EBC Day Eleven: Team Certified vs. Long Island’s Finest
Although the back-and-forth nature of the opening minutes suggests that we’re going to have a tight game on our hands, Team Certified soon assert their dominance, clamping down on defence to allow Long Island’s Finest only one bucket in three minutes. A tricky swingman going by the name of “Lights Out” provides the offensive firepower for TC in the early going, kicking things off with an in-and-out crossover that leaves his man looking the wrong way before stretching his team’s lead further with a pair of triples around a hard-fought and-one by Marvin.
While LIF cut their deficit by four with a breakaway slam and a pair of free throws, they’re unable to shift the momentum in their favour, and Certified continue to pull away with good ball movement and sharp shooting. Certified’s big men make the paint their own in the final plays of the first half, snatching countless boards at his own bucket and forcing LIF to send them to the line with their relentless attacks on the other. A beautiful passing display in transition which culminates in a three-point play widens the gap, Team Certified leading 36-16 at the break.
LIF attempt to run Certified out of the park in the early part of the second half, with a fastbreak dunk and layup within the space of a minute making it look as if it just might work. They soon fall apart again, however, throwing careless passes which TC pick off time and time again, often converting them into breakaway points of their own. By the fifteen-minute mark, however, EBC’s resident comedian/announcer Boobie Smooth has lost interest in the game, as has the majority of the crowd, although he manages to keep the people in their seats with entertaining reminiscences on his “welfare days” and the promise of a better Game Two.
True to his nickname of “The Politician”, he suggests that the park take a democratic vote as to whether the game should be called with over five minutes left on the clock. Though a good ninety-five percent of those in attendance agree that it should, the contest continues while the rest of the park turns their attention elsewhere. Team Certified put one last humiliating run on their opponents and the game ends, according to Boobie Smooth, with a score of “irrelevant to irrelevant”.