The second week of the Wharton Warrior Basketball League featured several close contests. Two teams remained undefeated, but no one has established themselves as a clear front runner. This is sure to be an exciting season. If you can’t make it out to the games, be sure to check your Wharton Journal each week for the highlights.
The Jimmers 68, Ankle Breakers 37
Sometimes teams start slow before finding their championship stride, but it’s hard to imagine that’s the case with the Ankle Breakers. The team has lost their first two games of the season by a combined 76 points. Depth issues are plaguing the Ankle Breakers, who had to sign a random player to a one-day contract in order to have the minimum number of players needed to compete. “We have to get our lineup together,” said Horace Flournoy. An understatement to say the least. Despite another stellar offensive performance from Bahaa Nahas (21 points), this team is simply painful to watch.
The Jimmers, on the other hand, bounced back from an upsetting week 1 loss to Los Verdugos. Diaper Dandy Brigham “Young” Wilson led his team with 19 points but the real star of the game was Ben Kraus, who was absolutely on fire as he hit 4 out of 4 three-point shots. This was the type of performance we expected from the Jimmers in the first game of the season. We’ll see which team shows up after next week’s bye.
Fighting Harbaughs 44, Taking My Talents 34
Porter Leslie and the Fighting Harbaughs continue to edge out their competition. Despite their second straight lackluster offensive performance, the Harbaughs showed tremendous toughness, thanks in large part to Rob Teahen. Rob played tenacious defensive all game long and complemented this grit and hustle with three 3-pointers on the other end of the floor. The defensive mindset carried over to the rest of the team, as the Harbaughs held the Taking My Talents to a mere 34 points. Though they are yet to put it all together, the Harbaughs have shown potential at times. At 2-0, they may very well be one of the early favorites to win the league.
It remains to be seen if the Fighting Harbaughs can win against real competition though. Their first win came against a Dreamliners team that was missing its top two draft picks, and their second comes against a winless Taking My Talents. Brian Darcy has emerged as a real offensive threat for Taking My Talents, but the team as a whole is yet to find a rhythm. It’s early in the season, but 0-2 is not a good position to be in. Taking My Talents needs at least on game in the win column if they want to avoid comparisons to the other 0-2 team in the league, The Ankle Breakers.
The Dreamliners 53, Beast Mode Ballers 45
After their mysterious absence in Game 1, Jeff Schiffner and Aaron Szekel returned to lead The Dreamliners to a big victory over the Beast Mode Ballers. Schiffner displayed the prolific scoring ability and unlimited three point range that helped his team win a League Championship last year. Aaron “The Big Flop” Szekel, whose unorthodox style of play and tendency to exaggerate fouls never cease to frustrate defenders, complemented Schiffner nicely. Schiffner and Szekel combined for 31 points in the win.
Despite the loss, the Beast Mode Ballers are not too concerned. “We weren’t as ‘Nasty’ as we usually are out there,” joked “Big Daddy” George Ogarro. That’s because “Nasty” Nick Liveris missed the game for personal reasons. “We’ll get them next time,” he added. These two teams appear to be about as evenly matched as possible when their entire lineups are present. It will be an interesting game to watch when they meet again in Week 9 of the season.
Los Verdugos 55, Animal Spirits 48
The undefeated Los Verdugos faced the undefeated Animal Spirits in the headline game of the night. It was a hard fought contest, but Los Verdugos came out on top, with a 7-point victory.
One week after pouring in 81 points against the abysmal Ankle Breakers, the Animal Spirits struggled to find their offensive. With the exception of Shoji Ueki, who poured in a season high 8 points, the Animal Spirits couldn’t buy a basket. George “The Gunner” Schultz, who received a technical foul for arguing some questionable calls from the refs, saw the loss as a small road bump. “We couldn’t shoot tonight. That won’t happen again.” Perhaps, but they will need to find a way to get more production out of “Filthy” Rich Martin, who had a disappointing outing with only 6 points. “We’ll make some adjustments on both ends of the floor,” Schultz added. “I don’t know who we face next week, but I know that my team can guarantee a victory.” Big words from the small man. We’ll see if the Animal Spirits can back them up on the court.
Los Verdugos continues to impress. Zeeshan “The Bulldozer” Hyder led all scorers with 19 points, most of which came from his aggressive transition plays and from the free throw line. Matt Bradley, who said he wanted this win badly, added 17 points. “I spent last season in Rich [Martin’s] shadow. I’ve always looked up to him. It was an honor to win against his team,” he said. If Los Verdugos can find a way to integrate Marc Pearson, who had a disappointing season debut Tuesday night, they have a legitimate shot at winning it all.