By: Law Murray
To say that Salvatori’s No Shnacks has been an inconsistent team to start the 2014 Drew League season would be an understatement.
In Week 1, No Shnacks played the opening game of the 2014 Drew League season, taking a 32-27 halftime lead over Hank’s Panthers. But a miserable 18-point second half saw them cede victory to the Panthers as they were blown out 68-50.
In Week 2, No Shnacks again saw themselves in Saturday morning’s “Breakfast Club” game, and they only managed 51 points in a loss to C.O.A.
With an opportunity to play the second game on Sunday against Hank’s Spiders, it again looked like No Shnacks was going to serve up a letdown, as they followed up a 42-28 halftime lead by scoring only 11 points in the third quarter, allowing the Spiders to cut the No Shnacks lead to two.
But No Shnacks showed some toughness and persistence down the stretch and used a 24-point fourth quarter to earn their first win of the season, beating Hank’s Spiders 77-70.
No Shnacks survived a ridiculous 38-point output from Spiders forward Givon Crump by limiting the other Spiders to 35 percent shooting from the field and a 5:13 assist-turnover ratio, including a game-high five turnovers from Spiders guard Garrett Jefferson.
No Shnacks were led in the box score by Adon Jacko’s 21 points and game-high 12 rebounds, showing supreme athleticism and efficiency around the basket that proved to be too much for the Spiders until Jacko fouled out with three minutes remaining. No Shnacks point guard Sango Niang struggled with his jumper (6/16 from the field, 0/4 from three), but his ability to get to the line and facilitate the offense was a strong complement to Jacko, as he finished with 19 points, five assists, three steals, and only two turnovers.
But perhaps the most important performance for No Shnacks against Hank’s Spiders was that of veteran Glenn Summerall. The 2002 Division II West All-Tournament MVP, Summerall once had to overcome two torn Achilles’ tendons suffered ten months apart. What he lacks in explosiveness, he has made up for with polish. His versatile game was on display against the Spiders, as he hit back-to-back threes in the first half, then converted a post opportunity late in the second half into a three-point play. Throughout the fourth quarter, Summerall could be heard barking commandments on the defensive end. Though his contributions showed up in the box score (15 points), his value arguably exceeds that.
“That’s what Coach (Gary Marcus) told me to do,” Summerall said when asked about his communication and leadership on the court. “Guys can get too comfortable.”
Coach Gary was fully invested in the game, and though his team finally got a win, he looked worn out at the end, almost as if he had on a jersey instead of a No Shnacks tee.
“About time,” Coach Gary said, shaking his head. “But watch out for us.”
Law Murray is in his fourth year in Los Angeles via Philadelphia. He has been at grad school at USC’s Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism since 2012, and graduated from California University of PA in 2009 with a degree in communication studies. Law has also served two years in City Year and covered the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Russia. He specializes in breaking down teams and players on a variety of media platforms.