‘The League’ crowns 2019 spring champions

The League, sponsored by the Josh Howard Foundation, recently wrapped up their spring league and will soon gear up for their summer league.

‘The League’ crowns 2019 spring champions
May 16
00:35 2019

The League, sponsored by the Josh Howard Foundation, just wrapped up another successful spring league. Finesse Game fought through a grueling regular season and playoffs to defeat Lee Game in the championship 92-73.

“This feels good, because it is a really competitive league and to win it against a team with that amount of talent on it makes it that much better,” said Marsharee Neely. “This is our first time playing together, so for us to keep it together against a bigger, stronger team says a lot.”

The championship game took place at Hanes Hosiery Community Center due to the backboards at W.R. Anderson being shattered the week before when a player dunked during a game. Both teams came in supremely confident based on the pregame trash talk, so everyone could feel this was going to be a good game.

To begin the game, Lee Game came out hitting jump shots from all over the court. They seemed to have all the momentum on their side at that point in the game. Finesse Game promptly took a timeout to settle things down.  That timeout was exactly what Finesse Game needed, as they began chipping away at the lead.

“We just had to get back to playing our game, because we were starting to let it get away from us a little bit,” said Chris Young of Finesse Game. “We just needed to slow things down, call a timeout to readjust and get back at it.”

The timeout was just what Finesse Game needed. They immediately picked up their offensive and defensive efficiency. They began to hit shots of their own, while also forcing Lee Game to take contested shots on the other end.

With a little over five minutes left in the half, Finesse Game took their first lead of the game behind some clutch shots from Young, Neely and others. Once Finesse Game took the lead, they never relinquished it. Finesse Game led 53-40 at the half.

The early part of the second half brought more of the same from Finesse Game. Their 3-2 zone continued to keep Lee Game’s offense at bay. The zone did not allow Lee Game to use their height advantage as they did early on. 

Midway through the second half, Finesse Game opened up a 16-point lead at 71-55. The game looked to be getting out of hand. Lee Game was not ready to give up apparently, as they went on a quick 8-0 run to come within single digit of the lead. 

Finesse Game called another timeout to settle things down once again. That was as close as Lee Game would come for the remainder of the game. Finesse Game pulled away late to close things out.

Jawaun Griffin of Finesse Game handled a lot of the point guard duties during the game. His leadership at the point allowed the wing players to exploit weaknesses in the Lee Game defense.

“I was just trying to see the floor, see the mismatches, so I could see who was coming to me so I could hit the open man, because I have the ultimate confidence in my guys,” said Griffin. “Coming out of the half, we knew we had to close it out and we knew we had to do it on the defensive end, because defense turns into offense.”

Anytime Finesse Game needed a big shot in the second half, they turned to Young in an insolation play. Young had a smaller defender guarding him, so he consistently made Lee Game pay for playing him one on one.

“All I was thinking was that we have to win this game,” he said. “If I am posting up, that means give me the ball, because they can’t guard me.”

The players from Finesse Game said the win was even more satisfying because they lost to Lee Game in the regular season. Their plan is to come back together to try and double up by winning the summer league championship as well.

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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