In the Legacy Leagues, there’s nothing like drama. After losing a close game to Lob City and sitting at 1-4, the Halfway Crooks were eighth in the power rankings. Right above them in seventh were the red hot Werewolves, who beat the Ozone Boys in an OT thriller. The league wasn’t happy. The Crooks needed to prove their worth this week and win in strong fashion and they did just that downing the Mambas, 88-61.
The Mambas were winless going into this week and the Halfway Crooks took care of business. The Crooks dominated inside all night, with a team total of shooting 51.5% from the floor. The first half score was 40-26, which maybe left a door open for the Mambas to come back. But it was quickly shut by a 48-point second half from Halfway Crooks. Combined with great individual defense from Dylan Lincoln, it was an easy win in the end, pushing the Crooks to 2-4 while the Mambas fell to 0-6 and are destined for a last place finish.
“We took what they gave us, with me and Dyl together we’re a pretty big squad” said Brandon Sweeney, who led the Crooks with 28 points on 19 shots. “If I can hit a couple three’s it really stretches the floor”.
Sweeney was everywhere for the Crooks on Tuesday night, shooting 57.9% from the field, grabbing eight rebounds, dishing three assists, and making three three-pointers. That’s good for either best or second best in every category. Like he mentioned in his interview, him and Dylan Lincoln were able to find ways inside with ease. Joey Coro and Jared Hanson added 14 and 13, while Bobby Wilcox and Joey Zocco combined for 16 to round it out.
“We’re trying to shake the rust off; it feels good to play well against one of the top teams in the league last week and then come back and get a win and get a little rhythm and try to carry it over,” Sweeney continued.
Despite the loss, the Mambas put up a fight until the end, but did not have the legs nor the firepower to stop the Crooks. John Gyra has looked like the runaway best player for the Mambas this summer as he dropped 28 points, while Orane Smith and Jake Perry both added 14. The first half was a bit closer, but the second was a different story and too much for the Mambas to overcome with only one substitute.
A big win will do wonders for The Crooks, who according to commissioner Joey Zocco, are “not a team you want to face” in the early rounds of the playoffs. With a big game against RI Warriors looming on the horizon, Sweeney wants to take things a day at a time, “gotta show up every week and get a little better.”