2014 Madison Leagues – PLAYOFFS (Nov. 3)

Updated: November 7, 2014

…and then there were 2… well, and 4…  Monday Night’s Playoff Games were as good as anyone could have hoped.  After all the eliminations, we are left with our Co-Ed Championship Game and Men’s Final4 all set!  Next week it’s all about Flag Football as both League Championships will be decided on the gridiron (at Keva Sports Center!)  Before we dive into the Week that was and Preview next Wee’s Championship Night, here’s a Link to the Weekly Highlight Video (w/ extended Playoff Coverage!).  Also, here’s a Link to what the Bracket looks like heading into the League’s Final Night.  It’s the Men’s League’s turn to go first this week!

Men’s League Playoffs

Opening Round – Hoops

Elimination Game (Winner plays 4. Team Saltzman – KSig SR (9Round Madison): 

5. Team Weisberg – AEPi SO (Goben Cars) v. 6. Team Pulfer – Fiji (SLA Insurance) – Team Pulfer wins

Our first Playoff Game of the Season may end up providing our best finish.. This was an Elimination Game with the Winner moving on to immiadately play Team Saltzman for the right to get to the Final4 and the Loser would end home for the Winter.. It was do or die and both Teams competed as such.. Team Pulfer jumped out to an early lead but never quite pulled away..  Team Pulfer had just 5 guys and as the Game wore on Team Weisberg’s depth really took a tole.. What was once a double digit lead in the second half was shrunk to just 2 points in the closing seconds. Team Weisberg had continued to put Team Pulfer on the line and Team Pulfer failed to finish them off from the charity stripe.. This gave Team Weisberg one more chance to go the length of the court with just a few seconds left.. down 2.. When the buzzer sounded Team Pulfer’s Defense had made one last stand and that allowed for their Season to continue!  The Captains really shouldered a big burden in this one as Randall Pulfer went for 17 and Matt Weisberg went for 19 points.  For Team Weisberg it was of course a heartbreaking way to end their 2014 campaign.. But they had a bunch of bright spots this Fall and as the youngest group in the Men’s League they have a ton to build upon.. They’ll be back in 2015 and next year they’ll no longer be Rookies!  For Team Pulfer, the victory celebration could only last a few minutes as they had another game and another challenge to worry about..

Elimination Game (Winner goes to the Final4)

4. Team Saltzman – KSig SR (9Round Madison) v. 6. Team Pulfer – Fiji (SLA Insurance) – Team Saltzman wins

This was another Elimination Game.. The Winner heads to the Final4 to meet the top 3 seeds and the Loser packs it in and goes home.. In many instances, a Team who is fresh off a big victory, will come out flying in their second Game.. The question then becomes can they sustain it for 40 minutes?  Team Pulfer did just that.. They came out swinging (and shooting) and really knocked Team Saltzman back a bit in the first half of this one.. Their pace died down with about 5 minutes left to go in the half but at Half Time, Team Pulfer was still leading this one.. After the half though, everything changed.. Team Saltzman, the Runners-Up a year ago, tapped into their past Playoff experience and began to take control of the Game. Truman Tierman led the scoring barrage with 14 points in this one and as the Game ticked closer to the final buzzer it was clear that Team Saltzman just had more in the tank than Team Pulfer.  For the second consecutive season Team Saltzman would move on to the Final4.  For Team Pulfer, they did something that many Teams have failed to do in any of the All Sports Series Leagues — they won a Playoff Game.  There are several, several Teams who’d love to lay claim to that..  They’ll be back and stronger in 2015.. Having a full season and a Playoff W under their belts will do wonders for their Regular Season confidence in 2015 and surely that will help them reach new heights.   As for Team Saltzman, will they be able to finish what they started last year? Who will they face?  Scoll Down!

Seeding Game (Winner gets to choose their Final4 opponent)

1. Team Max (Ian’s Pizza) v. 2. Team Callahan – KSig JR (SLA Insurance Green) – Team Max wins

While this was not an Elimination Game, few Games during the course of the Season hold the weight of this Top2 Game.  The stakes are simple.. Win and you get to choose who you play in the Final4.  That is a gigantic advantage (if used wisely).  Aside from the ramifications, this is a match-up between this season’s strongest squads.. Last year’s Defending Champs – Team Max, who almost made it two straight seasons without a Loss.. That “almost” is due to the defeat they took last week at the hands of #2 Team Callahan.. In Hoops.  So to call this the Rematch of the Season would be an understatement (a third and final chapter may loom next week as well)..

Right from the jump this one had a different feel than last week’s Game.  Team Max set the tempo early and re-asserted themselves as the alpha-dogs in the Madison Men’s League.  They simply don’t lose in November and that did not change on Monday Night.  It’s almost as if a weight had been lifted from their shoulders.. Now, I’m sure they’ll tell you that they wanted a perfect season — especially this year before they graduate from the Madison League — however, at the end of the day what really matters is Championships.  Sometimes, you need to get knocked down to get your head back in the game. They looked rejuvenated and it’s certainly going to take a lot for them to get knocked off next Monday Night.. Here’s what we’ll say about Team Callahan though — this one meant more to Team Max.  It’s hard for anyone to feel differently. Team Callahan just knocked them down for the first time in two season and it was only 7 days ago.  They’ve successfully planted the seed of doubt and in reality all the matters is winning two more Flag Football games next Monday Night.  They too have what it takes..

Men’s League Preview

Final4 and Championship Football

After the Game on Monday Night, Team Max decided that they’ll play 3. Team Holway – AEPi JR (MacTaggart’s) in the Final4 which leaves 2. Team Callahan – KSig JR (SLA Insurance) to take on 4. Team Saltzman – KSig SR (9Round Madison)..

We have two interesting pairings that will ensure us two different houses will be represented in the Championship Game.  There are storylines galore of course.. Can Team Max go Back2Back?  Can Team Callahan or Team Holway knock off one or both of last year’s Championship combatants? Can Team Saltzman get redemption from one year ago?  All of this will be decided next Monday Night under the lights at the Keva Sports Center! Good Luck to everyone!

Co-Ed Playoffs

Final4 Hoops

1. Team Bruksch (Goben Cars) v. 4. Team Smith (Distinctive Foods)

Team Bruksch separated themselves from the pack early in the Regular Season and quickly became the Team to beat in the Co-Ed League.   They faltered a bit down the stretch but managed to come into the Playoffs with both momentum and the #1 seed.. Team Smith has a roster full of talent and excelled in certain sports during the Regular Season as well.. Their one true hiccup was not being able to get past Team Bruksch.. As luck would have it, that’s exactly who they were lined up against with a spot in the Championship Game on the line!  Team Bruksch got off to an early lead in this one and much like the Regular Season they never really looked back. Mitch Ebenreiter led the scoring outburst with 12 points.. Team Smith fought valiantly throughout but could just not overtake the #1 Seed.  It was great seeing Lauren Ehrich back out there, just one week after taking a serious hit to the face.. A true warrior!  For Team Smith there’s plenty to build on for future iterations of All Sports Series.. Whether it’s next year in the Madison Co-Ed League or over the Summer in the Chicago Co-Ed League.. They have talent and will only build on it… Team Bruksch is just one win away now from being the wire to wire dominant Team in the first ever Madison Co-Ed League.. Who will be standing in their way to the Crown?

2. Team Fischer (Badger Bowl) v. 3. Team Klein (Biaggi’s)

Team Fischer came into the Playoffs on a real winning streak.. They swept their double header in the Regular Season’s final night — beating both Team Smith AND Team Bruksch on the Hoops Court.. So the question coming into this one was, can they make it a clean sweep in Hoops?  That was all that stood in their way of a Championship appearance.  For Team Klein, many on their Roster had experienced Playoff success in All Sports Series.. They hoped to draw from that and use it to win just two more Games.  The first half went back and forth.. Sam Sternberg of Team Klein rallied the troops and shouldered much of the scoring burden while Team Fischer countered with many different scorers.. Team Klein would lead at half by a single point.  As the second half got under way Team Fischer buckled down and started to impose their will on the defensive end. Buckets were becoming increasingly difficult to come by for Team Klein and eventually it was just too much to overcome.. Team Fischer stood tall when the final buzzer sounded.  Captain Blair finished with 10 points and Jenna Shemky led the way with 14 of her own..  Team Klein fought valiantly all year and should not feel down in the slightest..  It was evident they were having as much fun as any group in the League and genuinely enjoyed playing with one another.  Those are the squads that end up winning multiple Championships. Many of them will graduate this Spring but there’s plenty of competition waiting for them in Chicago over the Summer..

For Team Fischer, this has been a long time coming for Captain Blair Fischer.. She has competed in more Co-Ed Games than anyone else in All Sports Series history.. She’ll be playing in her first Championship Game on Monday Night and you can’t help but be happy for her and her crew.  It’s going to be an epic Championship Game between the League’s top 2 seeds.. A true rarity in All Sports Series.. The question becomes, who will make the one play that swings the Championship? Both Teams are littered with talent.. It’s going to come down to who makes THE play.  Can’t Wait!

Have a great weekend. Thank you to those who are finishing the Season with us and Good Luck to everyone who is playing next Monday Night!

– Holden