The Ball Stars end a three-year run of the Villains playing in the Summerlin Open championship game

Andreu Johnson of Ball Stars

Andreu Johnson of Ball Stars

On Monday, September 19, 2016, the Villains lost 96-90 in the Summerlin Open League semifinals against BTE. That was the last time the Villains failed to make it to the championship game in the Summerlin Open League, as the defending champions were upset by Ball Stars last night, losing 88-84 in a double-overtime thriller.

I have to say I was shocked when I checked the leagues website this morning and saw this result. The Villains have played BTE in every championship game in the Summerlin Open League since the Summer 2018 season. I had gotten used to penciling in those two teams to play for the title, so it was incredibly surprising to see the Ball Stars pull off this upset.

The box score reflects how close this game was. Both teams had the same amount of turnovers, the Villains only had four more rebounds, there was only a 3% difference in field-goal shooting and a 2% difference in 3-point shooting. The main difference came down to individual play, and each team had two massive performers.

The Ball Stars were led by Leonard Mitchell III and Andreu Johnson, who combined to score 61 points on 17-35 shooting, adding 11 rebounds, seven assists and five steals.

The Villains had a lethal combination of David Ware Jr. and Chase Skinkis, who combined to score 58 points on 27-46 shooting, adding 15 rebounds, 12 assists and five steals.

The upset win is made more surprising when you consider that the Ball Stars played without Jerome Williams, who’s averaging 13.7/16.3/7.3 on 52% shooting this season. Hollis Hale and David Murtha, two dangerous players for the Villains, weren’t in attendance for the losing side, but they have played in a combined three games this season, so that’s not really surprising.

To give this upset more context, look at the amount of championships the Villains’ players have won compared to the Ball Stars’ players. If you just count the six players on both teams that played last night, the Villains have a combined 43 championships compared to Ball Stars’ nine.

All of this drama took place at 7:30 p.m., just after BTE took care of business in their semifinal, defeating Street(er) Fighters 125-99. The undefeated 1-seed had four players score 20 points or more in the comfortable win. They look more than ready to win their fourth title in five seasons. Will their run of dominance continue, or do the Ball Stars have one more upset in them?