Richie Byrd and Gale Force ends Chris Frey's dominance over Garden City

Gale Force, captained by Richie Byrd (12)

Gale Force, captained by Richie Byrd (12)

Ever since Chris Frey started playing in the Garden City Draft League, he has had almost nothing but success.

His first season in Garden City was in the Winter of 2018, when he captained the Thundercats to a 6-4 record, losing in the championship game to Unthinkable…captained by Richie Byrd.

After a two-season hiatus, Frey came back in the Fall of 2018 and has been playing in every season since. Heading into last night’s championship game, Frey’s ShoreShack had a combined record of 35-4 since the start of the Fall 2018 season, winning three straight titles in that span.

That run of titles was ended last night, as a Byrd-led side once again got the better of Frey in a championship game. Gale Force dethroned Shore Shack 60-53 to see Garden City get a new champion for the first time in four seasons.

“If you go back to the first interview, we said that we were coming for House Frey, and Gale Force came for House Frey,” Sky Khaleel said in a post-game interview with Anthony Leo. “We couldn’t let them win four consecutive championships, cause we never would’ve heard the end of Frey talking.”

Gale Force was able to come away with the victory for two main reasons. First was the defensive effort, as they held Shore Shack to 37% shooting from the field and 14% from deep. The 53 points Gale Force allowed is 18.3 points fewer than Shore Shack has averaged this season.

“Defense was a huge part of getting to the championship and actually winning it,” Willis Cheatham said in the same post-game interview, alongside Khaleel. “There’s no egos on this team, everyone plays their role, so if the defense is on point, the sky’s the limit.”

The other main reason was the play of Byrd, who scored a game-high 29 points. He struggled a bit from the field, shooting 8-23, but he made up for it at the free-throw line, making all 10 attempts. This was the second-lowest scoring total in a game this season for Byrd, but in the intensity of a championship game, that’s to be expected. He still came through with 48% of his team’s points and was the best player on the floor, leading Gale Force to end the reign of House Frey over Garden City.