The post-season began for the Birmingham Pistons Academy League as six games took place at Berkshire last weekend. There were many close and exciting games. There was one overtime game, three games were decided by just one possession and the average margin of victory was just six points. Two games had players score baskets in the last 10 seconds to tie or take the lead. Here is a brief recap from last weekend’s playoff action:
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 14:
RAIDERS 26, FALCONS 23 (OT): The Raiders finished the game on a 10-0 run and upset the Falcons in overtime to earn a birth in the 2015 Prep Championship Game. Cam Woyde hit a jumper in the first few seconds of overtime and the Raiders never looked back.
The Raiders, trailing by seven points with 4:00 left in the game, started their comeback with two baskets from Owen Dwyer and a deep triple from Woyde. Then, with 12 seconds left in the game, Santino Ruma hit a shot from the free-throw line to tie the game at 23 and force the overtime. “I told our guys to just keep shooting,” said coach Max Wittenberg, “I had a good feeling that the shots would fall.” Dwyer paced all Raider players with 11 points. The Falcons were led by Ryder Lanway’s nine points and 15 rebounds. “”I’m proud of our team,” said Falcons coach Beth Mac, “We really played hard all season and all the kids improved.”
CHARGERS 28, BLACKHAWKS 18: The Chargers were able to hold off the Blackhawks and will advance to the Championship on Saturday. Kaan Jovic had his best game of the season as he scored 10 points and added two assists. Tommy Vogt added eight for the Chargers. The Blackhawks came to play and gave the Chargers their best game of the season. Christopher Chuney III was dialed in and at one point in the 4th quarter scored nine straight points for the Blackhawks. Blake Stasinski added nine rebounds for the Blackhawks while Derek DeGrendel added two points and three rebounds. The Blackhawks played well enough to pull the upset, but struggled from the charity stripe, shooting just 25% (3-12). Regardless, hats off to the Blackhawks effort!
WOLVERINES 27, SPARTANS 24: The Wolverines built a seven point lead in the fourth quarter and were able to survive another Spartan comeback to advance to the semi-finals. In their last meeting, The Wolverines lost a six point lead in the final two minutes as the Spartans were able to hit all their free throws. It was deja-vu all over again last Saturday. Trailing by seven, Phil Diskin hit a big three pointer with 2:26 left and Ben Diskin made three straight free-throws. A lay-up by Max Kramer with 1:01 sealed the win for the Wolverines. “We played one of our best games offensively,” said Wolverine Coach Geo Thomas, “But it was our defense in the last few seconds which helped secure the win. I’m proud of the boys and their effort.” Max Kramer paced the Wolverines with 16 points. Mitchell Greenberg added four while Daequan Coltrane had six steals for the Wolverines. The Spartans were paced by Ben Diskin’s 15 points.
HOOSIERS 34, WILDCATS 33: In a classic 2-3 matchup, the 3rd seeded Hoosiers advanced to the College Division Championship when Jack Abbot (12pts) scored the go-ahead basket with just eight seconds left in the game. The Wildcats, who trailed 17-10 at halftime, started the 2nd half on a flurry of scoring from Ethan Wise and John Chinonis. The two combined for all the Hoosiers 12 points in the quarter and the Wildcats were able to enter the fourth tied at 22. Wise led all scorers with 23 points including three triples. Will Beachum added seven points for the Hoosiers.
SPURS 34, PISTONS 29: The Spurs offense is tops in the Pro Division and they were able to stave off a fierce Pistons defense to advance to Saturdays’ Final Four round at Berkshire. Henry Clark (pictured at right) had a strong game for the Spurs with 18 points, nine rebounds and two blocks. The Pistons gave the Spurs all they could handle behind the tough play of Maleek Sims (14pts) and David Littlefield (eight rebounds, 2pts). The Pistons struggled from the FT line, shooting just 5-16 while the Spurs shot 7-17. Kyle Hall added four points for the Spurs.
WARRIORS 40, BULLS 29: The Warriors built a 37-16 lead entering the fourth quarter and were able to cruise to an 11-point win ans a spot in the Pro Division Final Four at Berkshire next Saturday. Matt Fricke paced the Warriors with 19 points (15 in first half). Brad Drake and Charlie Young added seven points. The Bulls were paced by Gabe Singer’s 10 points while his teammate Liam Keane added seven. The Bulls played hard but struggled from the line where they shot only 2-14 while the Warriors went 5-8.