June 27, 2022
By Morgan Wenger
Youth was served in the 2022 Dawg Days Basketball Men’s Summer League. Details held the top spot in the standings for the duration of the regular season, and then capped off their title run with an exhilarating finish in the championship game despite not having one player over 18 years of age on their roster. Jalen Wenger’s improbable 32-foot three pointer in between two defenders sent the championship game to overtime after it appeared that Kelly’s Boys were in line to pull off two quality comeback wins on the same night. Points were hard to come by in overtime. Nick Swartz made a three pointer to counter a Jalen Wenger free throw to give Kelly’s Boys a two-point lead with just over a minute to play. Braylon Wenger knifed inside for a nifty layup to tie the score on the ensuing possession. After Kelly’s Boys were stymied at the rim, Braylon Wenger completed the scoring with another drive and finish. Details got one final stop to seal the win and the league title.
Details appeared to be running away with the league in mid-June, as they had racked up double digit victories against every team in the league. After an 0-2 start, Kelly’s Boys started to find their rhythm. Their momentum reached a zenith when they knocked off last year’s league runner up, 79 Entertainment, and Details in back-to-back games to finish the regular season. After surviving a tough quarterfinal game against winless Tropics, Kelly’s Boys found themselves staring at a double-digit deficit against a motivated 79 Entertainment squad in the semifinals.
The game was a low scoring slugfest from the beginning. League veteran Greg Wallace capped off a big 79 Entertainment run with a dunk in transition as 79 Entertainment went up by double digits. The pinpoint, long distance shooting of Derek Pasho (21 points) kept Kelly’s Boys in the game, and they started to make their big push in the middle of the second half. Kelly’s Boys took a lead for one possession with about eight minutes remaining on a Reid Black (10 points) jump hook, but London Cobbs (14 points) steadied the ship for 79 Entertainment with a couple of baskets in the lane. Some missed free throws by 79 Entertainment opened the door for Kelly’s Boys late in the game. That is when Nick Swartz (11 points) hit the biggest shot of the game. His three pointer gave Kelly’s Boys a one-point lead with under a minute remaining. Kelly’s Boys held on for the win to advance to the championship game.
Details found out very quickly that AMP was ready to play in the other semifinal. Jordan Ray (21 points) had his best game of the year and AMP was ahead for the majority of the first half. A Jalen Wenger (34 points) three pointer to open the second half gave Details the lead, and they proceeded to push the lead out to double digits midway through the second half. AMP kept whittling away at the lead but could not get over the hump and lost 72-66. Braylon Wenger (17 points) hit a big three pointer to keep AMP at bay late in the game. Cody Steiner (16 points) hit timely shots for AMP all game long.
The championship game was played at a frenetic pace from the beginning. Details jumped out ahead right away behind the deep shooting of Jalen Wenger (36 points). His prowess from 10-15 feet beyond the three-point arc really stretched the always steady halfcourt defense of Kelly’s Boys. Derek Pasho (20 points) continued his stellar play to keep Kelly’s Boys in the game early on. Details built double digit leads at three different points during the game, but Kelly’s Boys never went away. Kyrie Gaut (14 points) and Kaiden Roscoe (13 points) provided a big boost for Details on both ends of the floor. Gaut used his outside shooting to help the cause offensively while Roscoe played his best game of the summer inside. Jayden Watts (11 points) was his usual pesky self on defense and got loose for some big baskets as well for Kelly’s Boys. Reid Black (17 points) and Jack Simmons (18 points) provided a formidable interior presence for Kelly’s Boys throughout the night. Details had seemingly stymied Kelly’s Boys for the final time and had a five-point lead with under two minutes remaining. A Simmons three pointer and subsequent stop set the stage for Nick Swartz to step into his clutch role just as he had done in the semifinals against 79 Entertainment. Coming out of a timeout with under a minute to play, Kelly’s Boys were looking to play through Reid Black inside. When Details backed off of Swartz to prevent Black from receiving the ball, Swartz nailed a dagger three pointer to give Kelly’s Boys a one-point lead. Details turned the ball over on the next possession and was forced to foul Kelly’s Boys and send them to the line. Reid Black calmly swished both free throws to extend his team’s lead to 89-86. Kelly’s Boys had multiple fouls to give and elected to foul Details several times to prevent them from attempting a game tying shot. With under 10 seconds remaining, Jalen Wenger got loose and unleashed a 32-footer off the dribble in between two defenders. The shot found the bottom of the net and the championship game headed to overtime for the first time in league history. After yet another clutch Swartz three pointer gave Kelly’s Boys a two point lead with under a minute remaining in overtime, Braylon Wenger (21 points) made the game tying and game winning baskets to secure the championship for Details.
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