They had their worst game, best game, and now their final game of the season in the playoffs this year.
After they gave the Kings everything they had (Andy Kempf career high 14 points, 7 rebounds - Brandon Hunter 26 points, 9 rebounds - Kerry Hunter 14 points, 12 rebounds - 47% shooting from field - 67-45 win), the Reignmakers came up short, literally, against Fighting Fancus for the second time this year.
It will be the final time this season.
With only one player on their roster shorter than anyone on the Reignmakers, Fancus hurt the good guys on the offensive and defensive ends. Nothing came easy for the Reignmakers. They combined for only 16 two-point shots, showing that the path to the basket was clogged time after time. Only making three of those 16 shots (19%) shows they failed to shoot a high percentage when they did make it into the lane.
The Reignmakers felt better shooting the three (31%) and took them 26 times. But a sub-par shooting effort all around felled the Reignmakers as they will head home with the playoffs still rolling.
"Their height bothered us. It bothered us last time we played them," Coach Jason Hunter said after the game; his eyes facing down, towel over the head in the locker room. "We try not to make excuses, I had a chance to hit some big three's and missed. We all just seemed to miss our chance. It sucks. It hurts."
Not everyone missed. Without Clinton Weigel's three three's, the Reignmakers probably lose by double-digits. Not known for his shooting touch, Weigel, who is easily the Reignmakers quickest team member, hit on 6 of 8 threes he took all season. His hustle on defense is the main reason the team signed him this year.
"I just play my part," he said afterwards, "I know they wanted me here to run, play good D and just do what I do. Its a bonus for everyone if Im hitting shots. We just didn't hit enough of them tonight."
The Reignmakers fell behind early. Jason's two free throws near the end of the second half made it a 12 point game, 25-13, where you could already see how much of a battle it would be for the Reignmakers to deal with Fancus's size. Kerry Hunter had no rebounds in the first half, one total for the game. The team had a low 23 rebound total and only managed two free throws all game.
"We can only do so much physically, with our height," Kerry told the media at the press conference, "did we think we deserved more calls underneath? Absolutely. Who doesn't? Hitting the glass is something you need to do as a unit. We did that better in the second half, getting bodies on people, we just didn't have it tonight."
The Reignmakers started off on run in the second half and even lead for the first time since the 3-0 score at the beginning of the game, 34-32. Weigel hit his third three to give the Reignmakers a lead, but the team failed to score within the last couple minutes and Fancus hit their free throws.
"It was great to see us battle back. We are a second half team, thats where we have made our runs all year," Brandon Hunter (10 points, 9 rebounds) said. "We just couldn't finish. We did our best, we will be hungry next year. No one gave us a shot. I'm not even sure we gave us a shot. We know how good we are now, we want to win it all. Thats what we are here for."
In Reignmakers headquarters news, the team is looking hard into signing guard Michael Giardina this coming season. The guards season overseas has come to and end and he has made his way back into the States looking to continue his career here again. It was being reported that him and his agent have met with the team, but no concrete measures have been made as of yet.
Brent Hunter is another name you might be seeing more next season. The forward played in just three games this year for the Reignmakers, but averaged just over 17 points and 6 rebounds for the club. Brent would look to be entered into the starting lineup, pushing Coach Jason Hunter back to his original sixth-man spot, giving the bench more scoring power.
The Reignmakers are now also in talks about a name change this coming season as well, as well as new team colors. The team was looking to make a push for the change especially if they did not win a championship this year.