FOB Five Remains Unbeaten After Improbable Comeback
FRIDLEY REC+: Week 5 Power Rankings
By Jake Gave | Fridley League Coordinator
1. FOB Five (4-0)
Last week: No. 1, beat Uncle D.A. and the Killers 82-79
Player of the Week: Adam Hoven (11 points, 11 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 steals, 6 blocks, 3-5 FG, 28.7 PPR)
FOB Five was nearly upset last week by Uncle D.A. and the Killers in a game where they trailed 79-71 with just under two minutes remaining. They fought and scrapped their way back, finishing on a 11-0 run to stun the Killers. The ending of the game was live streamed if on the FB page if you want to check it out. This was a big win for the squad who was missing their top scorer Brian Sames and lockdown defender Jon Christenson. The comeback showed their resiliency and their belief that they can always win. FOB found a way to get the W and I expect them to keep racking up victories in the second half of the season.
2. Bulls (3-1)
Last week: No. 2, beat Triple Double 84-67
Player of the Week: Mahlon Thomas (25 points, 10 rebounds, 11-17 FG, 25.8 PPR)
The Bulls had a very solid outing against Triple Double and were able to coast to a comfortable victory. They shot well as a team (51 percent) but really shined on the defensive end, holding Triple Double to a poor 38 percent shooting night. Mahlon Thomas continues to have a big impact for the squad as he led the way with a big 25-point, 10-rebound double-double. The Bulls certainly have a lot of firepower on the offensive end, but their defense has been the highlight so far this season. They lead the league in steals and are third in points allowed (78.0). This team definitely have all the pieces for a title run and they just need to keep taking care of business.
3. The Originals (3-1)
Last week: No. 3, beat Wolves 108-104
Player of the Week: Max Wessel (27 points, 8 rebounds, 10-15 FG, 3-6 3FG, 28.6 PPR)
The Originals bounced back after their first loss of the season by taking down the Wolves last week and improving to 3-1. They only won by four points, even though they held a double-digit lead near the end of the game. It only became close after some pretty awful defense in the final minutes. The win over the Wolves was pivotal for playoff seeding and got this team back on the right track. The Originals continued their amazing shooting by knocking down 54 percent of their 35 attempts from deep. They lead the league in both points per game (109.0) and assists (23.8). There is no doubt who the best offensive team in the league is right now and these guys are nearly impossible to beat when they are hitting their shots.
4. Bigsmash (3-1)
Last week: No. 5, beat Bakke’s Bombers 80-71
Player of the Week: Zhao Lee (35 points, 5 rebounds, 3 steals, 12-19 FG, 7-10 3FG, 30.9 PPR)
Bigsmash moved up another spot in the rankings this week after their defeat of Bakke’s Bombers in Week 4. This game was a pretty tight one until the last minute or so when Bigsmash was able to execute much better down the stretch than the Bombers. Zhao Lee was unconscious in this one, hitting 7 of his 10 shots from deep and finishing with a game high 35 points. Glen Fair finished with a 23-point, 13-rebound double-double and the inside out game with him and Zhao worked to perfection. The most impressive part about the win may be that they did it all without Joe Suek. This squad has been quietly picking up some momentum and will look to make some noise in the second half of the season.
5. Wolves (2-2)
Last week: No. 4, lost to The Originals 104-108
Player of the Week: Bryan Munsell (27 points, 6 assists, 9-18 FG, 3-7 3pt, 22.3 PPR)
The Wolves moved down a spot after suffering their second loss on the season. They came up just short of taking down The Originals which would have been a big win. It was a tie game with about four minutes remaining when The Originals went on a big run to extend the lead to double digits. A late run by the Wolves made things interesting, but it was too little too late. They matched The Originals offensive pace, shooting 54 percent from deep and 55 percent overall. However, they let The Originals shoot slightly better at 60 percent and that ended up giving them the edge. Even though they took the L, the Wolves hung with the league’s top offensive team and they showed that they got the firepower to hang with anybody.
6. Bakke’s Bombers (2-2)
Last week: No. 6, lost to Bigsmash 71-80
Player of the Week: Dashawn Nichols (21 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 9-15 FG, 2-2 3FG, 20.5 PPR)
Bakke’s Bombers lost a tough one last week to Bigsmash, 71-80. This game was a lot closer than the score may indicate and the Bombers actually brought it to a one-point game with a little over a minute left. However, a couple poor plays defensively from miscommunication led to a quick 5-0 run from Bigsmash to put the game out of reach. One positive for the Bombers is that they continue to be the league’s top defensive squad, only allowing 74.5 points per game. They are also second in the league in rebounding and will need to continue to use their size and athleticism to their advantage. Bakke’s Bombers needs to find some more scoring, but their defensive effort and style of play will keep them in every game.
7. Jumpshot Hustlers (1-3)
Last week: No. 9, beat Team FOE 75-56
Player of the Week: Jake Ruhland (10 points, 14 rebounds, 6 assists, 2-3 FG, 25.1
The Jumpshot Hustlers finally got on the board last week by taking down Team FOE by 19 points. The Hustlers got the tough stretch of their schedule over with and will look to start stacking W’s. The Hustlers were actually down to Team FOE by one point at the break but took over in the second half. The offense was operating smoothly as they assisted on 19 of their 27 made buckets. More impressively was the defense effort from the Hustlers, as they held Team FOE to 56 points and 13 percent shooting from beyond the arc. Jake Ruhland continues to drive this team and they have some nice pieces who keep stepping up as well like Jared Hughes who led the team in scoring with 28 points. These guys may only be 1-3, but they fought hard against some of the league’s top teams and I expect them to finish closer to .500.
8. Uncle D.A. and the Killers (1-3)
Last week: No. 7, lost to FOB Five 79-82
Player of the Week: Tyler Weaver (20 points, 7 rebounds, 9-13 FG, 2-3 3FG, 20.6 PPR)
I have no doubt that the Killers are still shaking their heads about letting last week’s game slip to FOB Five. Up by eight with 1:40 left in the game, they just needed to take care of the ball and knock down some free throws to upset the No. 1 team in the league. However, they did the exact opposite, committing some untimely turnovers and allowing FOB to finish the game on an 11-0 run. They shot very well from the field (55 percent) but left a few points at the free throw line (8-15) that they wish they could have back. One positive for this squad is the play of Dwayne Toatley, who finished with 11 points and has still yet to miss a field goal on the season (13-13). Even though it was a pretty epic collapse, the Killers showed they can play with any team in the league and that they can’t be taken lightly.
9. Team FOE (1-3)
Last week: No. 8, lost to Jumpshot Hustlers 56-75
Player of the Week: Andre Thomas (25 points, 7 rebounds, 2 steals, 10-17 FG, 26.1 PPR)
Team FOE fell to 1-3 after a brutal second half in their loss to the Jumpshot Hustlers. They actually led by one point at the break but were outscored by 20 in the second half. The story of the game for Team FOE was the awful shooting for everyone not named Andre Thomas. Andre led the squad with 25 points on 59 percent shooting but the rest of the guys combined for 12-48 (25 percent). That kind of efficiency won’t get it done against any team in the league and they will need to be better moving forward. FOE currently sits in last place in both scoring and scoring defense so they need to find a spark from somewhere if they want to turn things around and make a run in the playoffs.
10. Triple Double (0-4)
Last week: No. 10, lost to Bulls 67-84
Player of the Week: Justin Fenster (31 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals, 11-21 FG, 9-17 3FG, 19.4 PPR)
Triple Double remains winless on the season after falling to the Bulls by 17 points. They were able to stick with the Bulls in the second half, but a 14-point deficit at the break proved too much to overcome. They will need to find some more balance offensively, as Justin Fenster had a great game with 31 points on 11 made field goals, but the rest of the squad only combined for 12 made field goals. It’s tough to win with one player accounting for nearly half your offense. Triple Double should be getting Mejoy Lawson back this week which will help immensely on both ends of the floor. His presence over the past three weeks has been sorely missed, and we will see if he can help right the ship and get this team on the right path.