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Ballock and Thomas Lead Andy’s Lawncare to Omaha Metro Summer League Title

Ballock and Thomas Lead Andy’s Lawncare to Omaha Metro Summer League Title

Khyri Thomas may have been the MVP of the annual Omaha Metro Summer League this summer, but it was the clutch shooting and dynamic passes of incoming freshman Mitch Ballock down the stretch for their team.  Andy’s (Daeges) Lawncare team pulled out an 87-83 victory over Going Vertical in the finale of this year’s summer league tournament at the Iowa West Field House on Thursdsay night.

Both teams had a bit of a battle to get through their semifinal games in the first hour of the evening, so the start of the final was a bit slow as the players got their second wind.

Going Vertical’s Klaye Rowe was on fire early scoring 9 of their first 13 points as they took an early 13-12 lead.  Rowe continued his hot streak throughout the first half as he went 7-of-8 from the field to score himself an easy 15 points during the first twenty minutes.   Along with Rowe, Tra-Deon Hollins contributed 11 points and 4 assists while James Parrott contributed 10 points and 5 rebounds to carry Going Vertical into the half.  However, Andy’s had their own set of contributors.

Khyri Thomas came into the evening averaging over 50 points a game the last four games, but was “held” to 34 points in the semifinals and started off 2-of-7 from the field in the finals.  However, that slow start was quickly made up after a possession where Thomas dribbled through two defenders and then posterized James Parrott.  Well see for yourself.

Making up for the missing scoring punch was future teammate Mitch Ballock who went 5-of-7 for the half with 17 points and four assists while Eric Tyler patrolled the post and contributed 11 points of his own.  Andy’s went into the half with a 44-38 lead.

The second half was a whole different story from the first half and both teams started fast and furious.  It also became pretty physical.  Both teams battled back and forth as Andy’s held on to a slight lead 53-52 with 12 minutes to go.

After a few back and forth possessions putting Andy’s up 65-60 with 8:20 to go, Going Vertical finally got themselves a lead, although it was relatively short.  Former Husker and pro Wes Wilkinson had been off all evening in the semifinal and the first half of the finals, but then went on a stretch to hit three-pointers on three straight possessions, including taking advantage of two empty possessions for Andy’s Lawncare to give GV a 66-65 lead with 7:30 to go forcing Andy’s to take a timeout.

Andy’s turned things right around with James Dumes driving into traffic to hit a layup to take the lead back at 67-66 and then it was Ballock’s turn to take over.  After a free throw and a three pointer from Rowe to give Going Vertical another 3 point lead at 70-67, Ballock came right down the floor and nailed a long three pointer that was so surprising where he pulled up, it caught Bluejay Banter’s Ravi Lulla offguard when trying to capture the video.

Going Vertical looked like they were going to pull away a bit with under four minutes to go when they took a 78-73 lead and had possession of the ball, but an errant pass led to a steal by Dumes who hit a three to cut the lead to two.  Ballock on the next possession took on Parrott 1-on-1 and pulled up to hit a floater to tie the game with 2:25 to go.  After another empty possession, Ballock was found in the corner feeling it and nailed a three to put Andy’s up 81-78 at the two minute mark.

After a crazy series of events that I couldn’t even keep up with at the time, that included baskets from Bion Flint and Thomas, Andy’s was about to close it out up 85-78.  The final scoring included Parrott getting a three-point play with 30 seconds left, but they could not get any closer before Andy’s ran out the clock to get the victory and the MBL championship.

This is the first time in MBL history that a team with current Creighton players made the final, not to mention win it.  Ballock finished the evening with 32 points including going 6-of-11 from behind the arc along with 7 assists.  Khyri Thomas went for 21 points and 6 assists in the victory.

For Going Vertical, Rowe led the way with 30 points and 7 rebounds, Parrott put in 22 points and grabbed 7 boards, while Tra-Deon Hollins put in 17 points, dished out 7 assists and had 4 steals.

Khyri Thomas was the MVP of Summer League

Mitch Ballock was MVP in the MBL Final


Andy’s Lawncare
Mitch Ballock: 32 pts, 7 assists, 4 reb., 3 stls
Khyri Thomas:  21 pts., 6 assists
Eric Tyler: 15 points, 5 rebounds
James Dumes:  13 points
Nelson Brooks: 4 points, 3 rebounds

Going Vertical
Klaye Rowe:  30 points, 7 rebounds
James Parrott:  22 points, 7 rebounds, 2 blocks
Tra-Deon Hollins:  17 points, 7 assists, 4 steals, 4 rebounds
Wes Wilkinson:  14 points, 1 rebound
Derek Paben:  5 rebounds



Andy’s Lawncare 91, Rooferees 70


Going Vertical 76, BD 66

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