The 7PM tilt between Narmi Group (led by Josh Jones) and the formidable UNO Alumni team was billed as Game Of The Night in our preview, and it didn’t disappoint, delivering the most competitive of the eight games played in Week Two. The addition of Will Artino to the Narmi roster at the last minute only added to the intrigue.
As always, its (literally) an impossible task to follow every second of every game, with four going on at once, so let us know if you saw something we missed!
UNO Alumni 72, Narmi Group 65
The UNO Alums raced out to a huge 40-21 halftime lead behind some explosive open court play from Mike Jenkins and others. But things tightened up considerably in the second half, as Will Artino — whose night class once again got out early, allowing him to race to the gym to play — dominated the paint. As he did a week ago, he had multiple putback dunks, where he simply exploded over a defender to secure the offensive board and then dunk in one motion. In fact, I’m not certain Artino took a shot that wasn’t a dunk the entire game. But hey, what is summer league for if not for dunking, right?
With the UNO lead at 68-65 and :20 remaining, Narmi guard Jalen Bradley — a senior from Norfolk High School — brought the ball up court with a chance to tie the game. Instead, he turned it over, and after two free throws from UNO, the game was, for all intents and purposes, in the books. The late turnover was a shame, as Bradley had played a nice game. Of the three high schoolers in action Thursday, in fact, Bradley easily played the best game, showing great shooting range and nice ball handling.
Paragas Law 115, Judd Knispel Agency 81
This game looked like it would be a highlight going in. It turned into a washout, as the (de facto) Creighton Alumni team with Daryl Ashford, Wayne Runnels and Justin Carter took it to the Judd Knispel team. All three ex-Jays had sensational nights. Ashford got hot from outside, and during one second-half stretch, hit three-pointers on three of four possessions, to the delight of the crowd. Runnels had several nice moves around the bucket. And Carter was, well, Carter, grabbing rebounds all over the place, hitting lots of mid-range jumpers and creating good looks for himself in the paint.
Meanwhile, Antoine Young and the Judd Knispel team struggled to get into any kind of rhythm — and their extreme lack of height once again doomed them inside. This team was originally slated to include Doug McDermott before he put on his Superman cape and made the USA Basketball U19 team, and his absence clearly shows. It was 49-25 at the half, as time and again Young’s teammates couldn’t create looks for themselves, forcing him to take wild shots. South Sioux City’s Mike Gesell, playing for the Judd Knispel team, struggled badly, throwing up a couple of air balls, forcing up two shots that were blocked several feet out of bounds, and never really got comfortable offensively.
Midway through the second half, the referees swallowed their whistles and the clock operator ceased stopping the clock during a few stoppages in an effort to show some mercy in what was turning into a complete wipeout. In the end, it was a second straight 25+ point defeat for Young and the Knispel Agency.
Barley’s 81, Thompson Basketball Camp 78
Livan Pyfrom rocked the vintage Omaha Racers CBA jersey on Thursday, and then went out and played a game that did that jersey proud. Several nifty moves in the paint got his team easy buckets, fellow ex-Jay Nick Bahe contributed a few outside shots, and the Thompson team took a 35-32 lead into intermission.
It was another ex-Jay who led his team to victory, however, as Rodney Buford did Rodney Buford Things, namely hitting shots and dunking. Behind Buford, Barley’s eeked out a three-point win.
Leach Camper Sales 48, Bellevue University 69
Zurlo’s 91, Shanks Law Firm 84
Walentine O’Tool McQuillan & Gordon 92, Bellevue Alumni 73
EQ School of Hair Design 82, Chris Carder Agency 72
John Higgins Weatherguard 84, Omaha Mavericks 68