Going into Week 2, Shocker City was looking to keep its momentum going after a Week 1 throttling of the Brick Layers. After opening up as a 24.5-point favorite against NickStrong in Week 2, a betting man would more than likely pick the two-time champions to cover the spread in this one. Although Shocker City topped NickStrong, 76-72, in this Week 2 matchup, this was a back-and-forth game with playoff intensity.
From the jump, this game was fast-paced and very entertaining to watch. Shocker City was without David Armstrong, the league’s second leading scorer, and were down to just seven men. However, it was the guard play and perimeter shooting that pushed the defending champions to the victory in week two
Led by Tarell Vargas (36 points), Shocker City’s speed and pass-first mentality were too much for NickStrong to overcome. Vargas was lethal from three in this one, knocking down a game-high eight three-pointers. If you look at the box score from this game, it is easy to see why this one went down to the wire.
Both teams shot 41.5 percent from the field, and both teams shot just about 31 percent from three. Towards the end of the game, however, is where the guard play from Shocker City’s Carmine Santorelli took over.
Santorelli is a true floor general, who also isn’t afraid to cross you out of your shoes. As all great point guards do, Santorelli worked the clock beautifully in this one. Knowing when to slow down the pace, and when to break out on a transition is what sets Santorelli apart amongst other guards in the league. Not only that, but the man can score when he wants to, finishing with 15 points in this one.
NickStrong is a team that seems to hang tough in every game, and it was a similar case in Week 2. This group of ex-football players will run all night long and will still have stamina.
“NickStrong is a good basketball team. They’re tough, physical, and they make you really make you want to play,” said Shocker City’s Davon Pratt.
Led in scoring by Ryan Florentine (25 points), this team had a couple stretches where it seemed like the final score was going to be completely different than it was. Florentine was on fire in the second quarter, hitting three three-pointers in a row from very deep. NickStrong’s leading scorer Michael Vessicchio put up a respectable 21 points in this contest, but took a lot of low percentage shots. Although he shot 6-of-12 from three in this game, the six he missed were very bad looks.