
Continuing the theme of C.O.A. dominating the first quarter, Mike Ojo nailed a wide open three on the wing to extend C.O.A.’s lead to eight points.
C.O.A. continued to dominate, although Brandon Jennings didn’t make too much of an impact in the first quarter of play.
The first highlight for Scrapes and Gravel came when Vic Michel hit a three-pointer from the wing to beat the buzzer. The game seemed out like it was out of hand, but this three brought Scrapes and Gravel to a six point deficit.
Brandon Jennings started to show his abilities early in the second quarter when he faked a behind the back pass on the fastbreak and pulled up for three.
Jonah Matthews started to heat up for Scrapes and Gravel, and it began when he hit a jump shot midway through the second. Jonah continued his streak on the next possession by hitting another jumper. At this point, the game was 27-24 in favor of C.O.A.
At the 2:45 mark, Brandon Jennings hit a three to extend the lead for C.O.A., but Jonah Matthews came right back on the other end and matched Jennings’ three with one of his own. The score at halftime was 41-35 with C.O.A. leading.
C.O.A guard, Mike Ojo, started off the third quarter by hitting another corner three, the second of the game at that point.
Brandon Jennings displayed his flashy passing when he assisted Mike Ojo with a a behind-the-back dime to give them an eight point lead midway through the third.
C.O.A. continued the onslaught of threes with another by Jordan Crawford. Crawford had a nice game and finished with 24 points, 8 rebounds, and 4 assists.
Scrapes and Gravel went on another streak late in the third quarter, starting off with a HUGE one handed slam by De’Anthony Melton on the fastbreak.
Scrapes and Gravel beat the buzzer yet again with an amazing mid-court shot by Vic Michel. This was Michel’s second buzzer beater of the game and this brought his team within eight points of the favorites heading in.
The fourth quarter started off fast with Brandon Jennings getting three points the old-fashioned way. Jennings took over in the fourth quarter, and it was at the right time, as Scrapes and Gravel was just starting to gain some momentum.
Jennings finished with 22 points and, surprisingly, only three assists. Jennings is known for his ability to find the open man, so I was expecting more than three assists from him. Jennings also turned the ball over five times, but his scoring late in the game is what kept C.O.A. from losing this game.
Scrapes and Gravel went on yet another run midway through the fourth quarter, starting off with Jonah Matthews getting fouled and hitting the shot. Matthews has a huge day, finishing with 17 points and 7 rebounds.
Matthews came down again on the next possession and nailed a mid-range shot to bring Scrapes and Gravel within five points of C.O.A. Matthews came down and made it three possessions in a row that he scored on. Matthews hit a three from the top of the key to bring his team within two points.
It was at this point that the NBA duo of Jordan Crawford and the recent NYK signee, Brandon Jennings, started to take over. Many of Crawford’s points came late in the fourth as Scrapes and Gravel missed free throws and open shots that could’ve given them the lead.
Jennings and Crawford drew fouls and each of them were solid from the charity stripe. The final score of the game was 88-82, giving C.O.A. yet another victory. The big contributors for C.O.A. were of course Crawford and Jennings, who each surpassed 20 points, but Jerome Jordan also finished with a double-double.
Scrapes and Gravel saw big contributions from De’Anthony Melton, who finished with 23 points, 4 rebounds, and 4 assists, as well as Vic Michel, who hit two big buzzer beaters but also added 17 points to the scoreboard.
I interviewed C.O.A.’s Paul Davis after the game, who gave a solid contribution to his team off of the bench. When asked about the game, Davis said, “Today we got a visit from our NBA guys, Jordan Crawford and Brandon Jennings, so they were obviously the offensive machines. Usually we play a more passing game, where everybody gets involved and everybody gets more balanced minutes, but they came in, stole the show, and that’s why they call it the Drew League, because the best players around the world come and play."
C.O.A. has been on a tear recently, and with the playoffs coming up, this win was extremely important for this team lead by NBA players. Davis said, “That’s a four-game winning streak, so we’re going to keep it going”.
Other notable scores from Saturday:
BB4L 87 – Salvatori’s Nova Stars 68
This extends BB4L’s winning streak to seven games and makes them one of only three undefeated teams left in the Drew League. BB4L plays the 1-5 Reapers next week and it looks to be an easy victory for arguably the best team in the league.
Problems 76 – LA Loop 91
In a matchup between the #2 and #4 teams in their division, LA Loop improved to 4-2 and showed why they are one of the favorites to win the league this summer. LA Loop faces a mid-table Legacy team that should have their hands full next week.
LAUNFD 41 – Hank’s Panthers 76
Everything seems to be going wrong for the defending champions this season. Losing by 35 points to a team that is twelfth in the division shouldn’t happen to a team that had this much hype going in this summer. LAUNFD faces a #2 ranked Problems team next week in a game that is must-win if LAUNFD wants to even make the playoffs this summer.
Redemption 95 – Citi Team Blazer’s 91
In the best matchup of the week, the #2 and #3 teams, respectively, in their division faced off. The game was just as promised, with Redemption winning a very competitive game. Redemption is 6-0 and will face Hank’s New Image, a mid-level team, next week and it looks like they will come away with the victory there as well.