Lob City remains at the top spot after a tough victory over perhaps their best competition, the Halfway Crooks, this week. Even with sharpshooter Cody Crawford dealing with a right hand injury during the game, his teammates moved the ball quickly up the floor to outscore the Halfway Crooks late in the game. Victor Kashouh Jr was 10-for-13 from the floor and showed his value has one of the best scorers in the league. Lob City remains undefeated after a dog fight of a game. Hopefully a rematch is in the future.
The Halfway Crooks hung with Lob City for a solid three and a half quarters before Lob City broke out a scoring run to finish the game. Similar to their previous games, no one player on the Halfway Crooks took on the main scoring load while players like Jared Hanson and Dylan Lincoln had respectable games. Defensively, they held Lob City to 71 points, their lowest point total this season. Although they could not come out with a win, the Halfway Crooks showcased their status as a top-tier team.
The Swish Kabobs took care of business this week and beat the Alaskan Bull Worms, 83-62. This team has size in Greg Bell and Del Butler to hurt you on the boards as well as in the low post. They have skilled guards in Cody Platt and Tyler Barbosa, who is arguable the best passer in the league. When this team is clicking offensively and hitting their shtos, they have a lot of weapons that would give any team trouble.
With a full lineup, Boom-Shakalaka can and will unleash a barrage of threes. Marc Belleville, Cole Ferguson, and Lucas Martin combined for 13 made three-pointers against the Pizza Rolls this week, with seven of them coming from Martin alone. With their only losses coming to Lob City and the Swish Kabobs (the latter in which Ferguson and Martin did not play), this team is the best team in the middle tier to this point in the season.
The Boston Blazers are slowly moving their way up the power rankings after starting off slow this season. Corey Strickland has found his shooting grove and has had back-to-back 20-point outings. James Mitchell is emerging as an offensive force as well. Something this team may want to pay attention to is turnovers, putting up 16 this week in a 79-72 victory over the Duje’s Boys. Limiting those miscues will be the key if they want to defeat higher ranked teams.
The Skyhookers earned some respect this week, edging out the Werewolves 67-61. Chase Almond was the player of the night, going 7-for-11 with six of those field goals coming from in-traffic dunks. The Skyhookers take advantage of their size and don’t force up too many threes. Also because of their height, they are a defense force against opposing big men and guards trying to drive to the hoop. This team can give some of the top tier squads a run for their money if they improve their shooting from behind the arc.
The Werewolves suffered another close loss against an evenly-skilled team in the Skyhookers in Week 5. Making only 5-out-of-32 three-pointers will hurt any team that relies on scoring from the perimete. Brian Heston and Gino Forte attempted 48 out of the 70 team field goal attempts, while the player with next highest shots attempted only had six. Although the Werewolves have struggled this season, don’t be surprised if they turn their season around by consistently hitting more shots.
The Duje’s Boys only have one true ball handler in John Coutu, which limits their offense severely. Coutu went off this week, putting up 31 points off of 66.7 percent shooting, and as a team they put up a season-high 72 points against the Boston Blazers. They are a team that likes to run and take advantage of slow defenses, but as good as John Coutu is, they can’t rely on him to create offense for the entire team for every play. Another player stepping up would help this team immensely.
Similar to other teams in this tier of the rankings, the Alaskan Bull Worms don’t have the depth to compete with the heavyweights. Matt Barber had a stellar week, putting in 29 points, being the only teammate to score in double figures, and leading his team in rebounding. Outrebounded 34-14 by the Swish Kabobs, the Alaskan Bull Worms will give their opponents too many chances to score if they can’t close that rebounding gap.
The Pizza Rolls struggled to slow down Boom-Shakalaka this week, giving up 99 points on 50 percent shooting. Benjamin Floyd and Rocco Lombardi are skilled enough to take on the offensive load every week, but the Pizza Rolls need to lock down defensively if they want to stay competitive in games. They lack the size other teams have, so putting an emphasis on crashing the boards and getting to the free throw line may be a strategy the Pizza Rolls want to consider, along with slowing down the pace to limit possessions.