Heed the Stampede
METROWEST DRAFT: Week 4 Power Rankings
By Taylor Pettiford | Metrowest Media Associate
As we inch our way towards the halfway mark of our regular season at Metrowest, we see the same three teams atop the power rankings. But a newcomer rounds out our top four: the Stampede. See what has this team jumping THREE spots and what other updates mark our teams league-wide in the below power rankings:
1. BUCKETS GALORE | 3-0
56 ppg, 27 rpg, 6 spg. The combined averages of Buckets Galore’s big three: Yemi Ajao, Roland Millien and Jude Valmeus. The trio’s consistency is matched only by Classic Barbershop’s own big three. Yet we have a feeling this team has still yet to reach their peak.
Week 3 was their best offensive performance as they bludgeoned a sputtering Warriors team. But overall they’re still just fourth in the league in points scored. When you defend the way they do (62.7 points allowed per game), however, they may not need to score any more than they already do; especially if Yemi Ajao continues to be the only player in Boston to lead his team in every major statistical category.
2. CLASSIC BARBERSHOP | 3-0
It was a bittersweet week for Classic Barbershop. Keyon Armstrong (32 points) hit a buzzer-beating three-pointer to keep the team undefeated. Ball movement improved dramatically as both Jay Resto (17 points, 5 assists) and Patrick Luckett (11 points, 7 rebounds) scored in double figures.
Then they were dealt a blow as Raynaldi Voyard, their best defender, was deemed out for the season. Yet the whirlwind continued two days later as Jimmie Melton came off the waiver wire to join the team and fill Voyard’s empty roster spot. Melton brings with him a championship pedigree and versatile skillset. Though for a team that was in the midst of developing chemistry, the timing of this roster move is inconvenient to say the least.
3. REBELS | 2-1
The Rebels lost their undefeated record at the buzzer in Week 3 against, Classic Barbershop. Though just one loss, the blow is compounded; not only does it come just one week before they square off against Metrowest’s top-ranked team, but the loss makes their quest to earn a first-round bye that much harder.
The bright side here is that the team went toe to toe with one of Boston’s best teams despite not having Tiler Balboni in the lineup. Additionally, Taylor Pettiford (18 points, 6 rebounds) is getting better each weak while rookie Aaron Anniballi (22 points) had his best game of the season. The Rebels are dangerous and the league knows it. But they’ll need to get Micah Duarte and their bench pieces more involved, if they have any hopes of a state tournament. Pettiford, Anniballi and Shane Coleman (24 points, 10 rebounds, 4 steals) simply isn’t enough.
4. STAMPEDE | 1-2 (7)
JUMP OF THE WEEK! Stampede entered Week 3 ranked seventh in the league. Yet just one week later, they’ve risen three spots. Why the sudden jump? First and foremost, the horse squad is fresh off a 17-point win against a team (Ballaholics) that is a missed layup away from having beaten Classic Barbershop.
But that 17-point win is large in part due to their new roster construction. Stampede struggled the first two weeks with playmaking and for long stretches of games it seemed Tommy Hubbard was on an island offensively with no one to help carry the load. Yet due to a trade and a waiver wire pickup, Stampede added speedster Niko Whitehead and scorer Rogers Hamel. Though neither set the world on fire in their Stampede debut, their intangibles set them apart from a very good team.
5. BLACK MAMBAS | 1-2 (6)
Third time was the charm for the Black Mambas as they defeated Hustle in their Week 3 win. We saw glimpses of what can make this team special: pesky defense, good ball movement and Arch Mitchell (27 points).
Yet their win came against a Hustle team that lost Joel Katana for a huge stretch in the first half. Kenny Dennis (22 points, 7 rebounds) continued his all-league play and Jose Roman (14 points, 6 assists) had his best game of the season. What’s more is that first-rounder Kenny Seitz wasn’t present. Yet their climb up the standings is an uphill one nonetheless. They see Ballaholics tonight which won’t be an easy out.
6. HUSTLE | 1-2 (4)
Hustle’s drop two spots down the power rankings has less to do with their three-point loss to the Black Mambas and more to do with their outlook for the rest of the season. Promising rookie Matt Potenza has been sidelined by injury since Week 1 and UH Boston leading scorer Joel Katana (knee) is out indefinitely following his Week 3 injury.
Being shorthanded, the team has added Tambo Barrow to the squad. But if Katana’s season is over following his Monday examination, Hustle’s may be over, as well. Barrow, Drew Pettiford and Tomas Morales will have to shoulder the load until Katana returns (or perhaps the rest of the way).
7. BALLAHOLICS | 1-2 (5)
We were all aboard the Ballaholics train after seeing them nearly defeat Classic Barbershop in Week 2. Then that train experienced engine issues in Week 3 en route to a 17-point defeat against Stampede. We’re not sure it’s a train we’ll be boarding again.
Though the team has weapons across the board, Kevin Johnson continuously seems more interested in debating calls with refs than he does getting back on defense, Michael Perreault loses his focus complaining calls and the rest of the team subsequently suffers. When those two are on along with Nick Kineip (24 points, 8 rebounds) and Kevin Neal, this is a tough club to beat. We just have a tough time trusting a team that lets their emotions get in the way of winning.
8. WARRIORS | 0-3
Dear Octavio Cruz, your team(s) could really use you. The heralded big man and 5-time champion has been MIA since Week 1 and his team has suffered due to it. Rookies Sam Longwell (29.5 ppg, 8.5 rpg) and Guy Pistone (19.7 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 4.3 apg) have been playing really well. Without their big man anchoring the paint, however, the Warriors won’t be seeing a win anytime soon.