Can the Wildcats Be Tamed?
METROWEST REC: Week 2 Predictions
By Taylor Pettiford | MetroWest League Coordinator
Our reigning champions, the Wildcats, have a brand-new roster this session. But with Stephen Dion at the helm, they’re once again the frontrunners for MetroWest’s Rec League Championship. Is there a contender in the league that could possibly tame them? Or will they run wild over the competition all season en route to another championship? Let’s break down this week’s predictions and see.
7 p.m. – TAPPED OUT (1-0) vs. UNCLE DREW ALL STARS (0-1)
The Uncle Drew All Stars had a lousy start to their season as they sought to avenge their championship loss without the services of Jon Waters, their first-round pick. If Waters is around this week, they have a fighter’s chance against Tapped Out whereas Ben Lee, Tedi George and Waters form one of the best backcourts in the league. But without him, they’re in trouble.
Speaking of backcourts, Tapped Out may have the best backcourt in the league. Scott Lubarsky, Chicky Reyes and Tyler Winder not to mention Jim Lambert. They’re short, but fast and scrappy. And with UDAS set to take the court without Andrei Tsarou, size in the paint won’t matter much. It may not be this week, but Winder and Reyes will return to form and make things all the more difficult for the rest of the league. Watch for Keith Rovinelli to have another monster double-double as well.
PREDICTION: Tapped Out by 12 – they’ll force a ton of turnovers, Rovinelli will dominate the glass and either Reyes or Winder will have a breakout game.
7 p.m. – BALL DON’T LIE (1-0) vs. WILDCATS (1-0)
BDL was impressive in Week 1 as AJ Narayanan rained down eight trey balls (including the game-winner) and Nabil Sakhat rained down six of his own. Quietly, captain Justin Holohan put up 15 rebounds and 8 assists as BDL outlasted Hustle. With veterans Brian Fay and Kevin Stone to balance out the youthful backcourt, BDL has the makings of a championship contender. They can shoot it, they can rebound (Holohan and Fay) and they can run. But here’s why they’re not beating the Wildcats:
Stephen Dion’s team is a terror on the offensive glass. He led the league in rebounding during the fall despite being a combo guard and two of the other top five rebounders make up his frontcourt – John Finnerty and Tommy Rogers. Neither Sakhat nor Narayanan is up for the challenge of staying with Dion and matching his boundless energy all night. And while they try to contain him, Felipe Billa, Bobby Jones and Paul Rossini will reap the benefits, getting a ton of wide open looks.
PREDICTION: Wildcats by 8 – Dion will near a triple-double stat line, Finnerty and Rogers will keep Holohan busy in the paint and Narayanan and Sakhat’s lack of ball movement will take BDL’s offense out of sync.
8 p.m. – HUSTLE (0-1) vs. OLD GAME CHANGERS (0-1)
Both teams are fresh off a week’s long stay in Heartbreak City as Hustle lost by three points in the final seconds of regulation and OGC lost by five in overtime. Hustle’s matchup was a chemistry developer. While many of their players have played pickup together, it was the first time they’d all joined up in the league. On the bright side, Jeff Raymond (36 points, 11 rebounds) proved he’s healthy again and his rookie Atit Patel looked promising. Add Lou Hinckley, John Hang and Roberto Bonilla to the mix and this is a strong team that can compete.
How will OGC fare? They’re always going to fight and grind. But this season more than last, they’ll need to knock down shots to win. Last week they shot a dreadful 17 percent from beyond the arc, a mark that will need to double if they want to have a chance tonight. Their four-guard, pressure defense lineup of Brendan Connolly, Josh Adjei, Grant Hornung and Andrew Christopherson can work. But only if they shoot significantly better than they did in Week 1.
PREDICTION: Hustle by 5 – OGC will force a lot of turnovers, but Jeff Raymond will dominate in the paint, Patel will stretch the floor and Bonilla will open things up via the fast break.
1. Wildcats (1-0)
2. Tapped Out (1-0)
3. Ball Don’t Lie (1-0)
4. Hustle (0-1)
5. OGC (0-1)
6. UDAS (0-1)