Greg Jackson, Dylan Brewer and Josh Davis highlight a big Monday night in Fort Worth
Three games across two different leagues took place in Fort Worth last night, and all three of them had massive significance and an interesting storyline. Let’s start with the most significant one, the Forth Worth Draft League championship.
One of the best things about draft leagues is that they generally produce a lot of parity. That was not the case in Fort Worth this season, as the Purple Cobras went 10-0 to win the title, while 7 Men & Glen went 0-9. You never want an undefeated team and a winless team in the same league, especially when the league only has four teams. But the Purple Cobras did not run through the competition this season. They won their 10 games by an average of 10.2 points , and they were involved in three games that were decided by three points or fewer.
No matter how much they won by, they always won, and last night they proved they were the best team in the league by defeating Brick City for the third time this season to secure the summer championship. It wasn’t a pretty win, as the two teams combined to shoot 35% from the field and 24% from deep. There were 42 made shots in the game and 87 rebounds. It’s not a great game for fans of offense, but the Purple Cobras won’t care.
The Purple Cobras were led by Greg Jackson, who led the game in points and rebounds, with 26 and 21 respectively. He struggled from the field, shooting 7-19, but he abused Brick City from the free-throw line, as he was 10-13 from the charity stripe. This caps off what will most-likely be an MVP season for Jackson, as he averaged a double-double of 20.5 points and 13.4 rebounds while leading the Purple Cobras to a 10-0 record.
The first of two semifinal games in the Fort Worth Open League saw a double-overtime thriller, with the Pink Flamingos coming through with an 80-76 victory.
The box score is pretty interesting in this game, as both teams had significant struggles that allowed the other team to stay in the game. The Pink Flamingos shot 55% from the field, which was significantly better than the 36% shooting for Ball Don’t Lie. Even though they shot that poorly, Ball Don’t Lie was able to stay in the game because they out-rebounded the Pink Flamingos by 12 and had half as many turnovers (seven, compared to the Flamingos’ 14).
This game was highlighted by two impressive individual scoring performances from Dylan Brewer and Deitrich Williams. In a winning effort, Brewer was absolutely on fire, as he scored a game-high 36 points on 15-18 shooting. All three of his misses came from deep, so he shot 12-12 from inside the arc. This is nothing too unusual for Brewer, as he’s averaged 25.4 points per game this season on 59% shooting.
The 34-point game from Williams is a little more surprising. Coming into this game, Williams had been averaging 12.8 points per game on 30% shooting from the field and from deep. The 34 points are a season-high for Williams, and the 44% shooting in this game was his second-best shooting percentage in a game this season. He added six rebounds, six assists and four steals to cap off an impressive performance, but it unfortunately came in a losing effort.
This was a prototypical Icemen win, as their league-leading defense came through once again to allow 54 points on 38% shooting. This is slightly lower than the 58.3 points they give up per game, and it is the seventh time (out of 10 games) that they have allowed fewer than 60 points this season.
The Icemen are not an offensive powerhouse, and they do not typically have one player take over games. That was on display in this game, as four different players scored 11 points or more. The most impressive performance came from Josh Davis, as he had a double-double of 12 points and 12 rebounds on 4-7 shooting, adding three assists, three steals and two blocks.
Arguably the most compelling part of this game is the championship matchup it sets up on Wednesday night. It’ll be Pink Flamingos vs. Icemen Part III, providing a finale for what will be an intriguing trilogy between the two best teams in the open league this season. They split the two previous games and now they get to determine a winner of the season series on the biggest stage.
The Pink Flamingos have the best offense in the league, averaging 87.3 points per game, while the Icemen have the best defense, allowing 58.3 points per game. We’ll see if defense truly does win championships, and we’ll find out who is the best team in the open league this summer.