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Metro Basketball League Semifinals Set for Thursday Night

Metro Basketball League Semifinals Set for Thursday Night

The Omaha Metro Basketball League tournament tipped off on Monday night at the Iowa West Field House in Council Bluffs.  By the end of the night the field of 18 teams shrank down to the final four.  Three of the top four seeds advanced as expected to semifinals, with one that didn’t losing in four overtimes.

The defending MBL Champs, the Rooferees will take on the Khyri Thomas led Andy’s Lawncare in one semifinal game on Thursday at 7PM, while a historically dominant team, Going Vertical takes on the seasoned team BD in the other semifinal.  The winners of those games will play for the 2017 MBL Championship at 8PM.

While we wait for the champion to be crowned on Thursday night, here is how they all got there.

Quarterfinals

BD 82, Team Narmi 79, 4OT

The final game of the night was a historical one as this one took four overtimes to decide a winner when it was all said and done.  Team Narmi was arguably the top seed of the tournament and came off a 30 point win against play-in winner the Spartans.  BD on the other hand had to hold off a pesky Winning Mentality team to advance to the quarterfinals.

The game started off quickly with a little excitement.  About halfway through the first half, former Bluejay, Will Artino for Team Narmi picked up two technical fouls and was kicked out of the game.  We weren’t right on the spot when the call was made, but his presence down the stretch may have been the difference in this game.  Both teams went back and forth and went into halftime with a 31-31 tie.

Team Narmi looked like they were ready to pull way to start the second half racing out to a double-digit lead.  However, BD battled back to tie things up at 59 with four minutes remaining and it was a close contest the rest of the way.  Narmi had a chance to win it with former Bluejay and current pro, Jahenns Manigat getting ready to setup for a shot off the dribble found an open Matt Dorwart under the basket just as time was expiring in regulation, but the pass got him a little off balance and they headed into overtime.

In the first overtime, both teams traded baskets with BD setting up for a final shot, but a floor scramble for a loose ball had time expire sending it into the second overtime.

In the second overtime, BD looked like they were going to hold on as they got up a point and two consecutive misses from three, including an attempt by Tyler Clement with 14.7 seconds remaining, caused Narmi to foul a couple times.  However, missed free throws only pushed the lead to three giving Narmi one more chance.  This time Manigat took the game into his own hands

However, going into the fourth overtime, luck ran out for Narmi as BD used their height advantage to swap offense for defense.  Narmi didn’t get any second chances.  Despite more missed free throws towards the end, Narmi only had 1.7 seconds left to get up a shot after a missed free throw, down 3, and the desperation shot was off.  BD will give Going Vertical a run in the semifinals.

Andy’s Lawncare 91, Wildcats 88

The Wildcats momentum from their first round comeback win against the Nebraska Wesleyan Alumni continued during their matchup against the high scoring Andy’s Lawncare team, who rolled over the Regulators in their first round game 114-85 and had an hour of rest between games compared to the rest of the field.

All eyes were on Khyri Thomas, who has just been on fire all summer, averaging more than 40 points a game coming into the evening.   In the opening game against the Regulators, Thomas went for 50 points, and the question was whether he would be able to get 50 again.

The Wildcats, led by UNO’s Mitch Hahn and former Husker Ryan Anderson, weren’t going to back down.  They took the lead in the first half and went into the half up 46-43.

In the second half, the battle went back and forth. Anderson took on the challenge of guarding Thomas and had a little fun of his own.

However, Andy’s got a little breathing room and when Thomas wasn’t scoring, Mitch Ballock and the rest of the supporting cast stepped up and hit shots.  Ballock scored 25 in the earlier game and had about as many in the second, able to keep opponents guessing on whether he was going to shoot the three or drive to the basket.

At the end of the night:

Thomas didn’t end up scoring the rest of the game, and Andy’s found a way to advance.  After some stat compiling by WBR’s Matt DeMarinis, he discovered some interesting averages for Thomas:

Andy’s will now have the tall task of taking on the defending champs in the semifinals.

Going Vertical 85, WM Hoops 67

WM Hoops was the final team to advance to the quarterfinals after ending up going to overtime against LRS Healthcare a few minutes before this game.  On the other side, you had Going Vertical, who had a bit of a scare in the first round from ABIDE with a close 84-79 game of their own, but without dealing with overtime.  The first game appeared to take more out of WM Hoops than Going Vertical based on how this game went.

Going Vertical has several veterans who know how to win the summer league tournaments.  Ben Holling, Cody Levinson, Klaye Rowe, and Wes Wilkinson have been on championship teams themselves and continue to be a solid group with the extra contributions of James Parrott, Austin Chatman and Tradeon Hollins.  They dominated over WM hoops including

That put a big cap on the first half with Going Vertical heading into halftime with a 54-45 lead.  The second half turned out to be all Going Vertical as they extended their lead and coasting to an almost 20 point victory.  It will be a battle with BD in the semifinals.

Rooferees 90, Judd Knispel Agency 66

The defending champs almost had an easier quarterfinal game than their first round game.  The Rooferees were on upset alert for a good part of their first game with EQ School of Hair, just coming off an overtime last second win in their play-in game with the Rooferees eventually getting a 91-83 win.

However, the Judd Knispel team, led by Creighton’s Marcus Foster and Martin Krampelj had to battle to a three point victory over Capehart Sales in their first round game and didn’t have enough in the tank to take on the connected Rooferees that seemed to be clicking after their scare.  The Rooferees jumped out fast and built a 20 point lead going into the half, 55-35.

The second half continued to frustrate Foster and crew as the Rooferees turned on their defense.  The final score ended up being 90-66, but the game was called with more than four minutes left to play.  The Rooferees will now focus on stopping Marcus Foster and Andy’s Lawncare in the semifinals.

Play-In Games

EQ School of Hair 87, OFW&F Auditors and Accountants 84, 2 OT

This game full of Creighton players went back and forth with Ty-Shon Alexander sending the game into Overtime for OFW&F

After nothing happening in the first overtime, the 2nd overtime again came down to a last second shot.  Another Bluejay, Jordan Scurry hits the game winner (from two different video angles nonetheless) to get EQ to play against the Rooferees

Spartans 87, Crusaders 78

First Round Games

WM Hoops 77, LRS Healthcare 76, OT

Andy’s Lawncare 114, Regulators 85

Rooferees 91, EQ School of Hair 83

Judd Knispel Agency 92, Capehart Sales 89

Wildcats 91, NWU Alumni 85

Team Narmi 89, Spartans 59

BD 76, Winning Mentality 66

Going Vertical 84, ABIDE 79

 

 

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