Monday, November 29, 2010

Some Season Highs and Another Win

If I told you the Reignmakers shot better from beyond the arc (58%) than they did from inside it (38%) in the last game, do you think they would have come away with a win?

In a word. Yes, yes of course. How could they lose a game like that?

Ok that was like 10 words or so, but that is what happened on Sunday night against the Powerstrokes.

Brandon Hunter had a season best 34 points and shot an incredible 8/10 from three point range upping his season average to 39% on the year. He also grabbed 10 rebounds (10 per) leading the Reignmakers in both categories.

Brent Hunter made his first start of the young season after being called up with Ryan Stuver being absent and with the ideathat Chad Dobson may not be able to go. Dobson was there, but the youngest Hunter showed up as well hitting 8 of 14 shots. He finished with 19 points and 4 rebounds.

"Brent was a great spark for us, it was good to see him out there," Coach Jason Hunter (7 points, 3 reb) said after the game. "It will be short lived. Stuver should be back next week and Hunter will be sent back to the RBDL. But it was good to have him get his feet wet. We will look forward to seeing him in December possibly."

Another new face in the lineup was forward Andy Kempf. He added more hustle and muscle inside as the Reignmakers were hit with some injuries during the game. His groin injury didnt seem to limit him too much, but he did seem winded as the game progressed. Kempf finished with 5 rebounds and 3 points and helped body inside with yet another taller opposing team.

Mike Petrilli (3 points, 3 rebounds) and Clintion Weigel (4 points, 1 rebound) were hit with those injuries during the game. Petrilli was hit hard underneath and slid into the wall under the hoop. His elbow and head took most of the damage with the hit and his elbow seemed to bother him all night. Weigel had some hand injuries that troubled him throughout the evening. With ice and rest both players should be back in top shape come next week.

Defense was once again the key down the stretch for the Reignmakers. With a generous gift to the opposition, an extra player was added before the game began to the Powerstrokes. After he delivered a couple three's the 2-3 defense began to shift his way and contested shots from the outside and Kerry Hunter defended the inside with force. The results were a late push and a 75-63 victory.

With Brent Hunter heading back down, the offense will need to once again go back to what they know. Rotating the ball, cutting and screening and getting easy layups. The Richfield Hicks await next week and will certainly clog the middle of the lane. Running the floor and working to get good shots will keep the Reignmakers winning ways alive.

Game on.

Monday, November 22, 2010

The Right Foot

With the regular season now officially underway, the Reignmakers had a team effort and a win, 59-51 versus Shawn Kemps Kids.

The 2-3 zone is jelling and it worked better than the previous week. Another bigger, stronger team was met with bodies and tough shots inside as the Reignmakers battled all night long.

Brandon Hunter led the team with 25 points, 11 rebounds and three straight uncovered layups as Kemps Kids had miscommunications on defense during the second half. Then after they doubled up Hunter, Mike Petrilli (3 points, 2 rebounds) took advantage of a wide open three and kept the momentum rolling.

Kemps Kids took a small four point lead in the second half, but the Reignmakers battled back on three straight buckets and a big three, one of his two on the night, from Clinton Weigel (8 points, 100% from the field).

The Reignmakers never looked back. Down the stretch, the good guys hit free throws to solidify the win. But defense was the key tonight. The Reignmakers will most likely be the short team on the floor on every given night. But with the communication on defense increasing, the team becoming knowledgable with rotations, it leaves the opposition with contested shots inside, and quick three's on the outside. Chad Dobson's length up front and Ryan Stuver playing bigger than he is inside, aids this process in every way.

Coach Jason Hunter (11 points, 6 rebounds, 3-3 from 3) was please with the win.

"The right foot, thats where we started tonight. It's good to come out of the gate with a win, especially one where we had to battle all night. Shows a lot about this team and we are getting better on defense every night."

The shots were falling as well as the Reignmakers had their best shooting night of the young season. 47% from downtown and 50% from everywhere else is always something to look for. But the shots wont be there every night and defense will always be key.

The Reignmakers play next Sunday against another big team, the Richfield Hicks, at 6 PM in the Brunswick Rec Center. The team may be without Stuver and Dobson, but injured big man Andy Kempf could make his season debut coming off of his groin injury. He will be a game time decision.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A Victory to Remember

With two players out and one being hurt halfway through the second half, the Reignmakers needed solid play out of everyone and anyone on the floor.

They had it this night.

A final score of 52-40 over Fighting Fancus marks the first victory in the Reignmakers season and solidifies a spot in the second Division.

The Reignmakers had three players in double digits and got to the line 11 times while holding Fighting Fancus to contested shots inside and nothing easy at the rim.

Brandon Hunter had 16 points, Jason Hunter added 14 (hitting on 4 of 9 from three), and Clinton Weigel made huge strides on the offensive end scoring 13.

The 2-3 defense worked most of the night, leaving the opposition with contested shots all night long in the key. When subsitutions were made, veryone rotated accordingly. When breakdowns happened, other stepped in to fill a void. Being outsized by nearly 4-5 inches on averaged, the smaller Reignmakers hit the glass hard and boxed out with efficiency.

All 6 players who dressed made it into the scorebook. Kerry Hunter, battled inside with the best of them adding 11 rebounds and was a vocal leader on the inside on defense. Ryan Stuver and Chad Dobson hounded the point gaurds and forced numerous turnovers which led to fastbreak points and two alley-oops on the night.

The only negative to the night was when Jason Hunter went down with an apparent left knee injury early in the second half. He remained on the sidelines but returned late in the second. After talking to the medical staff, Hunter will be reasting and icing all week and will likely wear a new brace next week with another possibly brace being added in later weeks.

In other injury news, Andy Kempf is still on a week-to-week basis. He is still resting a groin injury. Michael Petrilli, who missed the game due to personal reasons, should be back in the starting lineup next week. Finally Brent Hunter, who is still playing in the RBDL, plans to still join the team in December. He is averaging 20 points and 7 rebounds.

The Reginmakers will now begin Divisional play, with all games counting towards their spot in the playoffs in late February. Their next game in on November 22nd versus Shawn Kemp's Kids.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Reignmakers Routed

This is not how any team wants to start off a season.

Relying heavily on the three point shot and only converted on 8% of those shots will chalk up an L anyday. But even more so, on this night.

Against Young and Reckless Monday night, the Reignmakers could only manage 32 points on 25% shooting from the field. The oppostion came out fast and hit a flurry of shots, taking a 16-8 lead quickly in the first half. It never got closer than that as Young and Reckless took the Reingmakers to the woodshed 59-32.

Yet there were positive things to take from the game and outcome. Even after a halftime score of 35-12, the Reignmakers came out with a stronger start, starting with a 5-0 run at the beginning of the second. Defensively the team played better than imagined, holding a stronger and faster team to mostly outside shots and not many easy layups while driving to the paint. The shots will begin to fall as everyone gets accustomed to the offense and finds their niche on the floor. Had the Reignmakers shot around 35% for the game, including three pointers, the defecit of the game is most likely under 20. You have to hang your hat on the positives and have a short memory, especially to a team which will not be in your division come scheduling.

Another positive will be the return of Andy Kempf. After trying to go in the middle of the first half, his groin injury sat him out only a minute or so upon him entering the game. His hustle and muscle inside will add another defensive presence and offensvie rebounder on the other end. Jason and Brandon Hunter both had off nights shooting, combining for 2-19 from three and 6-19 from anywhere else. Those night will be few and far between.

The team travels back to Brunswick for another Monday night game against Fighting Fancus at 7PM. Hoping for a rebound game, the team must maintain focus and keep their fire on the defensive end. The shots will fall and the win's will follow.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Reignmakers: A Prelude

Well ladies and gentlemen, the season opener you have all been waiting for awaits us tonight at 8:50:

Your Reignmakers will travel to Brunswick to face Young and Reckless at Brunswick High School to open up their inaugural season.

Hopefully Shawn Kemp is in attendance. It was reported after he was contacted about the team name, he gave his blessing and wanted to quote "be apart of something that I helped to found." Keep your autograph pens handy.

The starting lineup for tonight will look something like this:

C - Kerry Hunter
> After contemplating retirement following the championship game in the spring of 2010, Kerry came into a workout for the Reignmakers after calls from upper management. What the Reignmakers lacked in size they hoped Kerry could fill in the void. He joins the team after signing a one year deal just last week for the veterans minimum. Kerry averaged 2.3 points and 3.2 rebounds last year in just 8 minutes per game.. His career totals in 20+ years of basketball are 16.5 points and 8 rebounds.

PF - Brandon Hunter
> It has been a few years since the second Hunter's dominating performance in the Twinsburg Rec League where he averaged over 20 points and 5 rebounds. But Brandon looks to be an integral part of the Reignmakers this season. He will be counted on to carry a lot of the load scoring and also on the glass. There were varying reports of a contract dispute following last years dibocle on Championship night, but the Reignmakers locked him in for the next 3 years at about $8 million per. Coming off a year where he only saw the court around 12 minutes a night and averaging 6 points per game, his career averages eclipse 17 points and around 7 rebounds.

SF - Jason Hunter
> Rarely used during the Championship run of the NEO All-Stars last spring, the third of four Hunter's on the team looks for a break out season. With the triple Hunter punch in the starting lineup, it will hopefully bring great things on the offensive side of the ball. A great working relationship with his brother Brandon should helpthe team chemistry on and off the floor, jelling the team within its first few games. Jason signed a "team-friendly" deal at the beginning of the summer for 5 years around $3.67 million per season. His career averages, 12 points, 4 rebounds, while shooting 44% from three point range and 85% from the line.

SG - Chad Dobson
> A bit of an unknown. Thats a way to put it for most Reignmaker fans. Chad was signed this past month after scouting trips around the area discovered his talent. As offense goes, the Reignmakers only have so many options and they hope Dobson can turn into one of these. He averaged 13 points and 2 steals in the MRBA (Michigan Rec Basketball Association) and was placed on the All-Star team as a reserve two years in a row. The Reignmakers inked him on for one year at $1.67 million.

PG - Michael Petrilli
> Petrilli has been in and out of the league for the better of 5 years now, but has never been off the radar. He was signed to a 10-day contract last spring for the All-Stars and seemingly hadn't missed a beat. Petrilli will have his biggest role yet on this up and coming basketball squad and his three point shot will have to be executed to perfection night in and night out. He comes off a season in the RBDL (Rec Basketball Developmental League) where he finished 5th in MVP voting while averaging 18 points, 2 steals, and 2 rebounds. He shot an amazing 55% from beyond the arc and 88% from the foul line. Petrilli signed a one year deal at $2 million per, with and player option for the next two years.

C - Andy Kempf
> Andy brings hussle and a big, banging body inside for the Reignmakers. He's getting a chance to find his place in the RBL this season, but suffered a minor groin injury in the off-season. He will likely become the starting center once able, but may be on the IR for the opening game.

F - Ryan Stuver
> Just another piece to the puzzle. Stuver has been linked with Kempf, Brandon Hunter, and Petrilli for quite some time and the Reignmakers hope his dedication and hard work, as well as his familiarity with the offense will bring good things off the bench.

G/F - Clinton Weigel
> More hustle. More grit inside. The Reignmakers will need big years out of Kempf and Weigel if they want to compete with bigger teams. His and Kemp bring about the same to the table offensively, but the team hopes to keep them hungry on the defensive side leading to steals and a lot of easy buckets in transition.

G/F - Brent Hunter
> Currently in the RBDL, the fourth and final Hunter hopes to join the team in December during the playoff push. He will add more size and scoring once he joins the team and may also look to earn himself a starting position if all plays out accordingly.


The first two games on the season will be "play-in" games of sort. It wil ldetermine where the Reignmakers sit this year in accordance with other teams in the league. The one thing to look for is how well this team jells throughout the year. They have been brought together from different aspects of basketball and from different areas, which may cause some speed bumps early on. But once the competitive juices flow and they notch some wins on their belts, they could be a sleeper pick in this years season.

Check back tonight as a recap of tonights game will be posted.

As Phil Collins once sang, "Yes I wish it would rain down, down on me."

Lets hope for a lot of Reign tonight.

Play ball.