Who Will Advance to Play on Wednesday?
BLOOMINGTON SOUTH: Play-In Round Predictions
By Ken Farmer | Bloomington South League Coordinator
7 p.m. - No. 8 Lightning (2-6) vs No. 9 Red Devils (2-6)
Points per game - 62.1
Points allowed per game - 72.8
Top scorers - Jake Gave (17.7), Dillon Carlson (10.4), Mike Healey (9.4)
Points per game - 63.4
Points allowed per game - 66.3
Top scorers - Ben Davis (16.8), Aaron Zietlow (13.2), Alex Riley (12.9)
Previous meeting: (Week 8) Lightning 72, Red Devils 59
The Lightning and the Red Devils will meet for the second week in a row to kick off the Fall 2018 Bloomington South Playoffs. These two capped off the regular season with a matchup that went in favor of the Lighting. They were excellent on the defensive end, holding the Red Devils to 36 percent shooting from the field and 24 percent from beyond the arc. On the offensive end, they shot 48 percent from the field despite shooting just 23 percent from 3-point range. Jake Gave was terrific in this game, scoring 24 points while shooting 85 percent from the floor. Dillon Carlson also had a productive game, scoring 19 points while adding 5 rebounds and 5 assists. The Red Devils were hampered by not only their low shooting percentage, but by 13 turnovers as well. Alex Riley scored 18 points and dished out 5 assists to lead the offense.
The Lightning were fantastic in bottling up the Red Devils’ perimeter threat. The Red Devils took 33 3-pointers and managed to make just eight of those attempts. They average over 30 3-point attempts per game so the Lightning must ensure the Red Devils don’t get hot from deep. As for the Red Devils, they must make a concerted effort to limit their turnovers. Empty possessions not only hurt their offense, but will give the Lightning scoring opportunities in transition. They’ll also have to come up with a plan to slow down Jake Gave, who was a terror on the offensive end.
8 p.m. - No. 7 Player’s Club (3-5) vs No. 10 Free Agents (1-7)
Points per game - 71.6
Points allowed per game - 75.6
Top scorers - Steven Kelsey (20.0), Tony DeBoer (19.1), Keith Ford (9.5)
Points per game - 51.9
Points allowed per game - 76.3
Top scorers - Vernon Simmons (17.4), Matthew Bertsch (15.3), Howard Lucas (10.3)
Previous matchup: (Week 5) Player’s Club 72, Free Agents 63
The Player’s Club take on the Free Agents in the second Play-In matchup of the evening. The Player’s Club are coming off a big win over the Guerrillas in their season finale and will be coming into this game with momentum and confidence. The Free Agents have a chance to play spoiler and are capable of giving their opponent all they can handle. The Player’s Club won in the previous matchup thanks to the dynamic duo of Steven Kelsey and Tony DeBoer, who combined for 46 points. They were also able to force 15 turnovers while giving up the ball just 6 times. The Free Agents were led by Matthew Bertsch, who scored a game-high 28 points while shooting 81 percent from the floor. They shot 51 percent from the field as a team while limiting their opponent to 42 percent shooting, which shows that turnovers really cost them this game. Vernon Simmons added 19 points and 9 rebounds.
The Free Agents will have to do a better job containing Kelsey and DeBoer in this matchup. It’s certainly easier said than done, but they can’t afford either to get hold from the field. They must also take care of the ball offensively and can’t let turnovers decide the game once again. As for the Player’s Club, their key is to close out defensive possessions and not let the the Free Agents grab offensive rebounds. The Free Agents have had success on the offensive glass and they cannot be given second chances. They’ve also had great ball movement and must keep the ball moving on the offensive end.