By Gregory Termolle
Legacy Leagues Fall 2017 Playoffs: Finals (Wednesday, December 13 at 8pm)
#1 The Alliance (8-0) vs #2 Boom-Shakalaka (6-2)
Previous Matchup: The Alliance won the only matchup of the season, 85-70, in Week 4.
Current Streak: The Alliance (W9), Boom-Shakalaka (W5)
Highest Power Ranking: The Alliance- 1, Boom-Shakalaka- 2
Standout Performer: Max Matroni (Fall 17 Most Valuable Player), Matt Camara (Fall 17 All-Legacy Leagues Second Team)
After eight weeks of regular season play and two weeks of playoffs, only two teams are left. The top two teams in the regular season, in terms of record, are going to square off Wednesday night for a chance to lift the championship trophy.
Both teams are coming off of double-digit victories in the Semifinals. Boom-Shakalaka beat the no. 3-seed Halfway Crooks, 71-55, to advance to the Finals. Jeremy DiMicco had his best game of the season(22 points and 11 rebounds) to lead the way for Boom-Shakalaka in the absence of his brother, Trevor.
The Alliance started off their game slowly against the Werewolves in the Semifinals, but came out on top in a huge victory, 91-56. Max Matroni led all scorers with 31 points, while Cody Crawford added 23 of his own.
The Alliance is looking to cap off their season without a loss, while Boom-Shakalaka will look to give The Alliance their first loss in the biggest game of the season. Both of these teams will be missing key players. Sources say the Alliance will be without Victor Kashouh Jr, while Boom-Shakalaka themselves have said they will be missing Jeremy and Trevor DiMicco.
Boom-Shakalaka will be without two of their biggest bodies, and that will hurt. The DiMicco brothers combine for 23.6 rebounds per game, and their defensive presence will be missed. Even with these two out, Boom-Shakalaka says they think they still can be competitive.
“The Alliance haven’t had a close game yet this season,” Boom-Shakalaka’s Matt Camara said. “They don’t know what it’s like to play a close game, and we’re going to show them.”
in their sole matchup of the season, it was a tight game until the fourth quarter. In the fourth The Alliance pulled away, outscoring Boom-Shakalaka 28-15 after only leading by two through the first 30 minutes. Boom-Shakalaka did give The Alliance their best game of the regular season in Week 4.
Marc Belleville led Boom-Shakalaka with 26 points in Week4, and Ryan Rawnsley helped out with a double-double, 22 points and 14 rebounds. For The Alliance, Max Matroni led the way with 33 points, and Kashouh, Jr. had 22 points to help keep The Alliance undefeated. Kashouh, Jr. will not be playing when these teams face off for the second time, so someone will have to step up in his place.
With the absences of the DiMicco brothers and Kashouh, Jr. this game will likely turn into more of a shootout. The guards will have to take over for both teams while both teams will lose some of their better defenders. Expect The Alliance to still full-court press, but without the length and athleticism of Victor Kashouh Jr, I’m not so sure if the press will have the same effect it has in the past.
The Ryan Rawnsley and Darius Debnam battle down low will be a crucial one. Boom-Shakalaka will need Rawnsley to step up big in the absence of the DiMicco brothers on both ends of the floor, especially on the defensive end. Boom-Shakalaka has good scorers, but they’ll need Rawnsley to protect the paint and rebound the ball well to keep them in the game.
Debnam will be the main person attempting to keep Rawnsley from starting the fast break for his team. Rawnsley is very dangerous when on the break due to his athleticism.
Both of these teams will have to make adjustments without two of the best two-way players in the league. It should set up for a great game as we will see these teams a little out of their comfort zone as they look to take home the Fall 17 Championship trophy.
Boom-Shakalaka has already came out and said they will give The Alliance their closest game of the season. The Alliance knows what they have to do to cap off their perfect season.
“(Boom-Shakalaka) shoots the ball well, so we’re going to have to be aware of that,” The Alliance’s Greg Holt said. “(We have to) make some guys put it on the floor, guys that aren’t comfortable putting it down.”