2016-17 Chicago Hoops – Playoffs Week 2 (April 9)

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Updated: April 14, 2017

We are now through the first two Weeks of the Chicago Hoops League Playoffs.. We saw our first four Teams Eliminated on Sunday evening as the bottom-4 seeds all lost their second Game of the Playoffs.. While we have not seen the sheer number of upsets that we are used to seeing in the first two weekends, we have still seen some top-tier squads falter.. 2 of the Top-4 seeds went down on Sunday evening.. Meaning they are headed to Elimination Territory in Week 3.. Also, because of some of these upsets we are left with a Schedule that resembles Week 1 of the Playoffs, with some Rematches on the dock — and this time the Losers will be going home… We’ll go over who that is below!

Scheduling Note: We are off on Sunday April 16 for the holidays and will be back on April 23!

Weekly Highlight Video! Powered by Dr. Jacob D.D.S.

One more thing before we get to the Power Rankings, we have some amazing Sponsors for you this Season including none other than Live Clean Chicago! They are the best Cleaning Service in Chicago bar none and more importantly you can trust them to clean your place (even if you aren’t home). Myself and my family (Holden) use them frequently!  One more brief mention as it’s likely you will want to know..   Also, StudentCity has a new program and Young Professionals are invited! It’s called the Bucket List! They take you on amazing trips abroad.

If you ever want info (and we also get deals!!) from any of our Sponsors just contact Holden@allsportsseries.com

All Stars

Quickly, as a reminder the Starters were chosen by the League during the VOTE over the past month.. The Reserves were named by the League Office.  On Sunday May 7, along side the Championship, the All Stars will compete in a 3pt Contest and All Star Game (unless they are partaking in the Championship of course..).  A special Congrats goes out to League MVP Chris Wroblewski! Chris, deservedly so, received the most Votes from the Players. He will be one of the two Captains to select their respective Teams on the final night.. Joining him will be the second-highest vote-getter which was Lane Barlow of Team Wong (in his debut season of the Chicago Hoops League) – very impressive.  If either or both are in the Championship, replacement Captains will be named..

All Star Starters (Voted on by League’s Players, Alphabetical Order)

MVP* Chris Wroblewski – Team Maione, Esto Vega – Team Zimmerman, Josh Davis – Team Kozin, Lane Barlow – Team Wong, Marin Kukoc – Team Gutman, Nate Johnson – Team Malvin, Randall Hampton – Team Kozin, Rodney Clark – Team Malvin, Scott Campbell – Team Lalez, Tim Szatko – Team Wong, Victor Ojeleye – Team UC Booth, Zack Novak – Team Harris

All Star Starters (Voted on by League Office, Alphabetical Order)

Austin Brown – Team Schwartz, Brad Deutsch – Team Maione, Brock Massie – Team Wong, Chris Ray – Team Maione, Dave Gershenzon – Team Lalez, Gage Coleman – Team Silver, Gilles Jones – Team Jones, Jonathon Gac – Team Sternberg, Joe Kozak – Team McNichols, Rob Kamentsev – Team Apuli, Matt Merrigan – Team Malvin, Max Shulruff – Team Sternberg, Sam Leewood – Team Purimetla, Terdarin Bryson – Team Wong, Tred Dean – Team Kaplan

 

Playoff Review

Winner’s Bracket – Round 2

7. Team McNichols (Al’s Beef on WESTERN) v. 10. Team Purimetla (Wrigley View Rooftop)

Winner plays 2. Team Lalez 

These two Teams met back in January and it was one of the best played Games of the Season. It ended in OT with Team McNichols’ hands raised with a 2pt W.  These two squads have been leap-frogging one another all season long and it has been a virtual even race.. It’s fitting they got to meet here in the Playoffs. Unfortunately, for #10 Purimetla they were without both of their bigs in this one and just could not protect the rim. Team McNichols scored early and often and eventually hit the century mark while grabbing the huge victory. All Star Joe Kozak went for 35 in this one.. They’d move on to face #2 Team Lalez right away. As for Team Purimetla, Josh Blackwell had 20 and Birthday Boy and All Star Sam Leewood had 19 but it just wasn’t enough.. They will into Elimination Territory where they will get another Game against 15. Team Cohen (and another potential Rematch looms as well, should they win.. more on that below!).

 

8. Team Zimmerman (MB Financial) v. 16. Team Schwartz (SLA Insurance)

Winner plays 1. Team Kozin 

16. Team Schwartz was the story of Week 1. They won two Playoff Games including an upset over #9 Team UC Booth. Those Ws brought them into this Game with #8 Team Zimmerman.  Team Schwartz was without Greg Gonzalez, Jon Sider and Anthony Bernardi in this one and they just couldn’t get enough going on the Offensive end. Jermaine Johnson did end with 25 but it wasn’t enough. This Game was a grind but Team Zimmerman pulled it out as they have done so often in 2017. All Star Esto Vega led with 19 here.  #8 Team Zimmerman now moves on to face #1 Team Kozin in a Rematch of last season’s Semi-Final Game.. For Team Schwartz, they join the majority of the League in Elimination Territory next week. As luck would have it, they are going to be lined-up with familiar foe #9 Team UC Booth.. Can they pull it off one more time?

 

Winner’s Bracket – Round 3

1. Team Kozin (Peak Properties) v. 8. Team Zimmerman (MB Financial)

With #8 Team Zimmerman’s win over #16 Team Schwartz earlier in the evening we were set-up with a Rematch of the 2015-16 Semi-Final Game.. Then, Team Zimmerman defeated Team Kozin to go on to the Championship Game and, thus, eliminating Team Kozin (who finished in 3rd) in the process. They also met just a few weeks ago when they were both sporting the longest two-active W-streaks in the League.. On that night, Team Zimmerman got the better of Team Kozin once again..  Team Kozin has not forgotten that and Team Zimmerman was certainly a Team they wanted to come across en route to the Crown this year.. Team Kozin was hot early, which is feat in itself, since they have had a BYE week and normally you see the Team just coming off of a Win with the momentum.. That just wasn’t the case. Team Kozin controlled this one and in the second half really opened it up. Mitch Bouie had 24 to lead them in scoring in this one.. Team Kozin would get the Win and in the Winner’s Bracket they’d remain.. #5 Team Malvin is up next for them.. #8 Team Zimmerman falls down into Elimination territory.. This is no gut-punch to them.. They know how to navigate the Elimination Games as we have seen them go on a tear for two straight years.. They are looking at facing either #9 UC Booth or getting another shot at #16 Team Schwartz in Week 3.

 

4. Team Maione (Southview Athletics) v. 5. Team Malvin (StudentCity)

We had touched on it a bit last week but this was one of the premier match-ups we had hoped for in Week 2 of the Playoffs. #5 Team Malvin did their job and took care of #12 Team Harris in Week 1 to set it up and now we were here.. Only, Team Maione was not playing at full strength here.. They were without MVP Chris Wroblewski nor Captain Anthony Maione and it hurt them significantly. With just 5 guys in the rotation against the deep Team Malvin squad, they just couldn’t keep up.. Team Malvin pushed the pace and jumped out to a huge lead in the first half and it only grew in the early stages of the second half. Team Maione wasn’t just going to lay down and they mounted a serious comeback in the second half. Bradley Deutsch on a hurt ankle had 23 and Jason Battle had 19 for them.. They actually cut a 20pt lead down to 1.. Team Malvin knew the next few moments could make or break their title hopes.. They dug in and went on a run of their own to close out the Game and would secure the 13pt W. All Starts Matt Merrigan and Rodney Clark each had 22 points here.  They will move on to face #1 Team Kozin in the Winner’s Bracket in Week 3. They technically are 3 wins (if in-a-row) away from the Crown!  For Team Maione, they now move into the Elimination zone and will face the Winner of 11. Sternberg v. 14. James — each of which would pose an interesting match-up.

 

2. Team Lalez (Hakimian Imports) v. 7. Team McNichols (Al’s Beef on WESTERN)

#2 Team Lalez begins their charge for their 3rd Crown in 4 years against #7 Team McNichols.  This Game was tight early. Team McNichols had some nice momentum coming in from their first-ever Playoff W against #10 Team Purimetla just moments prior.. Team Lalez has been in this League since its inception and they know how to whether one of those momentous storms and get back to playing their brand of basketball. Dave Gershenzon and Scott Campbell had 29 and 28 respectively for Team Lalez to help them secure the 15pt W.  Team Lalez is playing for Captain Benny right now who has been sidelined with an injury, they want to extend the season for as long as possible so he can get back out there with them.. They will move on to face #6 Team Jones in Week 3. As for Team McNichols, they just ran out of gas.. So much of the success in the Playoffs has to do with sustaining runs and depth. Playing Team Lalez on the second Game of a back to back is as tough a thing to do in this League as any.. That is why Regular Season record is so vital.. Seeding plays a huge role in the Playoffs, as it should with the 19-Game Regular Season.. Still, Team McNichols isn’t done just yet! They will take on the Winner of #10 Purimetla (yes, maybe for a 3rd time) or #15 Team Cohen in an Elimination Game in Week 3.

 

3. Team Wong (Biaggi’s Purple) v. 6. Team Jones (Chicago Trolley)

On March 5, we saw these two Teams compete — Team Wong got an 8pt W that day and in large part — they were able to keep the #3 seed as a result.. However, Team Jones has not lost since that day.  Well over a month ago at this point.. Something clicked for them in that Loss. They are peaking at just the right time.. Something had to give here.. Team Wong was able to secure the lead throughout much of this Game.. Even without All Star Tim Szatko. They got 21 points from Lane Barlow.. In the second half they were still in control of this one. This was an emotional Game. Guys were selling out on the Defensive end. Both Teams had a deep bench and the sidelines were boisterous.. Sometimes that can affect the play on the court and it seemed to have gotten to Team Wong a bit down the stretch. They made a few uncharacteristic mistakes and Team Jones was more than willing to make them pay.. Captain Gilles Jones finished with 22 here. Late in the Game, Team Jones was able to secure the lead for the first-time since the opening minutes and they would get the gigantic W. They will now move on to face some very familiar faces in the GBS-heavy #2 Team Lalez. As for #3 Team Wong, they drop their first Playoff W of the Season. It is not how they mapped it out but many of this core went on an extended Elimination Game-run a year ago. They can still do this. Next up for them is the Winner of #12 Harris or Defending Champs #13 Team Gutman. It will not be easy, but if they play their best, they will move on.

 

ELIMINATION GAMES

11. Team Sternberg (Pear Tree Catering) v. 19. Team Kaplan (Camp Ojibwa)

Sometimes you see Players step out on the court and you just see the “we aren’t losing today” look. Tyler Max had that on Sunday for Team Sternberg. Without his normal running-mate in Max Shulruff he knew even more would fall on his shoulders.. He went for 33 in this Game and really helped set the tone all the way around for Team Sternberg in this Elimination Game. Mack Watts and big-man Jonathan Gac both had 17 as well. They jumped out to a very large lead early.. Team Kaplan would make it interesting with a late run but it was just not enough.. For Team Sternberg they move on will get a Rematch with #14 Team James who they battled in a 2OT marathon in the first week of the Playoffs. Redemption will not have to wait much longer.. If they can get a win in that one, they will move and face #4 Team Maione.

For Team Kaplan, they can leave with their heads held high. This was a group put together just before the season and while they had a ton of talent, they were never really able to get the whole rotation in order during the season. Between injuries and work-related things, it seemed like it was always a different 5 guys suiting up. It’s hard to win, especially in this League like that. We also need to bid farewell to All Sports Series vet Axel Playner who is moving to Milwaukee for work. Good Luck! Thanks to the entire Team for playing, and we’ll see most of them in the Thursday Night Spring League and this Summer!

 

15. Team Cohen (Crystal Lake CDJ) v. 17. Team Apuli (Dr. Jacob D.D.S.)

These two Teams played with one another a couple of years ago, and now their paths cross in an Elimination Game where only one can move on. To say both Teams wanted to Win would be a vast understatement. Team Cohen has looked really great so far in the Playoffs. If they could have back just a couple of minutes against Team Purimetla they may still be in the Winner’s Bracket at this point.. That great play continued on Sunday Night. Justin Bowen tied for the League-lead on Sunday with 35 points. Kyle Daniels had 23 and Jake Shlofrock went for 22. They got the lead early, they kept the lead and that was that.. They will move on and now get a rematch in another Elimination Game with Team Purimetla. If they can get redemption in that one.. #7 Team McNichols will be waiting for them.. They can do this..

For Team Apuli, it is a group that improved so much in the second-half. Their roster was overhauled at the start of 2017 and had they been able to play the whole season as a unit they may have been in a much better position come Playoff time.. A completely different story may have unfolded. We will see most of these guys back in the Summer for at least one All Sports Series League. Thanks for playing!

 

That’s it for Week 2, have a great holiday and see you back for ELIMINATION SUNDAY on April 23!

-Holden