The end finally came for the inaugural season of the Love2Ball League. It took exactly two months to finish this league out. Regular season games were played at Settegast Park on 2nd ward with the playoffs and finals finished out at the Filhoops Gym out in Spring Branch.
8 teams signed up to take part, Aztecas, Charlton, Hoopgrinders, Da Nets, The Gentlemen, By Any Means, Free Agents, and Southside Ballers. Two teams dropped shortly after the season started with Aztecas not able to commit due to their multiple leagues on Sunday and Da Nets who disappeared. An AAU team played one game but decided not to come back. We were able to get one last minute team to join (Pineypoint) and lock in the season with 7 teams.
All teams played 6 regular season games and the 1st placed team (Southside Ballers) got a bye for the playoffs. The first game of the playoffs was between Charlton and By Any Means which Charlton won pretty easily after winning by more than 50+. The second game was Hoopgrinders vs Pineypoint. Both teams had faced each other during the regular season and reinforcements finally showed up for Hoopgrinders since they were playing with different players throughout the season and it looked they finally got a good mix of players for the playoffs, however in the playoff game they started trailing by 20 points after the second half and bad turnovers, missed shots led to frustration and fighting broke out among the hoopgrinders. The game was called off and Pineypoint advanced to the semifinal. The gentlemen faced off the free agents which was basically a rematch of an regular season game where free agents pulled an upset win after taking it to overtime. The gentlemen brought their full squad and the free agents had only three players with them in the beginning requiring them to use two players from the stands and most importantly be penalized in points. The game seemed as if the gents were going to pull an overwhelming victory however two regular players from the free agents showed up right before half time and helped the team get as close to within 8 points while being down almost 20+ points. All that hustle from the free agents took a lot of energy and a couple of players got very winded, with very little subs to use they had to keep on playing on an empty tank. In the end fatigue was a factor and the free agents ultimately succumbed to not having a full roster.
The first semi-final and most exciting match of the night was between Charlton and Southside Ballers. The match was anticipated as Charlton and Southside Ballers didn’t face off in the regular season. The game had multiple lead changes back and forth and it went down to the final minute and a half of the 4th quarter to determine a winner with Southside Ballers advancing to the final.
The gents faced Pineypoint in the second semi-final game. Both teams didn’t play each other in the regular season as the gents didn’t show for their game and pineypoint got the default win. The match went underway and the gents took an early lead in the game although pineypoint kept it very close. Around the third quarter the referee had to stop the game due to tempers flaring up and calls not being made. After 15 minutes of deliberation with the referee the game resumed. Game was pretty close till about the 5 minute mark at the 4th quarter when after several deliberate fouls were made from both sides and since they weren’t called by the referee, it led to both teams getting into a heated argument and a fight broke out afterwards between the teams. Fortunately everyone came to their senses and calmed down but because punches were thrown from both teams, they were disqualified.
Because Southside Ballerz advanced to the final and the two teams in the other semifinal both got disqualified, they had no one else to play and thus were automatically crowned champions of the inaugural season.
Moving forward I would like to thank all the teams for participating and being patient with getting the games scheduled. Playing at a public park is not easy since we have to rely on several factors such as weather, court conditions, and availability. I know several players had issues with Settegast being very slippery and to have good quality games we need to have a place with good surface so more than likely we won’t be playing at that park any longer. Because of heated arguments from players, we’ll have to have mandatory security and most importantly have good quality refs that can officiate the games properly. This is my first time running a league and I’ve tried my best with the limited resources available to make things run efficiently but things can only improve from here on out. I’ll be taking a small break from competing in any leagues or organizing but this will give me time to brainstorm and provide a better and improved league for Season 2. While there isn’t any definite date on when this league will start, I want everyone to save up because in order to get this upcoming league ran the correctly, it’s going to cost a little bit more. Hopefully we get a good amount of returning teams with the addition of new teams to make it great and exciting.
Thank you all.