Friday, January 31, 2014

Human Highlight Reels Searching for Answers after 49-51 Defeat


That is what the Human Highlight Reels have after falling to 4-5 on the year this past Sunday.

After only scoring 17 points in the first half against a Division III opponent, the Reels changed gears offensively. Big man Kerry Hunter hit all three of his three point attempts in the second half and leading scorer Brandon Hunter also hit his three three pointers. Yet for the first time this season, their legs began to fail them.

Missing Kyle Komer due to an illness and Justin Woo for personal reasons, the Reels only suited up five. The advantage then fell to State Farm, who suited up 7 and repeatedly brough in fresh legs off the bench as the good guys floundered. Easy baskets, layups, and second chance opportunities...along with another poor shooting performance...pushed State Farm to an unreachable 51 points.

The positives to look forward to still include the schedule, which benefits the Human Highlight Reels. The remaining schedule puts them up against teams from the lower Division III, only one of which has a winning record.

State Farm moved to 7-2 in Division III after the win this past Monday.

The Reels stand at 4-5, which is still good enough for third in the 8 team division, and will face Division III opponent Paninis-Black this coming Monday who are 3-6.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Short Handed HHR Pull off Team Victory

With their smallest dressed lineup to date with only five guys, the Human Highlight Reels went up against the Monstars this past Monday.

The Monstars, in turn, suited up eight.

However, with no subs available, the good guys came up with a 62-47 victory, anchored by leading scorer Brandon Hunter (30 points, 8 rebounds) and a defensive 2-3 zone that held the opposition to only 15 points in the second half.

Without Kyle Komer, Justin Woo, and recovering big man Alex Yablonsky in the lineup, the Reels had to ensure that they played better team basketball and made their open shots when they had them. 


The ball moved quickly and efficiently throughout the contest. It wasn't rare to see four, five, or six passes on one possession a good handful leading to wide open layups or three pointers. A few times, after the ball movement and offensive movement by the players, two guys would be open in the same spot actually leading to someone "stealing" a pass from a teammate.

The open layups were an added bonus, as were the free throws. The good guys shot 17 free throws on the evening and made 12 of them, well over their sub 60% mark for the season. Brandon Hunter went 3 of 6, Jason Hunter 4 of 4, leading free throw shooter Andy Kempf was 4 of 5, and Chuck Caldwell added one more (1/2).

Back to Brandon.

His 30 points came on a night where the team needed a little offensive output from his direction. Hunter scorched the Monstars in the first half with four three pointers (4/8) and followed up with three more in the second (3/6). He added the three previously mentioned free throws and three more buckets from the field (3/6).

Even with the great effort of the team offensively, they only led 34-32 coming out of halftime to much more athletic team. The 2-3 zone had given up six three pointers in the first half, but as the Monstars broke down physically and mentally (picking up a technical foul late in the half), the Reels held their opponents to zero three pointers in the second half, which helped to open up the game.

It was a great team effort all around, possibly the best team game that the Reels have played all season, and it resulted in their third victory on the year. The HHR currently sit at 3-4.

The team hopes to have Komer and Woo back for their upcoming game on Monday at 6:30.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

The HHR Split a Pair - Still Looking to Find Winning Mentality

It has been a long four weeks for the Human Highlight Reels.

Check that.

It has been quite a winter season for the Human Highlight Reels.

After finding some semblance of offense December 16th versus Boston Rd., the good guys couldn't stop much on the other side of the floor January 5th against Powerstrokes falling 85-95; thus dropping their record to 2-4.

Recent news coming from camp is that athletic big-man Alex Yablonsky, who has only played in three games so far this season, had surgery to repair a swollen knee.  There is no timetable for his return.

Not that the team was fairing well with him in the lineup, winning once and falling twice, but the team seems to still be looking for some kind of consistency.  Missing one of the key pieces to your team makes for a tough go of it.

Surprisingly in the game against Boston Rd, the HHR were without Yablonsky and guards Kyle Komer and Chuck Caldwell, yet came away with a 67-56 victory.  Though Brent Hunter, receiving leave from his overseas contracts, helped to fill that void.  The big story in that game however, was the play of big men Kerry Hunter and Justin Woo, who combined for 24 points an 18 rebounds, shooting 47% from the floor (3/6 from three, 5/11 from two point range) and made 5 of their 6 free throw attempts.  The eldest Hunter came up large in the second half, scoring all 12 of his points and grabbing 8 of his 11 rebounds.  To equal out the attack, Woo scored 8 of his 12 points in the first half and hit two three pointers.

The good times fell to the wayside however during the next contest against bitter rival Powerstrokes. After a long two week hiatus due to the holiday season, the Reels came out flat and fell behind 37-59 at the half.  Switching from their patented 2-3 zone to a more conventional man-to-man style in the second half, the Reels made the game interesting down the stretch, but Powerstrokes connected on 18 three pointers and the good guys could only get as close as 10 falling to Powerstrokes for the second time this season.

Tensions boiled near the end of regulation after energetic Andy Kempf fouled a member of the opposition trying to score with less than ten seconds left on the clock.  Benches cleared and words were thrown, yet luckily no punches, and the game was officially called with 9.6 seconds remaining.

The outcome of the game may have opened up the opportunity for the HHR to start using the man defense more often.  Usually out-sized, that style of defense slowed the Powerstrokes attack in the second half, making them work harder for baskets; especially the three pointers which they made a devastating 14 times in the first half, compared to only four in the second.

It is something we may see down the road.

Some other positives to take away from the game was the scoring attack from the teams top performers on the year.  Brent Hunter suited up for his likely final game of the season for the Reels and totaled 30 points and 8 rebounds, leading the way.  Brandon and Jason Hunter scored 18 points and grabbed 5 boards each rounding out the offense.  They each took 15 shots total from the floor as well, with the older brother, Jason, hitting just one more attempt (7/15 to 6/15).  Brandon added six free throw attempts, hitting on three.

Defensive woes aside, the Human Highlight Reels may have started to turn the corner offensively, as they have been struggling all year.  Hopefully with a new found team mentality, especially after the events following the game this past week, the Reels can find away to pull themselves above .500 for the season and make a strong push heading into the halfway point of the season.

The Human Highlight Reels schedule becomes a bit "softer" in the upcoming weeks.  It starts this coming Monday at 9:15pm against the Monstars.

League standings were not updated at the time of writing.