With a second week of Drew League action behind us, it’s beginning to look like those teams that returned a step behind or out of sync have found their sea legs — even if they didn’t win their Week 2 matchups. Good basketball is as much about process as it is product, and as someone said, it’s a race to five wins. There is still time to turn things around but not much; it pays to get back into the rhythm of the season early.
A few teams realized this over the course of the 12-game weekend, with MHP, I-Can, Black Pearl Elite, and Undisputed bouncing back from Week 1 losses to overcome their respective opponents. Meanwhile, in the Tamara Hamilton Division, Cheaters has been living up to their legacy as coached by one of the original Cheaters’ stars, Casper Ware. They, along with Citi Team Blazers, aka the “Dynasty Killers,” and Redemption, have emerged as the top teams in their division — and no wonder. Each group has a history of winning, with a combined five championships between them (counting the 2016 BB4L title captured by the Cheaters’ core of Casper Ware, Jr., Ervin Ware, and Van Girard).
On the Dede Smooth Division’s side of the big board, Public Enemy is picking up right where they left off, as Frank “Nitty” Session returned to form against No Shnacks, throwing in 22 points and 10 assists alongside longtime running mate Montrezl Harrell, who poured in 38 points and 9 rebounds of his own.
Joining them at the top of the standings is coach Wally Moore’s All In, who showed toughness and grit in an up-and-down matchup with Hometown Favorites. They refused to cede any ground to the hot-shooting Favorites, catching up and passing them as they faded down the stretch thanks to Malik Story’s stalwart play (16 points, 6 rebounds) and double-digit scoring from Marquis Moore (15) and Stephaun Branch (13).
The top Player of the Week, taking home that honor for the second week in a row, was Redemption’s Pat Rembert. With 34 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists, he continued to show the leadership that he did in his 2016 co-MVP season, only this time he’s got the piece around him to gut out tough wins — with more help on the way.
Buzz around the gym was that Redemption could end up being a tough out when 2019 MVP Jonathan Gibson returns to form a score-first backcourt that might blow out teams by themselves come August.
However, this is the Drew League, where talent is only a part of the equation. Sometimes, the toughest teams win, and so far, the competition is looking pretty tough all around. We’ll see who ends up on the top of the pile as the summer continues.