Gale Force Takes the Top Spot as Only Undefeated Team Remaining
GARDEN CITY: Week 3 Power Rankings
By Anthony Leo | Garden City Co-League Coordinator
1. Gale Force (2-0)
Gale Force enters Week 3 as the number one team in the league. They are the last remaining undefeated team this season. They rank first in the league in scoring at 83 points per game and they are top three in defense only allowing 70 points per game. Richie Byrd has dominated the first two games of the season and is leading the league in scoring at 38.5 points per game while shooting 61 percent from the field and 57 percent from deep. If these numbers continue Byrd will be well on his way to an MVP caliber season. The roster is built perfectly around Byrd with two excellent big men in Sky Khaleel and Kevin Milella and then plenty of shooters who can knock down a 3 and spread the floor.
2. Jeurys Familia (1-1)
Jeurys Familia bounced back last week with a much-needed win. They came out on fire and put away Winter’s Here within the first few minutes of the game when they took a 20-4 lead and eventually won the game 73-63. People around the league are not giving this team enough credit because of the way their roster is built. The roster is different from the rest of the league, but that doesn’t mean anything when you have excellent players. Any team lead by the Unstuck legends of Mike Mastro, floor general Craig Rallo and three points marksmen Jordan Oringer are going to be tough to beat. Adding Steven Medard to the mix only makes them that much better. They have more size than anyone else and they currently rank tops in the league in points allowed.
3. Winter’s Here (1-1)
Winter’s Here had a rough Week 2 losing to Jeurys Familia, but they were shorthanded without Mason Horne. With Mason back in the fold I believe Winter’s Here is a top team in this league. Winter’s Here just has too much talent to not be great this season. Brandon Wilson in his return to the league is averaging 30 points per game and team captain Will Hennep has been playing the best basketball of his UH career over the past two seasons now. What makes this team so dangerous is they are very versatile and have a lot of solid players who do their job. Carl Garcia and Jeff Clermont both can rebound and defend and they fill out the starting five for Winter’s Here. With Mason back this week we will get another look at his game and we’ll see just how good Winter’s Here really is.
4. Shake N Bake (1-1)
Donte Howell and Shake N Bake are 1-1 on the season, but could easily be 2-0 if Winter’s Here didn’t shoot the lights out in their Week 1 matchup. They have played two close games to start their season and have been tested in both. Having close games with a new team is a great way to prepare for bigger games in the season and especially the playoffs. Shake N Bake stands out amongst the other teams in this league because they have so many playmakers. It’s obvious that Donte Howell is the lead guy on this team, but he can play off the ball this season with Kareem Daniel or Steve Gurin bringing up the ball. They no longer have to rely on Howell to score 30-plus every night to win, but he needs to flip the switch he can take over a game.
5. Shore Shack (1-1)
Shore Shack is coming off of a triple OT win over Lessons 4 Kids thanks to two big shots from Chris Frey and Matt Gelsomino. Frey tied the game to force another OT and Gelsomino hit a 4-point play with one second left to win the game 92-91 after being down three with 21 seconds left. In that game they were without Chris Pisciotta, who is one the best players in the league. Frey and Pisciotta are undefeated when they are on the court together and Week 3 could be the first week we see them out there together with this new team. Right now, it’s hard to gauge what Shore Shack will look like with everyone out there, but they will immediately get better with Pisciotta back on the floor. Pisciotta can start the break straight from a defensive board and get this team out and running. This team will be at their best in transition, with Gelsomino spotting up, Frey and Dylan Harlem attacking the basket and Pisciotta running the point.
6. Big Ballers (1-1)
The Big Ballers dropped their first game of the season last week when they failed to execute down the stretch against Shake N Bake. Calvin Brown was on fire from deep and didn’t get the ball in some crucial points in the game. Brown leads the team in scoring at 20 points per game and is shooting 40 percent from deep to start the season. Brown in his return to the league has been excellent. The biggest surprise on this team has been the play of Marc Jean, who is a rookie in this league. Jean is averaging 16.5 points per game with 2.5 steals per game and is well on his way to being in the rookie of the year conversation. Big Ballers has a lot of talented players and it’s very early right now but if they can put it all together they will be a dangerous team this season.
7. Ref Elites (1-1)
Ref Elites started their season off with a huge win over Jeurys Familia, but last week they had no answers for Gale Force and Richie Byrd. They were without Jon Ager who is a big piece to their offense. With Ager back hopefully this week Ref Elites can put their big four out there again and try and get back on track. You can make the argument that no other team in the league has a stronger four with RaShawn Church, Matt Mehler, Jon Ager and Desmond Frazier. All together they have everything you need to win games in this league. Shane Soltren fills out their starting five and doesn’t get enough credit either for his play making ability. I expect Ref Elites to be a problem for other teams this season, but we need to see the full roster out there each week to get it done.
8. 1-877-Lessons 4 Kids (0-2)
Lessons 4 Kids suffered a heart-breaking loss in triple OT last week. They fought all the way to the very last second before making a huge mistake on the last play of the game. They should be 1-1 right now, but instead they sit at 0-2 as the only winless team in the league. Quaron Blount has been everything they could have asked for leading the way in scoring for this team. He is second in the league in points per game at 34, but has not been as efficient as he was in his incredible summer season. Quaron needs to be the play maker on this team and for Lessons 4 Kids to take the next step he needs to create offense for not only himself but others. Jake Rosenbloom is one of the best players in the league at playing off the ball and he can score from anywhere around the rim.
8:30 p.m. - Shore Shack vs. Winter's Here | Shore Schack
8:30 p.m. - Jeurys Familia vs. Big Ballers | Jeurys Familia
9:30 p.m. - Shake N Bake vs. Ref Elites | Shake N Bake
9:30 p.m. - Gale Force vs Lessons 4 Kids | Gale Force