2018-19 THE Chicago Hoops Week 16 – (Feb. 24)

Updated: February 28, 2019

Two weeks remain in the 2018-19 THE CHI Hoops League regular season, but the Playoff picture is anything but set. Five teams separated by one game (Team Onions, Team WOLVERINES, Team Wolves, Team Swish House and Team Division 6) are battling it out for Nos. 1 through 5.

Who will be the odd team out? It could all come down to Sunday night’s match-up between Team Onions and Team Wolves in our Week 17 Game of the Week to decide the top spot in the League.

The East and South Division Champions are still yet to be decided and they likely will not be determined until our final buzzers sound in Week 18. The North and West Divisions have been locked up by Team Purimetla and Team Onions respectively, and both squads have guaranteed themselves at the very least the #6 seed.

Two weeks of regular season basketball remain and there is a TON still left to be decided over the last two regular season weeks. Including who is going to be selected to the 2018-19 All-Star Team! Voting will open next week and will only be open for a few weeks. The leading vote getter will become League MVP and he along with the rest of the All-Stars will be receiving some solid goodies from our sponsors! More on that later.

Without further ado, onto our Week 16 Power Rankings…

Quickly, for those Playing in their first All Sports Series League.. Here’s what to expect from the weekly Power Rankings.. Each week we’ll take a statistical look at the Teams and Rank them 1-10 with the UnRanked Teams listed alphabetically.. Also, if you have ever want to find any info on the League.. Go to Chicago Leagues > THE CHI Hoops League.. Everything you’d need from Stats to Schedules to Standings etc. will be found there..

Weekly Highlight Video presented by Chicago Sport and Social Club

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Power Rankings

1. Team Onions – West – 13-3

#1 Team Onions have been on fire lately, going 10-1 in the past 11 games. On Sunday, Team Onions tallied their 13th win, an impressive feat considering it’s their inaugural season in THE CHI Hoops League. Winners of three straight games heading into Week 16 play, Team Onions laid down on the hammer on Sunday night and picked up a massive 86-63 victory over #10 Team Reisner. The victory also locked up the West Division crown for Team Onions…congrats gentleman! Andy Stemple scored 30 points (11-19 FG) while adding five rebounds and six assists during Sunday’s 23-point victory over #10 Team Reisner. While this was the first time since Week 9 that he’s scored at least 30 points, Stemple continues to be a consistent option in Team Onions offense, scoring in double digits in all 12 games that he has played in this year while averaging 20.9 points, 4.6 boards and 3.1 assists on the season. The distribution numbers are especially encouraging, as not only is he currently leading Team Onions in scoring but only trails Brian Nelms and Joel Pennington in the assist department. Coming up in Week 17, #1 Team Onions will duke it out with #3 Team Wolves (13-3) in our Week 17 Game of the Week, with the winner giving themselves the opportunity to finish the regular season with the overall #1 seed. These two squads met back in Week 5 and Team Wolves walked out of the DePaul Ray Meyer Center with a narrow 81-74 victory.


2. Team WOLVERINES – South – 13-3

In a league full of elite playmakers and closers (one of whom he just so happens to share a backcourt with) it’s sometimes a little too easy to sleep on Captain Randall Hampton of Team WOLVERINES. That was not the case on Sunday as Hampton scored 17 points on 7-for-12 shooting, including hauling down a couple of boards and dishing out a team-high four assists. Since the start of last season, one of the only players to play more regular season or overtime games is Muraner Milic of Team Purimetla, whom Hampton upstaged on Sunday. Hampton’s better half, Bryant Orange, once again led the way for Team WOLVERINES as he tallied 27 points (11-18 FG), four rebounds and an assist in Sunday’s 82-69 victory over #8 Team Purimetla. Orange just keeps rolling, delivering another 20+ point performance in Sunday’s victory. Numbers such as this are basically par for the course right now as Orange lobbies for his all-star selection. There is no indication that he will slow down anytime soon, and teams simply must hope that his production somehow fades when they pair up with him down the stretch and in the postseason. Team WOLVERINES will have an opportunity to lock up the South Division title with a win in Week 17 over Team LAMBO (3-13), coupled by a loss by #5 Team Division 6. In their previous match-up in Week 5, Team WOLVERINES cruised past Team LAMBO, 90-73.


3. Team Wolves – East – 13-3

#3 Team Wolves got back to their winning ways on Sunday night as they squeezed by Team Schwartz by the final score of 94-85. The win also allows Team Wolves to keep pace with #4 Team Swish House for the East Division crown. Joe Kozak made his case once again for League MVP on Sunday afternoon, dropping a season-high 31 points (15-22 FG) while hauling down eight boards and dishing out a couple of assists. Just another MVP-caliber line for Kozak, who kicked off the stretch run of his career-best season by draining shot after shot in his squads’ 94-85 victory on Sunday. It was simply an extension of the stellar caliber of play that Kozak had been exhibiting all season, and his final tally served as his second 30+ point performance on the season. With the East Division crown within their grasp, Team Wolves will now set their sights on the #1 overall seed with two regular season games remaining, even though they arguably have one of the toughest remaining schedules in the league. Next up for Team Wolves in our Week 17 Game of the Week is a rematch from Week 5 with #1 Team Onions (13-3), a squad they barely beat by the final score of 81-74.


4. Team Swish House – East – 13-3

Jordan Gipson helped Team Swish House breeze past Team High Fiving White Guys 95-73 on Sunday night with a vintage performance that had his fans and teammates marveling at his youthful and infectious energy Sunday. Cory Starkey finished with 27 points (13-20 FG) and 13 rebounds, and Gipson had 29 points and 6 assists, doing much of his damage after Starkey took a seat two minutes into the second half with his fourth foul. Gipson must have known he had to step up, not just with scoring, but leading the team if they wanted to keep pace with East Division rivals #3 Team Wolves, who had won earlier in the day. It must have also been a little easier for Gipson to accomplish this thanks to a little time off earlier this month when we were on break and his two games missed prior to the break due to a forfeit and availability issues. Since Gipson’s return, he’s playing lights out ball and in a better rhythm. Great news for Team Swish House down the stretch. #4 Team Swish House will now set their sights on the East Division crown and the #1 overall seed with two regular season games remaining. Next up for Team Swish House is a rematch from Week 5 with #8 Team Perimetla (7-9), a squad that they destroyed 91-57 on that chilly October day.


5. Team Division 6 – South – 12-4

With perennial All-Star guard Eric Porter out for this one, new additions Andy Castagnetti and Jon Cheng helped Team Division 6 adapt very well on Sunday evening. Cheng scored 11 points (4-5 FG) while adding four rebounds and four assists and Andy Castagnetti pitched in with 8 points (3-5 FG) of his own as #5 Team Division 6 blew past Team LAMBO 96-70 on Sunday night. What we saw in this game was a team that looked like they had come off a long break and was still on break for the first half. Then the second half rolled around, and Team Division 6 came out there and started playing the basketball we all know they can play. Michael Barr absolutely dominated on the offensive end of the court in this one, dropping a season-high 30 points (11-14 FG) to go along with four rebounds and a couple of assists. Barr recorded his ninth double-digit scoring effort of the season, and Xavier Edwards added 19 points (8-15 FG), 10 rebounds and 5 assists for Team Division 6. The win brings Team Division 6’s record up to 12-4 on the season and keeps them within one game of South Division leaders, #2 Team WOLVERINES. Team Division 6 will look to stretch their current winning streak to 8 games when they take the court on Sunday afternoon against Team Chess and Mathematics (4-12). They two squads previously met back in Week 5 and Team Division 6 walked away with a 113-92 victory.


6. Team Maione – West – 10-6

Team Maione may have finally found their footing as they were once again outstanding in their blowout win over Team Chess and Mathematics on Sunday night. With a final score of 105-83, Team Maione picked up back-to-back victories for the first time since early November and saw their overall regular season record climb to 10-6. New addition Max posted a Week 16 League high 39 points (16-28 FG), 17 rebounds and 5 assists in Sunday’s 22-point victory over Team Chess and Mathematics. Max led the way in the game scoring and rebounding-wise, as Max was able to take over and come up clutch late in the second half to help his squad seal this important victory. Stat stuffer Tellef Lundevall absolutely feasted on Sunday evening with 27 points (13-22 FG), 15 rebounds and 3 assists of his own. Don’t look now but this is a team that is primed for another championship run. While Team Maione has officially been eliminated from the West Division title race, they can still head into the Playoffs as high as the #6 seed. In order to do this, they’ll need to win their last two regular season ballgames. Their next test will come in the form of #7 Team Deutsch (8-8). These two heavyweights went toe-to-toe back in Week 5 and #6 Team Maione walked out of the DePaul Ray Meyer Center with a solid 96-86 victory.


7. Team Deutsch – South – 8-8

#7 Team Deutsch did not have enough available bodies to field a legal team in Week 16 and had to take a forfeit loss to #9 Team Clark. The loss snapped a four-game winning streak for Team Deutsch and sees their record fall back to .500 at 8-8. Team Deutsch will try to get back to their winning ways when they take the court in Week 17 against #7 Team Maione (8-8). These two squads squared off back in Week 5 and Team Deutsch took a tough 96-86 loss on that evening.


8. Team Purimetla – North – 7-9

#8 Team Purimetla suffered a tough 82-69 loss on Sunday evening to #2 Team WOLVERINES, which also saw them snap their four-game winning streak. The loss also saw their record dip two games below .500 once again. On the bright side, Team Purimetla was still able to clinch the North Division crown as their divisional opponents (Team Chess and Mathematics and Team Schwartz) also took defeats on Sunday. Congrats gentleman! Timothy Lott and Adam Jones combined to do most of the damage for Team Purimetla in this one, combining to score 49 of their squads 69 total points. Muraner Milic chipped in with 9 points and 8 rebounds of his own but it just wasn’t enough to get past the defending Champs. With the North Division crown all wrapped up, Team Purimetla can now focus their attention and energy on the upcoming triple elimination playoff tournament. They’ll have the next two weeks to work out the kinks and get not only physically prepared for the playoff gauntlet, but mentally as well. Team Purimetla will look to start a new winning streak prior to the postseason tipping off when they take the court on Sunday afternoon against #4 Team Swish House (13-3). They two squads previously met back in Week 5 and Team Purimetla suffered an embarrassing 91-57 loss.

9. Team Clark – East – 6-10

Moving up one spot and into the #9 hole this week is Team Clark. Team Clark recorded a forfeit win on Sunday afternoon as their opponents #7 Team Deutsch were unable to field enough starters to play a legal game. The win improves Team Clark’s overall record up to 6-10 on the year and sees them move up one spot in the Week 16 Power Rankings. Team Clark will look to make it back-to-back victories coming up in Week 17 with a very important match-up against Team High Fiving White Guys (1-15). These two squads previously met back in Week 5 and #9 Team Clark barely snuck by Team High Fiving White Guys by a final score of 79-70.


10. Team Reisner – South – 5-11

After a dominating performance in Week 15, Team Reisner came out flat in Week 16 against #1 Team Onions and lost by a final score of 86-63. The squads leading scorer Marin Kukoc was absent from this game and it showed for #10 Team Reisner as they were held to their lowest scoring total since week 11. Zachary Mcmains stepped up in Kukoc’s absence however, dropping a team-high 20 points (7-11 FG), five rebounds and a couple of assists in his squads 23-point lopsided loss. Sam Gage also had a nice scoring night for Team Reisner, dropping 16 points on 6 of 11 shooting from the field. Unfortunately for #10 Team Reisner, it just wasn’t enough to contain the #1 ranked squad in the League. Team Reisner will look to get back on track in Week 17 with a Week 5 rematch versus Team Schwartz. Back in that Week 5 contest, Team Reisner beat Team Schwartz in an absolute thriller, 68-63. Team Reisner will hope to have the services back of Marin Kukoc as Kukoc was able to expose some of Team Schwartz’s defensive efficiencies in that contest and was able to put up a team-high 21 points. Team Reisner will also need more from the entire supporting cast if they want to secure their sixth victory coming up on Sunday night.


Rest of the Pack (Alphabetical Order)

Team Chess and Mathematics – North – 4-12

Team Chess and Mathematics just didn’t have enough offensive fire power on Sunday night as they took a beating from Team Maione, losing by 22 points, 105-83. MVP candidate and team captain Gilles Jones was his usual self as he led the squad in scoring by posting 23 points (9-16 FG), six rebounds and two assists. Take Eric Porter and Sterling Williams out of the equation and Jones would likely be among the favorites for the Most Valuable Player award. His numbers of late have been spectacular, as he’s averaging just shy of 32 PPG over his last four games played. During that period, he’s connected on 27 3PT + AND1 while racking up 25 rebounds. He’s clearly the primary offensive weapon these days for Team Chess and Mathematics, a role that Darek Wojewnik has thankfully relinquished. Speaking of Mr. Wojewnik, Derek finished the game with 17 points (7-12 FG) but it still wasn’t enough to get past the high-flying offense of #6 Team Maione. Team Chess and Mathematics will look to get back on track in Week 17 as they get to tip-off against #5 Team Division 6 (12-4). In their previous match-up in Week 5, Team Division 6 walked away with a 21-point victory, something Team Chess and Mathematics will want to avoid from happening again coming up on Sunday night.


Team High Fiving White Guys – West – 1-15

In a game that they’ll soon want to forget, Team High Fiving White Guys took a tough defeat, falling to #4 Team Swish House by a final score of 95-73. Team High Fiving White Guys have been struggling to find some consistency within their lineup and the same held true in Week 16 as they were only able to dress five players. Matthew Clark, the squads leading scorer all season long, was able to dress for this contest and certainly brought his A-game to the gym on Sunday night, posting a solid 26 points (12-20 FG), six rebounds and five assists in his squads 22-point loss on Sunday night. This squad has certainly had their struggles this season, but Clark has been one of the few bright spots all season long and will certainly be an All-Star this year. Running mate James Holman also had a very solid all-around game on Sunday, contributing 19 points (7-12 FG), four rebounds and two steals. We keep saying this and we will continue to keep saying this…the triple elimination playoff tournament is a whole new ballgame for every team in the League. They’ll look to put an end to their long losing streak and start building some momentum heading into the postseason when they take the court in Week 17 against #9 Team Clark (6-10). These two squads previously met back in Week 5 and Team High Fiving White Guys took a disappointing 79-70 loss on that night.


Team LAMBO – East – 3-13

Things have seemingly gone from bad to worse for Team LAMBO over the last month or so of this season. They dropped their third straight game on Sunday night, losing to #5 Team Division 6 by a lopsided score of 96-70. Captain Brock Massie had the hot hand and did everything he could to keep his squad in this game, posting 25 huge points (10-18 FG) while hauling down nine rebounds and dishing out a couple of assists. He chipped in a couple of steals as well. Like other teams in THE CHI Hoops league, lineup consistency has been an issue for Team LAMBO all year long. It’s hard to win and win consistently when you are always trotting out new players onto the court. While Team LAMBO’s East division title hopes have been long gone, they can still improve upon their playoff seeding while piling up a couple on wins in the final two weeks of the season. These guys are always competitive with everyone and tend to “play up” to the competition when facing the very best in the League. Back in Week 5, they did just that, sticking with Team WOLVERINES (13-3) who was in the Championship Game a year ago. They eventually fell by 17 points but will be out for revenge on Sunday night when these two squads square off for the second time this season.


Team Schwartz – North – 4-12

At this point in the season last year, Team Reisner was sitting at 9-7 and things were looking up for them. Fast forward to last week when they snapped their franchise-high seven-game losing streak and got back to their winning ways. Didn’t it feel like they might have just turned that corner and were ready to make a serious run heading into the post-season? I guess it must have just been me because Team Schwartz reverted to their losing ways on Sunday night and dropped a tough contest to #3 Team Wolves by the final score of 94-85. The loss see’s their overall record fall to 4-12 and currently sit tied for the overall #12 seed. They still have an opportunity to finish the regular season with a top-10 seed, but they’ll need to win out in their last two games. Holding a top-10 seed is going to be crucial for their title aspirations and any more losses here will see that opportunity slip away. Jermaine Johnson was an absolute beast in this game, dropping 32 huge points while adding two rebounds and dishing out five assists. Coming up in Week 17, they get a rematch from Week 5 when they square off against #10 Team Reisner. Team Schwartz dropped that Week 5 contest by five points and will be out looking for some revenge.


Week 16 is in the books and only 2 regular season games remain. Good luck to all on Sunday!