Do you know that movie „Gone with the Wind“? Because that’s what our hopes and ambitions were, when we lost a heartbreaking final game to DJK Venice Beach in a matter of 30 seconds.
First off, I did not make a strong case for the MDP award this year. Went hard Saturday night, multiple rounds of flip cup, multiple rounds of shots, but then again who didn’t? And the professional day time drinking of years past just wasn’t there. If I had to cast a vote, there were some off-duty police officers deserving of the award. On the other hand, that allowed for some of the later Sunday games to resemble actual basketball.
On the basketball side we were able to pick up where we left off last year, winning the first couple of games easily. The reversed format, with the ladies going first and us finishing the games, gave us some garbage time rest. Then came the first of three Eppelheim games, which we went into trailing, due to refereeing and scoreboard screw-ups. Made it competitive, made some good plays, hit crucial threes, had the final shot in a 1-point game, just could not get it to fall.
After that came another beat down of the wild card team, an easy win in the Sunday morning hangover game against Schönau and the second game against Pfitzenmeier. We started with a small lead, and while the game was competitive, it never got that close. Late in the game we ran the lead up to double digits and the Eppelheim fake toughness backfired into a meltdown, with people picking up Technicals and whatnot. Actual quote by #13, to the ref after the game: “Du bist so ne Pussy, Alter”.
Tied at 5-1 records after the group phase we went into the semifinals against Sinsheim, where we coasted home off a comfortable lead, barely doing enough to survive. DJK also qualified for the final game, giving us the third matchup of the weekend.
When our half of the game came around, the score was tied, perfect grounds for a no-excuses deciding game. The level of play in that final game was as high as it got all weekend. Baskets were traded and neither team was able to get any kind of separation. We took a 37-36 lead on an inside score with about 30 seconds left. On the ensuing possession, when a stop would have finished the game, we gave up an inside jumper to their bald point man. Unfortunately that kind of shot is pretty damn hard to stop when you’re in a zone and committed to not fouling on a jumper. After our inbounds with 15 seconds left, the ball never even made it across half court, but was fumbled back to Venice Beach. After 10 seconds of chasing the ball, trying to pressure for a steal we gave up a foul and watched the clock run out at a 39-37 final score. And that’s the challenge of this tournament style of play, late game execution is pretty damn hard, when there is no dead balls, no timeouts, and to be honest no planning of any sorts for these situations. You just roll your dice on the individual plays, win, lose or draw.
As for personal performance, this year was ways ahead of last year and probably also better than most if not all of this year’s injury bothered regular season. The verticality was back, resulting in a two-handed and-1 dunk on the first possession of the first game. Two more dunks came of quick baseline inbounds plays, with an especially strong one in the first Eppelheim game. Had that game in my hands, took the final shot on a hook shot of a dribble drive, could not get it to go. With that shot going down, as well as me getting a block shot on that last play in the final game, I’m in serious talks for tournament MVP, instead of competing for the drinking award. The two-way play was there consistently through all the games. But who the hell picks an MVP off a losing team?
So congratulations to DJK Eppelheim, take that trophy and enjoy your Landesliga mediocrity.
With all that being said, that was still an awesome weekend, we brought home two beautiful pieces of ham and I’m looking forward to next year.
Also, here are this year’s most overused lines:
“Anruf für Dr. Schwuchtel”
“Goa, Goa, Goa, MPU”