BTE Survives in an Instant Classic Against the Villains

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SUMMERLIN OPEN:  Week 6 Power Rankings

By L.C. Comine | Summerlin Media Associate

1.  BTE (5-0)

BTE won their 12th straight game this past Monday as they held on and defeated the Villains at the buzzer 80-77.  This was the second time in many weeks that BTE defeated the Villains in the final seconds.  This time around though BTE was lucky to win.  BTE had a 23-point lead early in the second half and then the Villains decided it was time to play. 

The Villains’ new pickup Drew Johnson led the charge on offense with 31 points but it was his defense on MVP Jordan Cannon that frustrated BTE in the second half.  But the champs showed why they were the champs down the stretch and hit the big shots when it counted the most.  No shot was bigger than the 3-pointer hit by Andre McFarland as time expired to give BTE the victory.  Mark December 

3rd on your calendar its when these teams play again to close out the regular season.  BTE can clinch the No. 1 seed this week with a win against the iron five AAO team.

2.  Villains (3-2)

The Villains came up a bit short this past week against the defending champs losing at the buzzer (again) to BTE 80-77.  It was a game that saw the Villains down by 20-plus in the second half but the Villains battled back and actually led by six with a few minutes left.  They could not hang on down the stretch but they once again proved they can beat BTE and it is just a formality that they will meet in the finals.  Dreu Johnson played his first game with the Villains (on Monday) and made quite an impact. 

He scored 31 points, collected 6 boards, and dished out 5 assists.  Dave Murtha also had 24 points and 12 rebounds for the Villains.  Johnson and Murtha will be a dangerous combination to deal with the rest of the season, and with Chase Skinkis running the show the Villains will be as dangerous as ever come playoff time.  Next up for the Villains is another matchup with Livin’ the Dream who they did defeat this past week 119-107 in a make up game from Week 3.

3.  Livin’ The Dream (2-3)

Dream had a nice victory last week over the now short-handed AAO team.  Dream had to hold off a late rally by AAO but in the end got the win 96-93.  The duo of John Lazosky and Duelle Gore really led the way for Dream.  They combined for 58 points, 22 rebounds, and 7 assists.  When these two are on the same page and feeding off each other, they have been unstoppable. 

What Dream needs is someone else to step up and be the third option if one of them is off.  There is a lot of talent on this team and Dream has three games left to come together.  Most importantly, Dream needs to get better on defense.  They are giving up 109 PPG so far this season and if that continues in the last three games its possible they could really limp into the playoffs.  They get another game with the Villains this week and they will need huge games from Lazo and Gore on both ends of the court if they want to knock off the No. 2 team in the power rankings.

4. AAO (0-5)

Well after some roster moves that left this team with only five players AAO almost knocked off Livin’ The Dream but they couldn’t quite close it out and fell 96-93.  AAO is sitting at 0-5 and the rest of the season will more than likely be an uphill climb for this squad with only five players.  Granted this team is loaded with talent and if they want to turn it around they will need Mihail Kocevski to continue to his red hot play.  Mihail is averaging 25.6 PPG to lead AAO and is shooting 51 percent from the field on the season. 

AAO still has an outside chance at getting the No. 3 seed in the playoffs which would mean they would win out or win two of three and get some help.  If that happens AAO will need Amer Haddad to elevate his game to a higher level and Barrington Milner will have to do the same.  Haddad is averaging a double-double on the season, but if he can improve on his 33 percent shooting from the field, and if Milner can do the same, then AAO will be more consistent and some of the load will be taken off Kocevski and Bobby Mears.  AAO has a big time game this week against BTE.