Redemption remains in the running for back-to-back Drew League titles.
All In joined them in taking a step toward the championship as the league's 2019 postseason tipped off Friday night at Los Angeles Southwest College.
Top-seeded Redemption looked to be in trouble against No. 8 I-Can All-Stars but showed their championship experience to survive and advance. To end the night, All In put on an offensive clinic at the expense of Hometown Favorites.
Below is an overview of Drew League's opening playoff action.
(1) Redemption def. (8) I-Can All-Stars 75-59
(1) All In def. (8) Hometown Favorites 85-54
(2) Young Citi vs. (7) Panthers, 1:15 p.m. EST
(4) MHP vs. (5) Baxter's Legacy, 4 p.m. EST
(3) Public Enemy vs. (6) Tuff Crowd, 5:15 p.m. EST
(2) CitiTeam Blazers vs. (7) Reapers Black Ops, 6:30 p.m. EST
(3) No Shnacks vs. (6) Nationwide Blue Devils, 7:45 p.m. EST
(4) Problems vs. (5) CABC So. Cal, 9:15 p.m. EST
Sek Henry led Redemption to a 75-59 victory over I-Can All-Stars with 29 points and seven rebounds. Henry, who played for Nebraska from 2006-10, made necessary contributions as Redemption were without Chuck Garcia, who led the team with 24 points and 12 rebounds in last year's title game.
I-Can held a 43-32 lead at halftime but couldn't sustain their momentum throughout the second half:
If I-Can held on, it would have been a major upset as they finished the regular season eighth in the Louis Merritt Division at 4-8. Instead, division-winning Redemption will play the winner between Problems and CABC So. Cal, both 7-4 squads through the regular season.
Problems' Garrett Nevels is the reigning Player of the Week after a 56-point performance in Week 10.
Following Redemption's win, All In ran Hometown Favorites off the court.
The winners of the Carl Munns Division secured a 31-point victory over Hometown behind 19 points from Stephaun Branch, who spent last season in the NBA G League with the Salt Lake City Stars. The game was never in doubt for All In as they led 28-9 after the first quarter.
It's worth mentioning the Hometown Favorites were without Gerry Blakes, who had been a difference-maker for the squad all season:
All In moves on to face either No. 4 MHP or No. 5 Baxter's Legacy in the next round.