Massive Jammers (Dallas, 9-2) vs. Getting Older (Plano, 9-2)
With the sparkling, unnamed Ultimate Hoops trophy on display, we were treated to a truly deserving final game of the Summer season put on by the Dallas and Plano champions. The Massive Jammers were the home team but Getting Older had the true advantage, playing in their familiar confines of the Plano LifeTime location. The Jammers jumped out to a 13-3 lead and dominated both sides of the ball to start, prompting an early Getting Older timeout.
An interesting dynamic was clearly evident in this DFW Championship game. Both teams were vets, smart ones. They played both sides of the ball, especially defense. Experience, leadership, intelligence and again DEFENSE are all things somewhat foreign to the league on too many occasions. Not in this one.
A regroup after the timeout as well as the better-late-than-never arrival of big man Bryant Nash brought GOB back into the ballgame. It was close, and stayed close. The Jammers, led by a balanced attack, maintained the lead throughout most of the game. Getting Older achieved their first lead at 35-34 after a Brian Gahan three-pointer.
Mike Carroll and Ryan Zea each had 16 points for the Jammers. Carroll also grabbed 10 rebounds and blocked two shots, one on Getting Older point guard Kenneth Cage, who I had never seen get blocked before. Zea led the team in assists with four and was 8-9 from the free throw line.
Bryan Rollings chipped in 14 points but needed 14 shots to do it, making just five. Despite the equal distribution in scoring, there weren’t as many options for the Dallas team. They played with six players while Getting Older played with eight.
Of the eight, only two scored double figures but Ben Pemberton led both sides with 17 points. Gahan continues a strong finish to the season with 13 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists. Nash had 10 rebounds off the bench.
As a team, the Plano squad shot an uncharacteristic 32% (8-25) from downtown. Gahan and Jeremiah Hopkins were both 3-8. The Jammers didn’t fare much better, however, hitting on just 33% (3-9).
The game was back and forth in the final minutes, the best entertainment you could ask for in the Summer season’s final game. With under ten seconds to go down two, Pemberton took the ball the length of the floor in 4.8 seconds for the game tying layup. A half-court heave from Ryan Manack was way off and the Summer season would go on for at least another three minutes in overtime.
In overtime, there wasn’t any scoring in the first two minutes. With the ball, tied at 55, Zea converted on a tough lay-up before Getting Older matched with the go-ahead and-1 from Pemberton. Zea answered with two free throws to give the Jammers a one point lead, giving Getting Older one final do-or-die opportunity.
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Just like the end of regulation, Pemberton took the inbound and went straight to the hoop. Fouled with 5.9 left, he sank both free throws and the Jammers called their last timeout.
Defense was a fitting decider to this incredible Championship game. Manack took the inbound, confronted with a full court press and squared up by Cage. With the clock ticking down, he found his teammate Zea too late and time expired.
Final: Getting Older 60, Massive Jammers 59 (OT)
Moments after the game’s deciding moments, an exasperated Hopkins tells League Coordinator Brandon Barkley, “We are truly getting older.” Sure he meant it one way, but it’s more fun to take it the other.
Fall season begins October 13th.