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2019 Drew League: LaMelo Ball Sinks Buzzer-Beater; No Shnacks Lose in OT

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistAugust 12, 2019

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - MARCH 31: LaMelo Ball smiles after the Big Baller Brand All American Game at the Orleans Arena on March 31, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Cassy Athena/Getty Images)
Cassy Athena/Getty Images

Big Ballers can apparently only get you to the Drew League quarterfinals.

LaMelo Ball's No Shnacks lost an overtime heartbreaker to CitiTeam Blazers in the headliner of four quarterfinals showdowns in the 2019 Drew League playoffs.

Here is a look at that game and all of Sunday's final scores and notable developments from Los Angeles.

            

Sunday Results

MHP defeat All In, 90-82

Public Enemy defeat Panthers, 73-70 OT

CitiTeam Blazers defeat No Shnacks, 102-98 OT

Problems defeat Redemption, 100-94

            

The first game was defined by a common theme—MHP trying to hold off All In after jumping out to an initial lead.

MHP built a six-point lead after the first quarter, four-point lead at the half and two-point lead through three quarters as All In continued to chip away and stay well within striking distance despite falling behind by double digits.

However, Askia Booker made sure MHP advanced behind 35 points, eight rebounds and five assists and helped his squad gradually pull away for a 90-82 win.

MHP will face Public Enemy following the latter's defensive showdown with the Panthers.

The Panthers were already the underdog story of the playoffs after beating the second-seeded Young Citi in the previous round and staked themselves to a halftime lead in Sunday's matchup. They nearly parlayed the early lead into a victory, but Jacpott Henry forced overtime with a tip-in before Franklin Session played hero with a well-timed block.

Session finished with 15 points, 10 rebounds, five assists and that critical block as someone who is no stranger to delivering on this stage as a three-time Drew League MVP.

Session may have the better Drew League resume, but it was Ball who generated many of the headlines this summer heading into Sunday's quarterfinals action. However, he was unable to lead No Shnacks to victory and found himself in early foul trouble as his team fell behind by more than 20 during the game and nine heading into the fourth quarter.

Ballislife.com @Ballislife

LaMelo Ball scored 24 points in the 2nd half and hit the game tying buzzer beater to complete a 24 point comeback @DrewLeague today!! @MeloD1P vs Kasper Ware & Malcolm Thomas https://t.co/ZfVDt7Z9H0

He still made his mark and spearheaded a fourth-quarter comeback with a layup in the final minute to force overtime but was unable to overcome the impressive performance from Malcolm Thomas.

Thomas, who appeared in 40 games for the San Antonio Spurs, Chicago Bulls, Golden State Warriors, Utah Jazz and Philadelphia 76ers, finished with 29 points and 21 rebounds and helped clinch a spot in the semifinals for the CitiTeam Blazers.

They will face Problems following the latter's six-point win over Redemption.

Drew League @DrewLeague

The last quarterfinal game is Problems v. Redemption. The last time these two teams matched up. Problems snapped Redemption's 7-game winning streak. Both teams have played well late in the season but with key players missing from both teams, it's anyone's game https://t.co/SNDz4n2iaQ

The finale was another high-profile showdown after Problems snapped Redemption's seven-game winning streak in their previous matchup, and it was more of the same on Sunday thanks to lackluster defense from the latter and consistent offense from the former.

Problems jumped out to a nine-point halftime lead by getting out in transition and pounding it down low when opportunities arose, although Redemption climbed within five heading into the fourth quarter.

The comeback fell short, though, thanks in large part to Garrett Nevels, who finished with 23 points, nine rebounds and four assists.