The Drew League may very well be the one place on Earth where the phrase “don’t believe the hype” does not apply. With two highly-touted matchups in Week 6 and a full spate of exciting-looking games on paper, no one can say they walked out of the gym disappointed either Saturday or Sunday, where both marquee games more than lived up to expectations.
Saturday’s duel between Public Enemy and MHP had been one of the most-hyped games all season, with both teams trading plenty of trash talk in the weeks prior and both teams’ star guards looking to prove themselves. Askia Booker, aka The Boogieman, has been looking MVP-worthy all season, but Frank Session, aka Megadeth, wasn’t quite ready to relinquish his throne.
Both guards saw all types of coverages in the tightly-contested tilt as the rival squads looked to lock down the two primary scorers. Fortunately for both, Public Enemy center Montrezl Harrell and MHP point guard Alex Strauther picked up the slack, scoring 24 and 20 for their teams, respectively. In the end, the game came down to one of the final possessions, where Session blocked Booker’s potential game-winner to declare his dominance. It looks like this is still the House of Nitty until further notice.
On Sunday, the final two undefeated teams collided as No Shnacks, with all the ferocity of the underdog despite a perfect 5-0 record, champed at the bit to sink their teeth into the defending champions, Redemption. With both teams’ star guards, LaMelo Ball and Jonathan Gibson, out for the day, it became a collective effort on both teams’ parts to try to secure that coveted sixth win.
Redemption ultimately prevailed thanks to the balanced scoring efforts and ironclad defense of their remaining players, even though Marvelle Harris and Sean Marshall proved exactly why No Shnacks is still a dangerous contender. Don’t be surprised if this year’s semifinals matchup ends up being a repeat of 2018’s… We may very well have the beginnings of a rivalry brewing.
Meanwhile, the rest of the weekend still held plenty of surprises. Perhaps none was bigger than the new-look Blazers’ roster, which included BB4L turncoats Casper Ware, Irvin Ware, and Van Girard, who looked like they’d had quite enough of the losing on their old team and want a chance to contend in the playoffs. Nationwide Blue Devils’ Pierre Jackson put on a show against Problems, running up a 31-point total, but was overwhelmed by Problems’ size and a titanic defensive game from Corey Allen.
In more dubious accolades, Jaguars finally secured their first win of the season and Optimus no longer holds the record for lowest score in a blowout thanks to L.O.S.’ 44 points in their Saturday night loss to Black Pearl Elite. In defense of L.O.S., they only had six active players and still avoided the biggest blowout margin record, which still belongs to Optimus after their 52-point Week 4 tumble to Baxter’s Legacy.
Game 1: Jaguars 85 vs. CABC So. Cal 71
Player of the Game: Stephon Carter (20 points, 14 rebounds)
Game 2: Panthers 83 vs. All In 80
Player of the Game: Terrell Gomez (35 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assists)
Game 3: Tuff Crowd 98 vs. BB4L 93
Player of the Game: Shareef O’Neal (26 points, 10 rebounds)
Game 4: Public Enemy 68 vs. MHP 67
Player of the Game: Franklin Session (16 points, 14 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 blocks, 2 steals)
Game 5: Reapers Black Ops 81 vs. Prodigy 72
Player of the Game: Travon Jones (18 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists)
Game 6: Black Pearl Elite 79 vs. L.O.S. 44
Player of the Game: Lamar Gayle (13 points)
Game 1: Team Watson 71 vs. Pandas 70
Player of the Game: DJ Ursery (20 points, 11 rebounds)
Game 2: Young Citi 82 vs. Optimus 69
Player of the Game: Keith Shamburger (8 points, 15 rebounds, 7 assists)
Game 3: CitiTeam Blazers 81 vs. I-Can All-Stars 63
Player of the Game: Malcolm Thomas (11 points, 13 rebounds, 4 assists)
Game 4: Redemption 68 vs. No Shnacks 67
Player of the Game: Chuck Garcia (14 points, 11 rebounds)
Game 5: Problems 104 vs. Nationwide Blue Devils 76
Player of the Game: Corey Allen (24 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists)
Game 6: Baxter’s Legacy 79 vs. Hometown Favorites 75
Player of the Game: Justin Stommes (23 points, 6 rebounds)