Weekend one of the Drew League playoffs was exciting, shocking, and most of all, fun. Changing venues from King Drew High School to Los Angeles Southwest College, no only do the crowds get bigger but so do the stakes and the outsized performances from the passionate competitors who make up the best 16 teams of the league.
Round one started off with a shocker, as Prodigy tossed BB4L in a slugfest that found BB4L 20 points in the hole at halftime. Though 4 Life was able to make a comeback, a heroic fourth quarter performance from the injured Bryce Peters staved them off long enough for Prodigy to secure the win. Unfortunately for them, their scrappy play wasn’t enough to overcome the superior talent displayed by MHP in their Sunday matchup.
The surprises didn’t stop there, as a feisty No Shnacks also overturned one of the league’s dynastic legacy teams in the first round. Saturday saw four-time champions LAUNFD fall to the scrappy upstarts from the Inland Empire in an utter route that completely stymied Montrezl Harrell and the gang, who just couldn’t find their offensive rhythm.The quarterfinals featured even more stunners when perennial contenders Problems were upset by Nation Wide Souljas after Big Baby Glen Davis completely wrecked their game plan almost by himself. The usually composed Problems seemed stumped by his 6’9, near-300 lb. presence in the low post.
But the most surprising upset of the weekend came in Game 3 on Sunday night, as the Birdie’s Revenge juggernaut finally flamed out in spectacular fashion against Redemption. Despite playing a man down, Birdie’s Revenge held tough until the very end. The defending champs missed a handful of free throws near the end and it cost them big, as Redemption’s professional scorers Jonathan Gibson and Chris Johnson proved to be just a hair more efficient than Frank Session and Jarion Henry. It was a game for the ages, though, and Birdie’s Revenge will be remembered for a historical season.
Now, the table is set for the final weekend of Drew League action, with only four teams remaining and three games left to play.