Written by Alex Semerjian and Sydney Imus
Gage vs. Mango House
VWL Week 5, the final regular season week, tipped off with a matchup between winless Gage and one win Mango House. Both teams scored well in the fast break, making for an entertaining back and forth first half. From the tip, Drew Edelman was dominant for Gage, controlling the paint with her height and soft touch. Whether it was her left hand or right hand, Drew looked strong and confident around the cup, with her 6’4” frame unable to be contested by the Mango House defenders. As the game went on, Drew would take over and give Gage a stronghold on the contest, leading to a 73-55 victory. In the 4th, Drew had 30 points, with the crowd urging her on in pursuit of a 40 piece nugget meal. Ultimately, Drew would end the game with 40 points and 11 rebounds, putting on the performance of the season and earning herself an unmatched player of the week. Gage put on a passing clinic, with teammates finding Drew at the highest of levels. KK Gets Buckets (5 assists), Jordyn (4 assists), and Bri (8 pts, 8 reb, 10 ast) all displayed their passing skills, setting each other and Drew up with ease. For Mango House, Ryan (16 pts) scored in a variety of ways, with silky moves leading to tough finishes. Lolo (10 pts) and Imani (10 pts, 9 reb) also had strong games for Mango House, who go into the playoffs looking to redeem themselves with a rematch against Gage. A bright spot for Mango House was draft pick Delilah, who at 9 years old got herself two buckets.
Hoopbus vs. Lady Sweat
The second matchup of the day saw undefeated Lady Sweat and one-win Hoopbus against each other. In what appeared to be a lop-sided contest on paper revealed true on the court, with Lady Sweat dominating Hoopbus with smothering defense. In a contest that was never close, Lady Sweat barely broke a sweat in a 50-23 win, securing themselves an undefeated season and a first-round bye as the #1 seed. Lady Sweat continues to be a very balanced squad, with all players having an impact on the final result. In this contest, Shontalene got player of the game with 12 points and 8 rebounds. A special shoutout must go out to the talented Toni Romiti (7 ast), who put on an impressive halftime singing performance and on-court performance. Hayley (9 pts, 8 stl) and Lala (11 pts, 6 reb) had strong performances for Lady Sweat and will look to play a similar role come playoff time. Hoopbus was led by Jas (8 pts, 7 reb) and enters into playoffs as the bottom seed with a matchup against Dr’s Orders.
Dr’s Orders vs. Basketball Beauties
The final matchup of the VWL saw two 3-1 teams, Dr’s Orders and Basketball Beauties against each other. The matchup was predicted to be close, but Basketball Beauties ran away with the contest en route to a 60-38 victory. Basketball Beauties continues to display strong perimeter defense, turning Dr’s Orders over and capitalizing with easy fast break baskets. Dr’s Orders continues to create easy opportunities, but missed layups will be the downfall of the talented squad. Christina “Walking Double Double” Ellis has established herself as one of the top players in the VWL for Basketball Beauties and earned another player of the game with 16 points and 10 rebounds. Behind Christina, BBall Beauties had a great dose of balanced scoring, with Mae Mae, MJ (5 stl), Ashley, and Aday all scoring 8 points. For Dr’s Orders, Bree led the way with 9 points, while Theresa “Sweet T” (13 rbs) and Ashlee (12 rbs) had slow offensive days. With the win, Basketball Beauties secured a first round bye and the #2 seed, while Dr’s Orders as the #3 seed will look to defeat a struggling bottom-seeded Hoopbus squad in the first round of the VWL playoffs.