2017 Chicago Spring Hoops (2nd Session) – Playoffs Week 1 (May 18)

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Updated: May 24, 2017

Week 1 of the Playoffs provided a ton of twists and turns. We saw OTs, we had buzzer beaters, we had upsets.. Through all of that, when the dust settled, and just 4 Teams were left standing.. It was the Top-4 seeds in the Tournament that had advanced to the Final4 on Thursday Night and it makes for some extremely interesting match-ups to finish out the season. Before we Review the past Playoff Games, just want to send a Thank You to everyone for playing with us this season and hope to see everyone in the Summer!

Here’s the Link to the Weekly Highlight Video! 

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Playoff Review

Opening Rounds

9. Team Glass v. 12. Team Indy and Winner plays 8. Team Watts

Team Glass and Team Indy tipped-off the Playoffs for us on Thursday Night. As we mentioned in the Playoff Preview, these Teams had met all the way back in Week 1 and Team Glass had gotten the sizable victory. Both Teams changed quite a bit as the season progressed and it was anyone’s Game.. Team Glass would find themselves up by a few points late in this one. Team Indy stormed back and got a key free throw to close their first W of the season and in comeback fashion! Robert Balcerzak had 11 points in the Win. They’d move on to play 8. Team Watts immediately after.

For Team Glass, they got great performances from Jeff Wolfe, Oren Amzaleg and Sam Harris in the final Game. They all were in double figures. They were just short-handed with only 5 players and ran out of gas late. Captain Adam always puts forth a stellar squad and had injuries not plagued them, they would have had a much different journey this season. Thanks again for playing!

Team Indy, fresh from their first W of the season, moved on to face #8 Team Watts to conclude Opening Round. Team Watts was able to withstand the initial surge of momentum from Team Indy and then went on the Offensive. Both Donny Nordmann and Ian Anderson had 17 points for them and Captain Mack had 13. #8 Team Watts would move on with the big Win.. #1 Team Darcy awaited.

For #12 Team Indy, they leave with their heads held high. First All Sports Series season, they got their first W when it mattered most and were one of just a handful of Teams to earn a Playoff W this season and that is something they can build upon going forward. Thanks for playing!

 

10. Team Deutsch v. 11. Team Kaplan and Winner plays 7. Team Halperin

We knew that this one was going to be one of the better Games of the Night. They were evenly matched heading in and both Teams were more talented than their seed indicated. Team Deutsch got up big, by as much as 16 at one point… But they allowed Team Kaplan to battle all the way back.. Josh Berman would hit a 3 with just seconds remaining to put Team Kaplan up 62-60.. Team Deutsch came back down the court and Jamie Nikitas would hit Mitchell Lev for a lay-in to tie it up and force OT! In OT, Team Deutsch struck first and was able to hold on for the OT W! They’d advance to play #7 Team Halperin after.

For Team Kaplan, they suffer another really tough Playoff Loss that will take a bit of time to get over. They played a really solid Game and battled back from a big deficit to force OT. Josh Berman finished with 22, Daniel Song had 17 as did Captain Brett Kaplan. These guys will be back in the Summer and will look to get over the Playoff hump then. Thanks for playing!

As for Team Deutsch, they enter their 2nd Playoff Game of the Night and this one against the formidable #7 Team Halperin squad. Team Deutsch was understandably tired with just 7 guys and having been to OT with Team Kaplan just minutes prior.. They didn’t let that stop them though. These Teams went back and forth.. Jamie Nikitas had 32 and Mitchell Lev had 20 points for Team Deutsch. Alex Rubin had 23 and Jeff Shukis had 17 for Team Halperin.. We wound up knotted up with about 20 seconds to go and Team Deutsch would hold for one shot. Jamie Nikitas would make an excellent pass to Mitchell Lev who shoveled the ball just before the buzzer (we are talking tenths of a second) and the ball would bank it’s way in for the Win! Team Detusch with their 2nd win of the night move on to play #2 Team Dean.

For Team Halperin, it was a heartbreaking finish to what could have been a memorable run for them. They played very well and if Captain Joey can keep some of this core together these guys can really excel moving forward. Took them a few weeks to figure out rotations etc. but they are a quality team! Thanks for playing!

 

Elite8

1. Team Darcy v. 8. Team Watts

Team Darcy has been the front-runners all season long. They had won 17 straight coming into this one. They wasted little time showing the tired Team Watts why they have been so dominant. Sam Martinez had 20 and Tim Dunlavy had 18 in the Win. They had others in double figures as well. They move on to the Final4 (again) and are just 2 Wins away from their second straight title..

For #8 Team Watts, sometimes you just run into a buzzsaw and that is what #1 Team Darcy has proved to be over the past handful of months on Thursday Nights. Captain Mack is a veteran and this group has enough to succeed. We hope to see them back here soon. Thanks for playing!

 

4. Team Unger v. 5. Team Horwitz

Team Unger and Team Horwitz met in last season’s Final4.. This time around they were competing for a spot in the Final4.  Both groups wanted to get back there and there was some added intensity to this Rematch. Team Unger shot the ball very well. Team Horwitz did not. That was really the difference. Both Teams played very hard but at the end of the day, the ball just wouldn’t stay down for Team Horwitz. Ryan Lederman had 27 points for Team Unger and Captain Max had a baker’s dozen. Roshan Thakker had 15 for Team Horwitz and Captain Jon had 12.  Team Unger moves on for another Playoff date with Team Darcy in the Final4, can they finally sleigh the giants?

For Team Horwitz, they bow out against the same Team for the second straight season, no doubt that will frustrate them in the off-season. This is a squad that rightfully had Championship aspirations. They will be back and with the same Team in tact have enough to Win. They don’t need to make any acquisitions. They just need to play their best at crunch time but they really could win the whole thing in the future. Thanks for playing!

 

2. Team Dean v. 10. Team Deutsch

So Team Dean had won 6-straight heading into this Elite8 Game.. They were the favorites.. #10 Team Deutsch had already won 2 Games earlier in the night (including OT) so before they took the court they had already played 90-minutes of basketball over 2 hours. This one went about how you’d expect. Team Deutsch was gassed and just couldn’t keep up with Team Dean here. Team Dean would advance to the Final4 behind 25 from Tim Traversa and 21 from Mark Haas. They will meet #3 Team Shlofrock in the Final4 on Thursday night.

As for Team Deutsch, what a run on the final night. The story for them is their first 2 Games not the 3rd when they were a shell of themselves. These guys showed exactly what they are capable of gutting out those 2 wins and it shows how much of a shame it was that they were short-handed for much of the regular season. Had they been at full-strength and earned a better seed we may be looking a Team that is still alive and headed to the Final4. These guys will be back in the Summer. Thanks for playing!

 

3. Team Shlofrock v. 6. Jiminez

Both Teams entered playing really well. We mentioned it in the Preview.. Team Shlofrock earned the #3 seed and Team Jiminez won 4 of their last 5 to jump up to the #6 seed in the League’s final week.. Something had to give here.. Team Shlofrock would come out firing and jumped out to a big lead that Team Jiminez could just not cut into.. Captain Jake had 27 and Jake Lerman had 20. That’s 47 points from guys named Jake. Not bad. They would earn the Playoff W and will now look ahead to a Game against #2 Team Dean on Thursday Night!

For Team Jiminez, they just ran into a Team that played extremely well. It happens. These guys showed a lot in the back half of the season and you can expect more from them in the future. Many of them are currently competing for their second straight Flag Football Championship as well! Thanks for playing!

 

That’s it for the Week 1 Playoff Review. Good Luck to the Final4 on Thursday!

-Holden