Only three undefeated teams remain after five weeks of Drew League action, with MHP finally falling to BB4L as the hot-shooting team’s luck—and star backcourt of Mike Williams and Shannin Sharpe—finally left them at the most inopportune moment possible.
BB4L dismantled MHP in the second half as Casper and Ervin Ware’s pitbull-tenacious defense turned the Most Hated Players’ confident sharpshooting into harried chucking, effectively removing the larger team’s size advantage and leaving the normally organized offense in disarray.
Try as they might, MHP core players Rolo Nuñez, Victor Rudd and DJ Shelton couldn’t get an offensive rhythm going with the disruptive BB4L guards harassing their ball handlers in the backcourt. MHP’s guns were blazing as they went down, but that didn’t stop them from going down hard, 84-60.
Meanwhile, other games were more hard-fought. Don’t let the final score (72-64) fool you; Birdie’s Revenge vs. Redemption was a wall-to-wall slugfest as Coach Keion Kindred zeroed in on Birdie’s point guard Franklin “Nitty” Session to totally upend the usual flow of Birdie’s normally measured attack. Meanwhile, missing outside sniper Kerry Carter, Redemption found themselves subject to Birdie’s crushing defense, as both teams slogged through a mire of vicious double-teams and scrambling inside coverage.
In the end, the difference maker may have been the addition of Mike James, a 6’1 point guard making his Drew League debut by making up the slack of Frank’s missing scoring. He poured in 21 points to match center Marcus Bell (who also ripped down 10 rebounds) and offset Frank’s scoring troubles (he still had 16 points in the game) to help Birdie’s edge Redemption in the final quarter.
Elsewhere, Drew League newbie and recent USC commit Kevin Porter Jr. put on a show (25 points, four rebounds) to elevate his hampered LAUNFD squad over a highly motivated Juglife team scrapping for their first win, 66-62. Citi Team Blazers’ Malcolm Thomas helped them right their badly listing season against Prodigy, 74-60.
Legacy finally got off their one-win record by narrowly beating LA Loop with the help of some tighter rotations and starting forward Dion Wright, who responded with 18 points and eight rebounds in their 84-71 win.
Finally, crowd favorite Cuttino Mobley showed up big for the increasingly stacked Nationwide Souljas in a 108-101 win over Team Watson, contributing 21 points, five rebounds, and three assists to help big man Glen “Big Baby” Davis outscore the hotshot youngsters of Team Watson in the highest-scoring game of the season so far.
While Davis scored 36 points and wrangled 11 rebounds, without Cat’s added punch, the Souljas may have ended up sunk by Chance Murray’s 29 points when combined with Shaquille Thomas (23) and Leland King (20).
As the number of undefeated teams dwindles, it’s clear the competition is heating up and no team’s record is safe. Now, determination will be the difference maker, more than talent, more than coaching, and more than chemistry. With the bottom teams hungry for wins and the top teams stacking up on top players and finding shutdown strategies against their opponents, the latter half of the season may come down simply to who wants it more.