Last Saturday, August 26, the men’s summer hoop league, the South Boston Basketball Association (SBBA), held their opening round of playoff games at “M” Street Park. The weather was completely cooperative with the sun shining brightly in the beautiful blue sky. It was a picture-perfect day for outdoor activities. And, after the games, the players enjoyed some cold drinks and engaged in more competitive endeavors, by holding half-court and three-point contests, to see who would go home the victor.
Cranberry Café 45
SB Back and Neck 36
The Cranberry Club opening up an impressive 17-2 lead to begin the game and it appeared as though they were going to coast to an easy victory. But this was not to be the case in this fiercely-fought tilt. The South Boston Back and Neck Center Club didn’t pack it in and closed the gap to eight, 25-18, at the break. With 12:10 remaining in the second half, the Center Club continued to battle back and closed the deficit to a deuce, 30-28. But then, Brian Goodman hit two consecutive three-pointers from the corners to give his team some breathing room, and a comfortable 36-28 advantage. This proved to be all that the Cranberry Café Club boys needed to go home with an opening round victory and advancement to the semi-finals.
Guards Brian Good and Cliff Carter each netted 10 points (2 treys), while Jason Coughlin and Mark Goodman had five points apiece. Center Brendan Carter and Dave Lane had terrific games defensively and both grabbed some key rebounds. For the Center Club, Kevin Cahill scored 12 points, Matt Alessi had 9 points (2 treys), while Joe Milisi finished with 6 points and Greg Horne had 5 points and a handful of rebounds.
Lindberg Club 51
Rotary Variety 36
The Lindberg Club went on a 14-2 run at the beginning of the game and realized a 24-13 lead at intermission. The Rotary Variety Club opened the second half on an 11-6 run, to close the gap to 6, but that was about as close as they would get, as the Lindberg Club cruised to an easy victory. Eddie “Wilt” Curran scored 14 points, Scott Martin had 12 points, Scotty Lewis and Tommy Beatty had 9 and 8 points respectively, and Pat Lavey contributed 5 points. For the Rotary Club, Eddie Ryan had a strong game and scored 14 points, Rob Zarnoch had 11 points, and Pat Houlihan scored 5 points.
Mirisola Club 41
Donovan Club 39
The G.A. Donovan Club took an early 11-3 lead, but the veteran-laden Mirisola Club battled back, and surged ahead at the break, 19-16. They actually listened to their coach, stopped bickering amongst themselves and stopped complaining about the officiating. Sometimes things do change even if momentarily. But, I digress, let’s back to the game.
The second half was close down to the wire. The lead exchanged hands several times and with 10:25 left, the Mirisola Club was holding on to a tenuous 31-26 lead. With 4:29 left on the game clock, T.J. Gondek had a tip-in and Paul Dooley drove to the hoop for a deuce to give their squad a 39-31 lead. The Donovan Club then responded with some clutch-shooting, and with 53 second left to play, Jim Baxter hit a monster trey to tie it up, 39-39. The next 40 seconds were nerve wracking for both teams as neither team scored, but with 10 seconds left, T.J. Gondek drove to the hoop from the foul line, and hit a 10-foot jumper to win the battle as time expired.
For the Mirisola Club, Gondek, Dooley, and Bobby McGarrell had 13, 12, and 11 points respectively, while for Donovan’s, Baxter netted 18 points (3 treys), Matt Gilardi had 8 points, and Glen Goff finished the season with 5 points.