Thursday, December 23, 2010

A Loss on the Glass, A Mark in the Loss Column

Fighting Fancus did what they had been doing all year.

The Reignmakers could only muster 52 points against the taller, bigger Fancus and only had 27 rebounds as they fell for the first time 58-52.

The team struggled offensively, shooting only 25% from three and were out rebounded by a wide margin on both ends of the floor, but the offensive end was where the team suffered the most. The Reignmakers rarely got a second shot and it was mostly one-and-done on the offensive end.

They got out to a hot start. After being up 7-0, then 13-6 early in the first, the outcome looked bright. The Reignmakers let up a little and only held a one point lead, 30-29, after the first.

Both Jason Hunter and Chad Dobson arrived late, along with big man Ryan Stuver, due to weather. Neither got to start. Mike Petrilli (2 points, season high 5 rebounds) and Clinton Weigel (2 points, 4 rebounds) got the go ahead in their place.

But without an ability to get into the middle of Fancus's zone defense, the Reignmakers struggled on the offensive end late in the game. Only shooting 25% from three and not getting any easy shots inside doomed the Reignmakers. The lack of rebounds also hurt late in the game.

Brent Hunter got the nod from the Developmental League but just couldn't provide the offensive punch that he had last time he got time. He scored 6 points and could not get anything going from three (0-6).

Leading man Brandon Hunter had 23 points, but could not find a rhythm from deep. He only managed two field goals inside and was bothered most of the night.

With Brent Hunter being sent back to the DRBL this weekend, the Reignmakers will most likely fall back into their regular starting lineup of the three Hunters, Petrilli, and Weigel. Dobson may still get a nod as his starting night was not to be.

The Reignmakers will have a two weeks to get it right as they are off next week. It will be the toughest back to back of the short season as they facethe Dream Team who were 3-1 as of this writing.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Tonight's Game Preview

The Reignmakers will be looking at a new starting lineup tonight versus Fighting Fancus.

Coach Jason Hunter has told us that the lineup will look as follows:

C- Kerry Hunter
PF - Brandon Hunter
SF - Jason Hunter
SG - Brent Hunter
PG - Chad Dobson

"Brent is back up due to a couple week span of no games in the developmental league coming up, so we want to give him some time up here. Chad has been out for two weeks, so we want him to get some minutes as well. We will be full up tonight roster wise." Coach Hunter told the media today.

Ryan Stuver will be back from his one game hiatus with a sore knee. So the Reignmakers will have all 9 roster members dressed tonight for the game against the Fighting Fancus (2-1). This is a new team from the preseason as Fancus has added some new members.

The Reignmakers still lead the league with 266 points overall. Fancus, 167 points (3 games played), has one of the better defenses in the league with only allowing 145 points total.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A "Flu Game"; A New Season Best; Another Win

Michael Jordan had his "flu game". Jason Hunter decided to make this one his.

After battling the flu for the past week, Hunter stepped up big in the Reignmakers 80-60 victory Sunday night at the Rec Center in Brunswick.

Hunter had his best scoring performance with 20 points, hitting 4 of 6 three point shots and grabbing six rebounds.

Not to be outdone, his brother Brandon pulled down six rebounds of his own and topped it with a season best 38 points, shooting 6 of 12 from three, and 9 of 15 from everywhere else.

Combine those two great outings with the overall game the Reignmakers had and it was a recipe for a victory. The team shot 52% from three point range and just a touch better, 53%, from inside the arc. The team really stepped it up in a physical game in the second half by running and playing improved defense down the stretch. The Reignmakers outscored the Kings 46-31 in the second half after leading by only two in the first.

Sitting a top Division II is a great feat for a team slated to finish .500 by most polls and experts coming into the year. The Reignmakers were meshed together following the two Hunter pickups and most did not believe the team would gel like it has and perform as it has. The season is still in infancy, but feeling confident at 4-0 to start the year has a great feeling and sends great vibes every night.

The Reignmakers play this coming Monday against the Fighting Fancus. The previously beat Fancus in their preseason matchup 52-40.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Get Out Your Checkbooks

Some posting's from the Reignmakers front office today...

The team has made the contracts of Andy Kempf, Ryan Stuver, and Clinton Weigel all guaranteed.

Stuver and Weigel will receive $1.75 million ensured while Kempf will receive a touch more with $1.8.

Also, veteran big man Kerry Hunter has inked another year onto his vet's minimum deal. The Reignmakers added another year and an impressive $4 million onto his contract. The center is currently making $567,000, which is the league set veteran minimum for one year.

Other news and notes: The team will not be persuing contract talks with recently waived NBA'er Joe Alexander, as some reports had the Reignmakers possibly reaching out to the 24 year old forward.

"Not at this time," Coach Jason Hunter said in a phone interview. "He is awaiting other offers from higher bidders and teams with a higher standing professionally. And right now, we are extremely happy with who we can put on the floor at any given moment. We do have cap space to spare with only nine currently on our roster, but we do not feel the need to look to add anyone at this point in time."

The team is also in talks with various commercial marketing firms to figure out "promo nights" for some of their games. They would either take place at the end of this year or beginning next year.

"The fans deserve it. They come out every night and give great support," Hunter said, "We owe it to them to try to give back a little, not just on the scoreboard."

The Reignmakers have on average 3.8 fans per night. Which ranks them in the top half of the division.

See you Sunday.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Like Mike...

...If I could be like Mike.

On a night where The Reignmakers were down a man, their big man ailing with a foot injury, their energy man battling hand and chest problems, their backup big man still growing into the team and getting his legs back, and the leading scorer shooting under 25% from the field...they needed a hero.

Mike Petrilli.

The point guard has been struggling of late making only 2 of his 12 shots from distance, but he stepped up in a game where the team needed him most.

Leading after a defensive-minded, or better yet, offensively-challenged, first half 17-14, Petrilli had nearly half (8) of the teams points connecting on two of the three attempts from the arc. Petrilli kept it up down the stretch hitting on one huge three with on 5 seconds left. The shot came with the Reignmakers down one with less than thirty seconds in regulation.

"The ball movement on the last play of the game created that shot." Coach Hunter said afterwards. "We were relaxed, didn't force anything, and Mike was open on the swing. We count on him to make more than he misses. He got off the schnide tonight if you will. We needed that tonight and it was great to see him do what he does best."

Then with a smile, "He needs to work on those free throws still."

Petrilli did miss on both his free throw attempts on the night, leaving him an "oh-for" on the year. But his last miss from the stripe was tipped out by the veteran big man in the middle Kerry Hunter and that sealed the deal.

The big Hunter should not be left off of this write up. Battling through some foot injuries and wearing specially designed insoles to give him more comfort, the vet poured in 16 points, grabbed 12 boards and had his best night of the short season. He made four of his five free throw attempts and shot 75% from the field.

Once again working against two big men inches taller and 50 plus pounds heavier, the big man did the dirty work.

"Big game. Big game by Mike and Kerry both. He (Kerry) will need to rest throughout the week, he and the trainers think it might be a good idea to let him off of practice for a few days due to the foot problems. He deserves it. Plantar fasciitis is nothing to scoff at, and could really hinder us and him if he needed to rest. We will take it day by day. But he played great, the and-one in the middle of the battle was huge. He needed a day like tonight. They both did."

Then another smile, "He needs to work on those three pointers though."

Yes the big man did miss his only three point attempt of the night, leaving him 1 of 7 on the year, but he presence is felt on the court and on the bench. They leave it to him to draw up the big plays down the stretch. It's a value to have someone on a young team such as the Reignmakers.

The game looked like it was getting away late in the second half. They found themselves down by six, the Richfield Hicks hitting three straight three pointers, and only 5 minutes to play. But great defense late in the game, bothering shooters inside and getting into the face's of their three point scorers eased the tension on the other end of the floor. The Reignmakers got layups and easy shots and Petrilli's big shot with time nearly expired.

After calling a timeout, the Hicks faltered with good defense by Jason Hunter. Bringing the ball up the court with less than 5 seconds left, two Hicks players bumped, giving Hunter the opportunity to put even more pressure on. The Hicks point gaurd dribbled it off his leg turning the ball over.

It wasn't a pretty night shooting wise, but the Reignmakers got their offense where they needed it and hit the big shots when they counted. It is the kind of game that puts confidence in your teammates and yourselves as a collective unit.

The Reignmakers are now 3-0, tied for tops in their division and play the Kings next Monday, who were 1-1 as of this writing.

With their scoring point guard back on track and their big man rolling with momentum, let's look for a collective offensive effort next week.

I wanna be, I wanna be, I wanna Mike.