July 12, 2014
By Morgan Wenger
The Ballers defeated Team Bonifant 2 games to 1 in the best of three championship series to win the $1,200 grand prize in Dawg Days Basketball 2014. The Ballers consisted of Angelo Edwards, Shawn Crable, Terrell Lipkins, and Terry Allen. Terrell Lipkins was named tournament MVP. This was the fifth Dawg Days title for tournament stalwart Angelo Edwards. Although the champions took the most conventional route to the title, it was anything but easy.
The Ballers were matched up in the first round with Team Bonifant. In what would be the closest game between the two teams all day, the Ballers prevailed 30-28 on a game winning three point shot by Angelo Edwards. The shot had a huge impact on the rest of the tournament. The Ballers primarily relied on three players throughout the tournament, and remaining in the winner’s bracket gave them the best chance at winning the title. The champions' second round game proved just as tough as the opener. They were able to escape with a 30-28 victory over tournament newcomer Team Square behind 17 points from Edwards. Team Square was led by Ron Miller’s 17 points. This set up the winner’s bracket final between the Ballers and LeBron. LeBron had three players from last year’s championship squad. In a game that went back and forth the entire way, the Ballers were able to hold off LeBron 30-25 to advance to the championship series. Once again, Angelo Edwards scored 17 points to lead the way for the winners while LeBron was led by Kenny Kornowski’s 10 points. In another key winner’s bracket game, Lebron had advanced to the winner’s bracket final by defeating Team Zacour 30-25. Team Zacour had played in the past four Dawg Days Basketball championship series.
This set up a gauntlet of a road for anyone to advance through the loser’s bracket while the Ballers waited for an opponent in the finals. Team Bonifant hit their stride, winning four straight games to advance to the loser’s bracket finals. Their toughest games in that stretch included a 30-29 nailbiter over LeBron, and a tough 30-23 victory over Team Zacour. Team captain Seger Bonifant led the charge against Team Zacour with 19 points, including four three pointers while Daniel Zacour led the losing squad with 10 points.
The elimination bracket usually features some of the most intense games as teams battle to stay in the tournament. Team Zacour wasn’t ready to give up their spot in the championship series without a fight. They were able to stave off elimination by winning four consecutive games in the elimination bracket. Their closest game in that stretch was a 30-24 win against tournament newcomer Genos. Daniel Zacour, who scored in double digits in each of the elimination bracket victories, led the way in that game with 13 points. The elimination bracket final was a rematch of last year’s championship series. Team Zacour was able to advance to the loser’s bracket finals by remedying their winner’s bracket loss to Lebron with a hotly contested 30-21 victory.
This left Team Zacour with the unenviable task of having to defeat Team Bonifant twice to advance to the championship series. Although Daniel Zacour was able to continue his solid scoring run with 12 points, Team Bonifant’s balanced attack was too much to over come as they advanced to the championship series with a 30-24 victory. Seger Bonifant led the way for the winners with 9 points, while teammates Jason Mishler and Zak Kirkbride each scored 8.
This set the stage for a rematch of the 30-28 opening round nail biter between the Ballers and Team Bonifant. The most hotly contested game of the series was game 1. The game went back and forth most of the way until Terrell Lipkins caught fire and helped the Ballers pull away for a 30-24 victory. The diminutive, quick guard hit seven three pointers on his way to scoring 25 points in the game. Seger Bonifant led his team with 10 points. After a short break, Team Bonifant showed they weren’t going away easily by blowing game 2 wide open with nearly impeccable ball movement and shooting. They hit six three pointers en route to a 30-21 victory. Jason Mishler led the winners with 11 points, while Seger Bonifant and Keene Cockburn chipped in with 9 and 8 points, respectively. This set the stage for another memorable game 3 tournament finish between the top two teams. After sitting the last part of game 2 while substitute Terry Allen finished the game, standout rebounder and defender Shawn Crable provided an unexpected early scoring punch to help the Ballers surge ahead in the deciding game. Seger Bonifant kept his team in the game with his hot shooting. However, as was the case in game 1, Terrell Lipkins proved to be too much to handle as he scored 15 points. Lipkins did most of his damage down the stretch after Crable set the tone with his 12 early points. Bonifant ended up with 14 points before Lipkins sealed the tournament and his MVP award with the winning basket that provided the final 30-21 margin.
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