Friday, July 29, 2011

NE Playaz Gettin the Job Done out in California

Playaz Go-to-Guy
 Pool Play - Game #3
- After winning their first two pool play games on Wednesday, the NE Playaz this morning played their third and final pool play game against Iowa Pump N' Run.  The 1st half was not a pleasant one for the Playaz as they struggled to score the ball and watched Iowa throw in a barrage of three-point bombs from all over the floor.  At the half, the Playaz trailed Iowa by a score of 31-14 and there were no smiling faces on the Playaz sideline.  Coach John Carroll was so perturbed that he sat down all five of his starters to start the 2nd half.  The ploy worked to perfection as the Playaz opened the half playing with desperation,  and never looked back.  They employed a full-court diamond-and-one press which absolutely terrorized Iowa, forcing them into turnover after turnover and converting most of them into quick scores.  When Iowa did manage to beat the press, Tarczewski was waiting for them at the other end to squash any notions of getting an easy bucket after breaking pressure.

Throughout the 2nd half, the Playaz chipped away at the 17 point halftime deficit, finally erasing the Iowa lead and going ahead with about 5 minutes on the clock before winning the game going away by a final of 57-48, outscoring Iowa 43-17 in the 2nd half.  After a scoreless first half, John Papale exploded for 19 in the 2nd on 3 treys, 3 fgs, and 4 fts.  Also coming up big for the Playaz in the second half were Joe Bramanti, who was all over the place on the press, and Terry Brutus, whose relentless attack wore on the Iowa front-line.  With the win, the Playaz finish pool play at 3-0, winning Super Pool M and gaining a top seed in the Championship Bracket.

Best of Summer Classic - Gold Bracket 1st Rd
- In the 1st Rd of Bracket Play, the New England Playaz went up a hard-charging Rise Team out of Philly, a physical ball-club who will challenge you on every inch of the court.  The game was a dogfight all the way, with neither team ever leading by more than 4 or 5 points.  The 1st half was a defensive half for sure, as the teams headed into the break with the Playaz up 25-23.  The 2nd half was a mirror image of the 1st, except it was Rise who outscored the Playaz 25-23.  You don't have to be Buck Showalter to figure out that the game went into OT tied at 48, and in OT, it was all Playaz, as John Papale knocked down a few jumpers and a few free throws and the Playaz held Rise OT scoreless to end up winning the game by about 10.  Papale scored 20+ and again was the go to guy for the Playaz.  In the paint, Kaleb Tarczewski was a mountain and registered a hard-fought double-double playing against a rugged Rise front-line.  Jared Reuter also did a nice job of banging inside and scoring the basketball through contact.  Also, Makai Mason, limited playing time, showed flashes of his talent and potential with several big time basketball plays.  He's going to be very good. 

With the win, the Playaz move on to the 2nd Round tomorrow morning, where they will play to advance to the Sweet 16. 

College Coaches:  Present for Kaleb Tarczewski were Arizona boss Sean Miller (with an assistant) and Joe Dooley, assistant for Kansas.  Marquette was there for Terry Brutus as was Adam Ginsberg of UMass for John Papale.  Other school in attendance were BU, Toledo, URI, Princeton, San Francisco, Cincinatti, George Mason, Providence,Temple, Houston, Santa Clara, Dartmouth, and more.

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