Winners of Nine Straight, BTE Doesn’t Look to be Slowing Down


SUMMERLIN OPEN:  Week Three Power Rankings

By L.C. Comine | Summerlin Media Associate

1. BTE (2-0) 

BTE put on quite a performance last week as they beat the Villains 89-87 in a game that saw BTE win in it in the final seconds thanks to two key free throws by Stefan Hanania.  BTE looked to be in trouble mid way through the second half but they did not panic.  In fact, BTE and the Villains went back and fourth for a two or three minute stretch that was incredible to watch. 

BTE hit 11 straight shots including big threes by Nick Beam, Jordan Cannon, and Edward Vaughns.  BTE shot 56 percent for the game and hit 14-28 threes.  They are still without the services of Andre McFarland who is nursing an injury.  BTE is rolling right along right now and once they get McFarland back they will be even more dangerous.  This week BTE will look for its tenth straight victory as they take on the winless AAO team.

2. Villains (1-1) 

It looked like the Villains were going to knock off the champs last week but a big foul called on Dave Murtha in the final seconds put Stefan Hanania on the line where we won the game for BTE 89-87.  The Villains went toe to toe with the champs and if it weren’t for a stretch where BTE really got fire the Villains would have probably won this game. 

All isn’t lost for the Villains they showed that they will be BTE’s biggest challenger this season and I still like this team when they are all in attendance.  The Villains shot 52 percent from the field against BTE and hit 16-32 from deep.  The combination of Chase Skinkis and Kodiak Yazzie looked good and as the season goes they will get better and better especially if Dave Murtha (26 points last week) continues to score at the pace he is.  This week the Villains get a Livin’ the Dream squad that is coming off a big victory over AAO.

3. Livin’ The Dream (1-1)

Dream got their first win of the season last week with a 95-89 victory over AAO.  John Lazosky had a huge game for Dream as he went for 37 points, grabbed 11 rebounds, and shot 58 percent from the field.  Duelle Thomas Gore also had 18 points and 21 rebounds for Dream.  Dream has this game in control for most of the night but down the stretch they let AAO back in and almost gave it away down the stretch. 

The key for Dream moving forward will be the play of Lazo.  He is showing everyone he is still the elite scorer that he has always been and it looks he is getting better and better each week.  I like the combination with Lazo and Gore especially with sharp shooter Ben Carey on the court with them as well.  Dream has a huge matchup with the Villains this week and a win would definitely send a message to BTE that they are coming for them.

4. AAO (0-2)

This team is 0-2, but make no mistake that they are not out of this thing.  Week 1 they lost on a buzzer beater to the Villains and last week they fell to Livin’ The Dream 95-89.  AAO could have given up against Dream in the second half but they didn’t.  At one point AAO was down 25 in the second half and battled all the way back and had a shot to steal the game in the final minutes. 

Mihail Kocevski continues his impressive play as he scored 27 points to lead AAO.  Bobby Mears had a nice triple double and Dreu Johnson playing injured scored 25 points.  AAO will look to build on that second half comeback this week as they take on the defending champs BTE.  Don’t be shocked if they pull the upset in that one.