2016 Chicago Summer Hoops – PLAYOFFS – Elite8 (Aug. 9)

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Updated: August 11, 2016

The Playoffs certainly bring forth a new sense of intensity and as we progress through round by round, the intensity grows even more.. On Tuesday Night, there was a new atmosphere in the gym.. The Top 8 seeds remained and each Team felt they as if they had a real shot at winning the Crown on Tuesday Aug. 16.  They’d be right to feel that way.. There’s so much talent in the Chicago Summer Hoops League and any of the clubs left can win it all..  We’re going to Review all the Elite8 action below.. 3 of the 4 Games were decided by 4 or fewer points.. It was just that kind of night!

Here’s a Link to the Weekly Highlight Video

Here’s a Link to the Playoff Bracket!

One more thing before we get to the Power Rankings, our MVP Sponsor for the Chicago Summer Leagues is 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..   The Cubs are officially BACK and  Wrigley View Rooftop has you covered! There is no better experience for getting Cubs action while enjoying the perks of all you can eat/drink!

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Playoff Review:

Elite8

1. Team Maione (Alternative Apparel) v. 8. Team Purimetla (Sushi Kushi Too)

Team Maione was coming into the Playoffs as the #1 overall seed. A designation they are extremely familiar with. They know that their work was just getting started however.. They’d been victim to a few early round upsets in the past few seasons and they had no intention of allowing that to happen again.. Team Purimetla had to battle their way into the Elite8 and to do so they routed Team Halperin a week ago. They come into the Elite8 riding a 3-Game Winning Streak and playing their best ball of the Summer. This had potential to be an epic clash..

These two Teams did not meet in the Regular Season so there was a bit of a feeling out process to start the Game..  Both Teams have the ability to really score, but the pace was much slower here as both groups were giving everything they had on the Defensive end.. Chris Wroblewski had to check out early in this one with a leg injury.. So much of Team Maione’s scoring burden would be shouldered on the rest of the club.  Andy Timson helped pick it up with 18 points. Josh Blackwell had 17 for Team Purimetla.  This Game was tight throughout and the lead would exchange hands numerous times.. It was going to be a nail-biter until the finish..  Jason Battle had a crucial drive to the hole for Team Maione to give them the lead for good.. 1. Team Maione would advance with a 3pt W and move onto the Final4 for the second straight Summer in the Hoops League!

For Team Purimetla, it will be a bitter-sweet end to a really great back half of the season.. They were right there with the League’s top Team for 44 minutes. Another shot goes down for them and we’d be talking about them pulling off a huge W en route to the Final4. It took them a couple weeks to get settled in their first All Sports Series campaign but they really improved in July. This is a group we’d love to see back as they were just about to reach their potential. Maybe in the big Chicago Hoops League this October. Thanks for playing!

 

4. Team Reich (Tamales) v. 5. Team Dean (ALX Salon) 

This 4/5 match-up had true “Game of the Night” potential. Both Teams feature prominent scorers and both Teams want to get out and run, run, run. Team Reich earned a BYE to the Elite8 while Team Dean had to take care of Team Cohen in the Round of 12.  These squads have been among the elite in the League all Summer long but only one could move on to the Final4..

To start the Game, Team Reich got hot early and got out to a double digit lead just minutes into the Game.. Tremell Adams was his usual self, netting 29 points on the night. He was firing from 3 early and helped his squad get out to the big lead.. Team Dean was not going to just roll over though and they began to mount a comeback early in the second half. Courtney Griffin had 20 points in this one.. Their comeback was left short though as Team Reich’s deep bench provided too much depth to overcome.. 4. Team Reich would advance to the Final4 and take on #1 Team Maione next week!

For Team Dean, they certainly leave the Summer thinking “what could have been?” Their sluggish start here put them behind the eight-ball and they just couldn’t recover.. That being said, they had a tremendous first run in the Summer Hoops League and a very impressive debut for many on this Roster. Courtney Griffin is a future All Star in the Chicago Hoops League should Team Dean come back in full force this Fall. They have enough to win a future Championship. Without a doubt. Thanks for playing!

 

2. Team Zahniser (Badger Bowl) v. 7. Team Clark (Bell’s Greek Pizza)

Team Zahniser would be opening up the Playoffs this week as they earned a BYE to the Elite8 after starting the season 6-0. They fell to Team Lalez in the final week of the Regular Season and they had two weeks to think about it.. Team Clark got to the Elite8 by DESTROYING Team Hoops4Health in the Round of 12. They are playing their best ball of the season at the right time.. These two Teams met all the way back in Week 2 which saw Team Zahniser notch an 11-pt W.  Team Clark certainly looks like a different Team than they did back in June.

To start the Game, Team Clark really pushed the pace and was firing from 3. They were able to mount a nice lead.. Matt Merrigan would go for 27 on the night. Brandon Snowden had 17 as well.  In the first half, it seemed like they may run away from the #2 overall seed.. Only, Team Zahniser, was not going to give up on their season.. Calvin Kang had 24, Eugene Connor 23 and Jack Paton 19.. Most of those points came in a furious 2nd half comeback. They were down double figures for much of the Game.. Fought back and turned into anyone’s Game late.. Team Zahniser actually managed to grab the lead for the first time since the opening seconds with just about 10 seconds to play in this one..  On the ensuing possession Team Clark drew a foul and hit what would be a Game Winning Free Throw. 7. Team Clark would advance to the Final4!

For Team Zahniser, what began as a dominating performance this season ends faster than they had hoped..  That can happen though in the All Sports Series Playoffs. There are so many good Teams out there that if you aren’t at your best or at 100% you can go home early.. This group is extremely, extremely talented and they have the makings of a future Champion. Captain Evan has been through these before and he’ll get his squad back and ready to run in a future Chicago Hoops League. Thanks for playing!

 

3. Team Darcy (SLA Insurance Gold) v. 6. Team Lalez (cea Study Abroad)

Time for the Main Event.  When the Bracket came out it was hard to not see this potential Elite8 Game jump off the page.. Team Darcy is of course the Defending Champions of the Chicago Summer Hoops League.   Team Lalez (aka Hakimian/Dorfman) are the gold standard of All Sports Series.  While, this is their first spin in this particular League, their core has more Championships and more Championship appearances than any other franchise in All Sports Series history.. So, something had to give.. These two Teams did meet in Week 1.. Team Darcy opened up their title defense on that night with a blistering 88-69 W over a half-strength Team Lalez that did not feature leading scorers Dave Gershenzon or Scott Campbell.. They’d be in attendance on this night.. So who’d go to the Final4?

Similar to Week 1, Team Darcy jumped out to a gigantic lead.. and fast.. Both Tim Dunlavy and Doug Wollney would score 20+ in this one and they helped set the tone early.. Team Darcy would take a 10 point lead (52-42) in an uncharacteristically poor Defensive half from Team Lalez.. With potentially just 22 minutes left in their seasons, Team Lalez did what we’ve seen them do, time and time again, with their backs against the wall.. They mounted a comeback of epic proportion.. Coming out of halftime they’d go on a 17-2 run to not just erase the deficit but take the lead 59-54.  Joe Hakimian hit a big 3 during this run and it really lifted his group.. It was an incredible turn of events.. This was truly a Game of runs and Team Darcy was not ready to relinquish their Crown just yet.. The Teams fought hard down the stretch, exchanging buckets. Dan Turner would hit a couple big shots for Darcy while Captain Benny and Dave Gershenzon scored clutch buckets for Lalez.  The Game would wind up tied with under two minutes to go and Doug Wollney got position in the lane to get a huge go-ahead bucket.. When the dust settled it was 3. Team Darcy advancing to the Final4!  Their quest for Back2Back Crowns is still alive! They take on 7. Team Clark in the Final4 next week.

For Team Lalez, this concluded a marathon week for them.. On Monday Night they reached the Chicago Men’s All Sports League Championship Game and dropped it in the final moments to Defending Champs Team Zimmerman..  This is likely the roughest two day stretch they’ve had over the years.. But you have to look at it this way.. Any other group would be THRILLED to have reached the heights Team Lalez/Hakimian reached this week.. They are just so used to getting all the way to the Crown that they may not see it that way.. This is a group that will take a much needed breather before gearing up for what will be another grueling Chicago Hoops League season in the Winter. Thanks for playing!

 

That’s it for the Elite8!  Next Week we’ll Crown the 2016 Summer League Champs!

-Holden