SEBL summer hoops playoff updates

The 2018 SEBL Men's and Women's Playoffs continue at the JH Morgan Gymnasium through this weekend.

Updates from playoff games through Wednesday, August 8.

Wed., Aug. 8th... Metro A-League Quarterfinals:

#3 Wood Elite 88 #6 Franklin Ford 77 Wood Elite Training used a balanced offensive attack to outlast Franklin Ford and move on to the Final Four. WET took a 49-42 lead into the half, behind 14 first half points by Quinton Wood. In the second half, Franklin made several pushes when the stepped up their full court pressure, with JR Smith and Talique Cochran getting defensive conversion buckets. The pressure bottled up the perimeter shooting for WET, but their adjustments to the press eventually began finding Isaac Thomas and Al Mateba, who combined for 20 points during the latter stages of the game. Davis and Cochran finished with 26 and 20, respectively, as Jozell Payne scored 11 and snatched 18 boards. Elijah Windom also got 10 in the loss. Quinton Wood paced WET with 18, while Mateba and Thomas each had 16 and Chapin Rierson 12. Ray Reeves and Darrell Wilkins both contributed eight, as Wood Elite will now face #7 Bartow Braves at 7:30pm on Thursday evening in the first Final Four clash.

#7 Braves 80 #2 Summer Hill-1 77 (2OT) In the summer league atmosphere, to say a team is upset is sometimes relative, so the Braves relatively upset #2 seeded Summer Hill-1, coming on yet another exciting buzzer beater – this time a long three-pointer by Brice Kellogg. Back on July 21 the Braves lost 89-58 to SH1, but were missing Tim Fortenberry. Several roster additions along the way and the defending SEBL Metro A-League are again one of the dangerous teams, particularly because they shoot it very well, and they never give up. SH1 led the entire way in this one, including 36-28 at the half. With 10 minutes remaining, SH1 held a 51-42 spread, until defensive mishap after defensive mishap, allowed Fortenberry and Kellogg to poke daggers from the outside. When those two weren’t knocking down treys, the Wilson twins took turns snagging offense boards and capitalizing. Kellogg’s three with 18 seconds left in regulation sent the game to OT knotted at 63-all. The teams fought to a tie again, at 69 apiece. Each OT period, SH1 answered first, but the Braves never quit, fighting back, sending the game to a second OT on a buzzer shot by Fortenberry, and then in the second OT period actually taking their first lead of the game at 77-76 on none other than an offensive board and putback by Joel Wilson. Antonio Wade re-tied the score at 77-all after hitting the tail end of two free throws. And, the Braves called timeout with 3.2 ticks left on the clock and advanced the ball to half court to set up a play. The inbounds went to Kellogg on the right wing, who launched the shot that would ‘relatively’ end the Summer Hill-1 season. Davy Fisher paced SH1, with 21 while Markel Williams was 9 of 9 in from the field for 18 points, 16 of which came in the opening stanza, rarely touching the ball in the second half. Keith Ray finished with 10 and Jeremiah Shaw eight. Wade had a subpar seven, and struggled at the line, where he had several chances to ice the game late. The Braves were led by Fortenberry’s 26, many coming from his 8/13 night from beyond the arc. Josh Wilson had another gigantic night with 24 points and 16 rebounds, while his brother Joel cashed in 12 points 13 boards. Kellogg, who finished with 11 points scored all of those in the latter stages of the game. The Braves advance to the SEBL Metro A-League Final Four for the second straight season, and will now have the difficult task of battling the talented Wood Elite squad on Thursday evening at 7:30pm.

#1 Baseline-1 95 #8 Shaw 83 Shaw didn’t show up to play literally or figuratively. Indicative of their season, Shaw’s depleted roster could not keep up for the long haul with the league’s top-scoring team in Baseline-1. With borrowed players, Shaw tried to make the game interesting, as Jalen Lovett and Cade Archer were able to generate some offense. Baseline-1 took a slim 43-41 advantage into the halftime break. But, in the second half, the Baseline scoring duo AJ Mosby and Ryan Davis were just too much, along with CJ Bennett getting in the act. Baseline-1 cruised to the win and into the Final Four. Lovett would finish with 29, while Archer had 19 and Jeremiah Shaw 13. For, Baseline-1, Mosby downed 31, followed by 26 from Davis. Bennett finished with 19 and Ashton Burley 14, as Baseline-1 will move on to take on a talented Brighter Days squad in the other semi-final matchup on Thursday evening at 8:30pm.

SEBL Metro A-League Final Four – Thursday, August 9, 2018:

7:30pm - #7 Bartow Braves vs. #3 Wood Elite Training 8:30pm - #5 Brighter Days vs. #1 Baseline-1

SEBL Metro A-League Quarterfinal Matchup last Tuesday night:

Brighter Days was the first through to the Metro A-League Final Four, after using a strong second half to race past the Dream Chaserz

#5 Brighter Days 86 Dream Chaserz 64 A tightly contested game through the first half, turned into a blow out for Brighter Days, as they heated up when it counted the most, whereas someone put a lid on the Dream Chaserz basket in crunch time. Behind the scoring of Brannon Hopkins, the Dream Chaserz established a slim lead through the first 10 minutes of the game. But, Brighter Days would begin to turn the tide, with balanced scoring from Shaq Calhoun, Marcus Dortch and Elijah Hirsh, who combined 27 points in the opening half. Hopkins dazzled with 24 points, but Brighter Days still took the 40-39 lead into the break. The lead swayed in the opening minutes of the second half, but the Dream Chaserz got away from what seemed to be working in the first half and the perimeter dried up, because the ball wasn’t making it to the middle before the shots flew. The Dream Chaserz pounced on the opportunity and separated themselves with a series of driving buckets and transition threes from Marcus Dortch and Dominique Harper, who would combine for five treys in the second half. Logan Shoffner did his best to keep the Dream Chaserz in range, but couldn’t do it by himself as Hopkins could only muster up three points in the second half. Brighter Days cruised into the SEBL Final Four, where they met #1 Baseline-1 in a quarterfinal matchup. Brighter Days will jump it off in that Final Four tilt on Thursday evening at 8:30pm. Hopkins would finish with 27 on the night for the Dream Chaserz, while Shoffner had 21. Shon Redding was held to six, but pulled down 14 rebounds in the loss. For Brighter Days, Harper scored 19, on 5/9 shooting from behind the 3-point line, while Calhoun had 17 and Dortch 15. Hirsh would finish with 14 points and eight boards. Kevin Hobbs and Cyrus Banks each also collected seven points for Brighter Days, who snapped a two-game losing skid at the right time.

On Tuesday evening at JH Morgan Gym, the top two seeds in the City Conference B-League secured their tickets to the title game.

#2 SH Warriors 81 #3 BC Infinity 38 Neither team could seem to find the basket in the early going, but Infinity managed to crawl out to an 9-4 lead, chiefly behind the three treys Dominique Richards downed. The Warriors worked back and took their first lead at 11-10 on two free throws from Cade Archer at the 9-minute mark of the first half. Later, Jason Greenburg nailed a three, followed by a drive from JP Pritchett, which was accompanied by a free throw, to put Infinity back up briefly at 16-15. But, over the final 2:30 of the half, the Warriors closed on a 9-0 run, behind buckets from Mello Hicks and Cody Henderson, along with a three from JR Davis. When the dust settled, Infinity went into the break trailing 26-16 – a low scoring affair to that point, but things seemed to be brewing for the Warriors. Things boiled over to start the second half, as Chaz Phillips opened the half dropping a three, which triggered Davis to go on a spree where he canned four threes in a stretch that saw the Warriors bolt out on a 25-2 run. A frustrated Infinity team had fallen down 51-18 and were essentially out of the game mentally. As the minutes began to tick down, the Infinity’s JP Pritchett was able to generate some offense, but the Warriors’ Kevane Washington and Archer added to insult to injury combining for four more triples to close the game out. Pritchett finished with 19 for BC Infinity (6-3), while Richards was held to nine. For the Warriors, Davis downed 21, while Hicks had 17, Archer 16 and Cody Henderson 10. The Warriors (8-1) advance to the City Conference Championship Game on Saturday at 4:30pm.

#1 SH-Baseline-2 65 #5 GSM Ballers SH-Baseline-2 turned around a lull in first half that had them facing a 21-14 deficit and went on a big 15-2 run to close the half with a 29-23 lead. The SHB2 run continued into the second half, as they worked out to a double-digit lead, behind the steady scoring of Jeremiah Shaw and Markel Williams. As has been the case all summer, GSM was very competitive for a period of time, but in the midst of their self-destructive nature, they consistently failed to realize they were actually in the games they were playing. Still within striking distance, Trase Fezzia seemed to be the only GSM player who was intent on playing to win, scoring nine points down the stretch, trimming the SHB2 lead to just 10 with a little under four minutes remaining. But, it was too little, too late, as SHB2 took advantage of GSM’s insistence on inner-squad tension, closing the game on a 10-2 streak. Fezzia led GSM with 15, despite only playing sparingly, while LD Strickland reached double-figures with 10. For SHBD2, Shaw led his team again with 20 points, 17 of which came in the second half. Markel Williams turned in a monster effort with 15 points and 18 rebounds, while Antoine Wesley contributed 12. SH-Baseline-2, who also improved to 8-1 overall, moves into the City Conference Title game, on Saturday at 4:30pm, where they will take on #2 seeded SH-Warriors.

City Conference Finals: Saturday, August 11, 2018 #2 SH Warriors (8-1) vs. #1 SH-Baseline-2 (8-1)

SEBL City Conference B-League Quarterfinals:

BC Infinity 80 Team Alumni 57 #6 seeded Team Alumni came into this City B-League quarter-final matchup feeling still riding the satisfaction of getting their first win to end the regular season, and they started out like gang-busters, jumping out to a double-digit lead on #3 seeded BC Infinity, who was struggling to find the basket. Talique Cochran drove the lane for a left-handed bucket, to put Alumni up 31-13 with 3:30 left in the first half and it seemed as if it was just not going to be Infinity’s day. But, suddenly the flood gates opened, after Hunter Johnson hit is second three of the half, followed by steal and lay-in from JP Pritchett. After an Alumni miss, Pritchett buried another trey. Then, Dominique Richards would drain yet another tri-fecta. Alumni miscued again, and Pritchett got off a desperation double-pump shot from beyond the arc, that would fall through at the buzzer, cutting the Alumni lead down to 33-27 going into the break – and begin to tell the real story of the game. To start the second half, Richards would set the tone by hitting a triple right off the bat, reducing the Infinity deficit to only 33-30. Courtney Gamble scored for Alumni, but Jason Greenburg quickly answered with a three, to make it 35-33. Greenburg would then drive for a bucket, draw the foul and after being true on the shot at line, put Infinity up for the first time at 36-35. That was all Infinity needed, as Dominique Richards would hit a string of five threes, the last being a rare four-point play, after being fouled while falling out of bounds. The personal run for Richards broke the game open. Down the stretch Pritchett and Greenburg would combine for 14 points, as they took turns with an array of penetration moves and floaters, of which Alumni had no defensive answer. For Alumni, Cochran would finish with 24, while Dustin Glenn turned in a solid night with 20. For BC Infinity, Richards and Pritchett and each downed 25, while Greenburg had 13. Hunter Johnson finished with nine points, as BC Infinity shot a very impressive 15-32 from beyond the arc. BC Infinity will now move on to face the #2 seeded SH-Warriors.

GSM Ballers 73 Toyo-2 68

#5 seeded GSM used a balanced scoring attack to oust #4 seeded Toyo-2. Toyo-2, who came in as the #4 seed in the playoffs, had risen to #2 in the City Conference standings at one point, before slumping towards the end of the regular season. In this quarter-final tilt, the lead changed hands on numerous occasions, with GSM settling on a slim 34-33 lead at the half-time break. The second half proved to be much the same, as both teams took turns trading leads, until GSM broke open a 62-all score, going on a 9-2 run, behind an athletic attack for a basket from LD Strickland, followed by a floater by Blake Clay. The run was capped by a put-back from Sammie Frazier and a 3-point dagger from Strickland, putting GSM up 71-64 with just over two minutes to go. Toyo-2 had chances, only down 72-66 with over a minute, they forced consecutive turnovers, but instead of punching the transition opportunities in for quick twos, opted for long errant trey attempts, essentially giving the victory to the Ballers. Eddie Melvin led all scorers with 18, coming on a perfect 7/7 night from the field, while Donlin Hinton and Josh Christian each had 13, as Toyo-2 saw its inconsistent season come to a close. GSM, who will now move on to take on #1 seeded SH-Baseline-2 in the semis, got 16 from Sammie Frazier, as Bryan Owens had 15, Strickland 14, Pat Printup 10 and Trase Fezzia nine. The Ballers were 27 of 53 overall from the field, while netting an efficient 20 of their 33 attempts inside the arc. #5 GSM Ballers vs. #1 SH-Baseline-2 GSM (2-7) will attempt to knock off another higher seed when they meet up with #1 seeded SH-Baseline-2 (7-1). But, don’t let GSM’s overall record confuse you, as they have been very competitive all summer and pushed SHB2 to the brink in a 61-57 loss back on July 31 – a game which could have easily gone either way. In that loss, GSM did not have the services of Sammie Frazier, who could be the x-factor in the Final Four meeting between these two teams.

SEBL Metro Conference A-League Play-in Games on 8-5-2018:

Bartow Braves 69 The OG’s 67 (OT) The #7 seeded Braves escaped the OG’s on a controversial lay-in from Joel Wilson at the buzzer in overtime, to move on to the quarterfinals. The OG’s, who led for much of the game, were up 32-30 at the half. Dee Henderson and Brian Griffin combined for 18 of the OG’s point total in the first stanza, while Josh Wilson provided a chuck of the Braves offense with 12 points by the mid-way point. The leads continued to trade in the second half, when Avery Morris’ floater put the Braves up 58-55 with 4:58 remaining in regulation. After trading misses, Joel Wilson muscled up for a bucket and drew a foul. He missed the shot at the line, and the chance to tie it with 3:03 showing. Wilson would draw another foul, and miss both, but on the second attempt, OG’s Dee Henderson slipped in the lane while going for the defensive board, and the Braves Josh Wilson grabbed the offensive rebound instead. The extra possession found Mike Fabre’ for a short shot off the glass, to put the Braves up. But, a long inbounds pass to a streaking Shauquille Hopson put the OG’s back up 60-59 with 1:56 on the clock. Hopson then drove the lane for a floater, to put the OG’s up by three with only 30 seconds left. The Braves were in a must-make situation and got two looks, getting offensive rebounds after each attempt, when Richard Olson got a good kick out to Brice Kellogg, who canned the big three to send it to overtime. Joel Wilson took a pass over the top, and made the lay-in, putting the Braves up 66-64, 20 seconds into the 2-minute overtime period, but with 1:24 left, Henderson flipped a pass to the corner to Hopson and he drilled the three from the deep left corner. The OG’s led 65-64. After a Braves’ turnover, Henderson connected on a floater, to increase the lead to 67-64. But, a quick pass down court to a snow birding Olson, had the OG’s racing to defend. He made the layup and drew the foul, sinking it calmly to re-knot the score at 67-all with 45 second left in OT. The OG’s decided to work the clock down for a potential last shot, but Hopson shot early, with about 25 seconds left and missed. Olson grabbed the rebound and got it down quickly, where he gave the ball to Fabre’ at the top. Josh Wilson was at the high post and the OG defenders were keyed on him, when Joel Wilson snuck into the lane behind the defenders. Fabre’ floated the pass in with only 4 seconds showing and Wilson who was bumped, lofted the ball up, where it caught the corner of the top of the backboard and fell through at the buzzer. The OG’s were led by Hopson with 15, while Morris and Griffin each had 13. Henderson also had 12, as the OG’s season comes to an end. For the Braves, who again played without sharpshooter Tim Fortenberry, got 19 from Joel Wilson, while Josh Wilson finished with 16, as did Fabre’. Olson contributed 11 in the win.

Shaw Industries 92 Toyo-1 89 (OT)

Shaw trailed for much of the night, but forced overtime on a lay-in from Kwame Peek, followed by a long-three from Kevin Hammett, then handled business at the freethrow line to advance to the quarterfinals, where they will face off against the #1 seed, and undefeated, Baseline-1 squad. In the first half, Bobby Smith was virtually unstoppable, continually driving and dropping buckets or drawing fouls. He helped Toyo-1 build an eight-point spread, at one point, before Shaw was able to work back into to it, with short run from threes by Hammett and Jalen Lovett. Lovett executed continual silky smooth moves to the basket, while no one for Toyo-1 could seem to stay in front. Toyo-1 led 37-36 at the half. The offense picked up for both teams in the second half, as the game sped up considerably. Smith was still scoring at a good clip for Toyo-1, while Lovett and Peek really turned it up a notch for Shaw. Up 82-77 with 1:29 left in regulation, Hammett came up with a bucket the lane to trim the Toyo lead to three, but Smith drove left and scored to put Toyo back up 84-79. After a Shaw miss, Toyo had the chance to milk clock but wound up turning the ball over with just under a minute left. With Toyo more focused on arguing the call, Malik Rush sent the long pass the length of the floor to Peek, who laid the ball in, trim the score to three. LD Strickland then drew a foul with 37 second left, but missed the front end of the one and one. On the ensuing possession, Shaw’s Peek drew a foul of his own, missing both. Forced to foul, Shaw sent Smith to the line with :16 ticks left for the front end of the one and one, and the chance to ice the game. He missed and across half court Rush flipped the ball to Hammett on the left side, where he drilled the 28-footer, sending the game into OT. Toyo won the jump ball, but couldn’t draw first blood. After the miss, another long pass and miss by Peek found Baily Cooper for an offensive rebound and putback and Shaw was up 86-84. With 58 seconds left, Smith drove the right baseline on Lovett, who tried to get a charge call. Smith scored to tie it up at 86. Lovett was then fouled on the inbounds and expertly sank both shots. Smith drove again and missed, but Shannon Woods grabbed the offensive board and was fouled in the process. Woods sank one of the two, and Toyo trailed 88-87 at the 45 second mark of the OT period. Looking to drain clock, Shaw worked it down to 20 seconds and Toyo was forced to foul Rush, who made both. Quan Martin then drove the length and made the tough basket to trim his team’s deficit to 90-89 with only 9 seconds showing on the clock. Toyo quickly fouled Lovett, who hit both. Down three, Toyo called a timeout to advance the ball to half court and set up a play in hopes of forcing the second OT. But, Smith missed. The ball was tipped out to Eddie Melvin, who also missed with time expiring, allowing Shaw to advance to the quarterfinals with a 92-89 victory. Smith led Toyo-1 with 30, while Donlin Hinton had 19 and Strickland 13. Christian also had 11 in the loss. For Shaw, Lovett took game-high honors with 34, as Hammett had 20 and Peek 16.

WSEBL Final Four Matchups:

Often during the summer, the success of your team not only depends on all the necessary intangibles, such as team work, ball movement, solid defense and generally just making good plays on the court, but it also relies on teams having consistent personnel, especially when it counts the most. #1 seeded Elite-77/Lady Dynasty and #2 seeded RAK were the two teams, who were able to experience regular attendance of its key players, which is exactly why they will be facing each other for the 2018 WSEBL Championship on this Saturday at 5:45pm.

Elite-77/Lady Dynasty 66 Summer Hill-3 39

#1 seeded Elite-77 (8-0) indicated why they're the top team in the first semi-final match-up of the day on Sunday, displaying their depth as several reserves came off the bench to produce the fuel needed to propel their team to the finals - claiming an easy win over #4 seeded Summer Hill-3. Elite-77 took a commanding 34-18 lead into the half-time break. Iesha Alexander had a typical effort, but it was Alyssa Nicholson and Kimora McClinic, who combined for 23 points for Elite-77. Rachel Irby managed to reach double-figures for SH3, with 10 points, while Chris Banks and Julia Newbert each netted eight, as their season came to a close. Nicholson finished with 13, while Alexander had 11 and McClinic 10. Tanisha Woodard also had eight, with Re’Tavia Floyd and Tarrah Gibson getting seven and six, respectively, as Elite-77 advances to the championship game.

RAK Outfitters 52 Baseline-3 28

#2 seeded RAK (7-1) jumped out to a 20-point spread on the outmatched Baseline-3 squad relatively quickly. Baseline-3, playing without Ariel Anderson and Sandy Almon, who both provide a great deal of help on both ends of the court, could not keep up with the bigger RAK team. RAK waltzed into intermission with a big 28-8 lead. Things didn’t change much in the second half, other than Julia Roberson and the young Alissa Winters, combining for a couple of three points for Baseline-3, to briefly trim RAK’s lead down to 18. But, a couple of balanced buckets from RAK’s Sarah Byers and Becca Cheeks negated any real comeback thoughts. Melissa Winters led Baseline-3 with six points, while Amber Bowen, Alyssa Winters and Roberson all collected five. Carrie Cheeks and Byers each had 12 for RAK, while Tess Wright had seven and Becca Cheeks six.

WSEBL Women's Championship: Saturday, Aug. 11, 2018: #2 RAK Outfitters vs. #1 Elite-77/Lady Dynasty...The stage is set, as the two top WSEBL will be pitted against each other. These two teams fought out a 51-50 overtime regular season thriller back on July 29th, with Elite-77 grabbing the win on a late three-pointer by Tanisha Woodard. This should prove to be another great tilt. Tipoff is set for 5:45pm on Saturday, August 11 at the Summer Hill Complex, inside the confines of JH Morgan Gymnasium.

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