Truly pains me to write this summary…
The boys came into the tournament looking tired and with an air of “not really caring” if they win or lose.
And it showed on the court.
After just barely pulling out a win over MN Comets Little (52 – 50), they ran into a “modified” ND Phenom National squad and got beat (60-39)… no, not a typo.
That is the team they had beatup on 2x already this year. The team however had 2 “new” players (later found out they had been rostered all year, just hadn’t played).
Those 2 players (and our shoddy play) produced roughly a 40 point swing compared to prior results against the same team.
The poor performance in the final game of the pool play dropped Crossfire from the #2 seed to the #4 seed entering the bracket day (which means we now played the #5 ranked squad instead of the #7 or #8… a result that would haunt us the rest of the way through the bracket).
Bracket Game 1 vs MN Heat Johnson – LOSS 61-58
Bracket Game 2 vs SD Heat – WIN 64 – 54
Bracket Game 3 vs the same ND Phenom National squad – LOSS 79-62
That left us in the 7/8 place game vs a much improved (without bringing in new players) Iowa Mavericks team… losing at the buzzer with a “rim roller” – LOSS 52-51.
So, the tournament they played so hard in the early pool rounds to set themselves up with a good seeding headed into the brackets, came crashing down on their heads because they simply didn’t play with the necessary teamwork and mentality for 4 of the 6 final games; even the games they won, there was way too much “Hero Ball” being played… this just doesn’t work in high level games.
I heard complaints from parents and players of officiating issues, even I complained about opposing player issues (possibly going too far…) … but in the end it all boils down to… the guys did not play well as a team.
Hopefully they can turn things around for the final tournament of the year.
Let’s go Crossfire, finish strong!
~ Rod Strumbel