Rx Bridge wins Brick League
Updated: Jul 27, 2020
How well can a team do in a championship setting with their backs against the wall when they lose two of their better players only one night after getting beat in the first game of a best-of-three series? And then find out they are going to be without another key guy going into the pivotal third and final game?
Go on to win those next two games in convincing fashion, that’s how.
And that is exactly what happened as the B.R.I.C.K. League officially came to an end by crowning the No. 3 seeded Rx Bridge team as their 2020 champion after defeating the fourth-seeded Outta Townerz on Saturday afternoon, 89-82. The team was presented with the first annual JaShawn Scott Brick Pro-Am League Championship trophy for the victory.
Asked what it meant to win the way they did and to take home the trophy that adorns Scott’s name, B.R.I.C.K. League co-founder and Rx Bridge player Cody Ballard said it meant a lot.
“JaShawn was a good kid so we just knew that to honor him in any way we can, it means a lot to win the first one in his name,” he said.
The trophy pays homage to Scott, who was a Gahanna Lincoln High School student that tragically lost his life at only 17 years old in a car accident back in October. It was awarded to Rx Bridge after the third and final game inside the Mary Ann Butler building of the Oakland Park Avenue Head Start School.
“We honored him in (the) Junior Brick (League) and now we’re honoring him in the Pro-Am,” Ballard said.
Bridge took home the hardware after capping off an incredible season, which was unfortunately shortened to only five regular-season games due to COVID-19, and entered the final four part of the first round of the playoffs as a No. 3 seed. They upset No. 2 seeded ENS (Everybody Needs Somebody) on Monday night, 87-78, to move on to the championship.
But things did not go as swimmingly as possible for Bridge when they ran into the upset-minded Townerz in the first game on Wednesday night, losing in a nail-biter, 65-63. The Townerz stifled Ballard all night long, holding him to a season-low five points, and fell back on guard Keenan Lowe to lead the charge, who finished with 23 points, six rebounds and two assists.
Then things seemed to get dire for Bridge when it was announced before Friday night’s second game that they would be without two key players in guard Jamel Morris and center Leon Rodgers. Morris had been key in their upset over ENS when he shredded the nets to lead the team with 22 points, which included a team-high four three-pointers. Rodgers had also been a key component throughout the season and was looking to be a main contributor on Friday after finishing second on the team in their loss Wednesday night with 13 points.
However, despite their shortened two-man bench, they went on to pull off a convincing 79-64 victory which set up the league-culminating third and final championship game yesterday afternoon.
But things seemed to get dire once again when they found out they would be without another guy in guard Courtney Pilgrim in yesterday’s final game.
Yet, the team found a way to win once again despite only one man coming off the bench and then at one point, having forward Rambo Dyer leave the gym for several minutes due to a minor injury which meant they had no one to come in for relief at all.
One of the key cogs in their wheel, though, was guard Andy Bosley, who scored a championship series personal game-high 27 points and led the team with four three’s made.
He said things just fell into place for him.
“It just kind of turned out that way. I hit a few shots and my guys got me rolling (and) they had my confidence for me. So once that started, we just got going.”
Up by a point at the half, 45-44, Rx Bridge used a defensive scheme that attempted to take the air out of the Townerz’ ball in the second half by doubling up on guard Khaleal McCormick, which resulted in a few costly turnovers and at times, forced McCormick to draw iron on several three-point attempts. However, he did find ways to score and contribute by posting 10 points, six assists and four boards in the second half and finished the game with 18 points.
Bridge forward/center Nate Miller did his own bit of contributing by following up his 12-point, 13-rebound performance on Friday night with another solid outing on Saturday, scoring 10 points in the second half alone.
And he did it despite some aches and pains.
“I couldn’t get to the rim like I wanted to today because of a little bit of age reasons,” Miller said with a laugh. “But I just wanted to be as effective as I could for my team and I hit a couple (three-pointers) early and got my rhythm and made some timely shots down the stretch.”
He finished the game with 13 points and tied Ballard for second on the team with three shots made from beyond the arc.
Ballard led all scorers with 31 points, including 22 in the first half.
Lowe led the Townerz with 21 points while forward/center Andre Williamson finished second with 20.
The B.R.I.C.K. League will return to action on September 13 with both the Junior and Ladies B.R.I.C.K. Leagues. For more information, visit their Facebook page Brick League Columbus or go to their website, weareibt.com.