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Thursday, July 23, 2009



Deveroes Summer League: Playoffs--First Round

SLATS 89, Flessa 80

After watching the first round of the playoffs in the Deveroes Summer League, one thing is certain: winning matters to these guys.

Most of these players have an entire schedule of college basketball awaiting them in the fall. They will practice, play games and watch tape of basketball almost nonstop for the next six months or longer. Most people would be called obsessed if they did the same activity as much as these men play basketball. Yet here they are at Woodward High School on their free-time, balling on each other.

Then there are the local legends; the guys who once played somewhere most people have heard of and now dominate the YMCA league of their choosing. For some of these men, the DSL is their biggest stage, and it becomes their chance to finally shut these young punks up who think they’re better than everybody else.

The point is that when the game-clock ticks down, the intensity turns up. During that time, the lore and reputation of a player can wax and wane. Even though there is no money involved, the extra effort is given for the respect of ones peers—which has an interesting way of motivating people on its own.

On the car ride over, I expressed to a friend how I thought Dion Dixon was very average. Dion seemed to make hasty decisions, not do any one thing particularly well and complain a lot. On the car ride home, my opinion of him had been completely turnaround and I began wondering about him in the NBA. I’m easily impressed.

The initial intrigue of the match-up was the battle of the heavyweight centers. SLATS had the Oak Tree, Yancy Gates and his 18-foot shooting touch, while Flessa had the Human Snow-Cap, Kenny Frease and his crafty glass work. The two giants didn’t disappoint, each providing solid contributions to their team. But at the end of the night, it was Dion Dixon who made the difference.

With seven minutes left and his team down by two, Dixon decided he would take the ball to the rim every time until someone stopped him No one could stop him.

Team Flessa tried putting the tiny, but scrappy, Steve Steward on him and Dion out-muscled him. Flessa went with the scowling and barrel-chested, Paul “Mad Man” McMillan to defend him, and Dion zoomed past him. They tried the long, slender, cartoon-cat-like Darnell Wilkes who was out-muscled and zoomed past.

In that seven minutes, Dixon scored 16 points, including eight on free-throws to help his team win by nine. He showed a combination of strength, athleticism and sheer determination—particularly on defense— that proved I had severely underestimated him. He finished the game with 29 points and was 12-16 from the line. The term is thrown around a lot in the world of sports, but on this night, Dion was truly unstoppable.

SLATS as a team played good defense forcing Flessa into shooting 8-26 from 3-point territory. Explosive scorers Eddie Gray and Paul McMillan each shot poorly. McMillan missed multiple close range shots inside down the stretch and although he finished with 24 points, he seemed too irritated to get into rhythm. Gray bounced around and dazzled with his quickness and his ball-handling skills, but he hoisted three-pointers up from all over the court unable to find a spot he liked. He finished 3-12 from outside.

Aside from feeding Frease in the post, Flessa never worked a team offense into the game plan and relied on one-on-one match-ups for scoring. With Flessa’s veteran gunslingers, that philosophy normally suits them just fine, but sometimes a team needs more than that to beat a young, talented team like SLATS.

SLATS plays SuperiorCars.com in the semi-finals on Saturday,12:30pm, at Woodward High School.


Box Score:

SLATS vs JOHN H. FLESSA LAW OFFICE (07/22/09 at Woodward High School)

Official Basketball Box Score
SLATS vs JOHN H. FLESSA LAW OFFICE
07/22/09 7:30 p.m. at Woodward High School

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
VISITORS: SLATS
TOT-FG 3-PT REBOUNDS
## Player Name FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF TP A TO BLK S MIN
04 STEFANOU, Steve..... f 2-4 1-1 0-0 1 3 4 1 5 3 2 0 0 20
24 GATES, Yancy........ f 10-21 1-2 1-2 6 7 13 2 22 3 0 0 0 32
01 McBRIDE, Anthony.... g 6-12 0-2 2-2 1 4 5 2 14 0 0 0 1 32
03 DIXON, Dion......... g 8-17 1-6 12-16 2 4 6 3 29 4 4 2 1 32
23 KILPATRICK, Sean.... g 8-13 1-5 2-2 3 3 6 0 19 3 3 0 1 32
14 ALUISE, Mike........ 0-2 0-1 0-0 0 1 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 12
TEAM................ 1 3 4 1
Totals.............. 34-69 4-17 17-22 14 25 39 8 89 14 10 2 3 160

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 16-41 39.0% 2nd Half: 18-28 64.3% Game: 49.3% DEADB
3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 2-11 18.2% 2nd Half: 2-6 33.3% Game: 23.5% REBS
F Throw % 1st Half: 3-5 60.0% 2nd Half: 14-17 82.4% Game: 77.3% 1


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
HOME TEAM: JOHN H. FLESSA LAW OFFICE
TOT-FG 3-PT REBOUNDS
## Player Name FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF TP A TO BLK S MIN
22 FREASE, Kenny....... f 8-11 0-1 2-2 1 10 11 0 18 2 4 2 0 27
23 WILKES, Darnell..... f 1-2 0-0 0-0 1 3 4 4 2 2 0 1 0 21
24 McMILLAN, Paul...... f 9-19 2-4 4-5 5 4 9 2 24 0 4 0 0 26
05 STEWARD, Steve...... g 3-7 0-0 2-2 1 1 2 3 8 1 0 0 2 24
11 BYRD, DeAndre....... g 5-16 3-9 0-0 3 1 4 2 13 3 4 0 0 30
01 GRAY, Eddie......... 5-15 3-12 0-0 2 2 4 2 13 4 0 0 1 24
04 JACKSON, Joe........ 1-3 0-0 0-0 2 2 4 1 2 1 1 0 0 8
TEAM................ 2 2 4
Totals.............. 32-73 8-26 8-9 17 25 42 14 80 13 13 3 3 160

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 17-36 47.2% 2nd Half: 15-37 40.5% Game: 43.8% DEADB
3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 5-14 35.7% 2nd Half: 3-12 25.0% Game: 30.8% REBS
F Throw % 1st Half: 5-6 83.3% 2nd Half: 3-3 100 % Game: 88.9% 0


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Officials:
Technical fouls: SLATS-None. JOHN H. FLESSA LAW OFFICE-None.
Attendance:
Score by Periods 1st 2nd Total
SLATS......................... 37 52 - 89
JOHN H. FLESSA LAW OFFICE..... 44 36 - 80

2 Comments:

  • At 9:52 AM , Blogger Noon said...

    Well-written, good observations.

    I especially like the "cartoon cat like Darnell Wilks" and your note that Paul McMillian was too annoyed to get into rhythm.

     
  • At 1:08 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Great to get some coverage of this "diamond in the rough" event that happens every summer in Cincinnati with little to no fanfare.

    As for Dixon...always thought he was one of the hardest working players for UC last year - as a freshman.


    Aaron

     

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