LOS ANGELES – BB4L G Casper Ware II (Long Beach State, Washington Wizards) scored a game-high 31 points, including 27 in the third quarter, as BB4L defeated #Juglife 103-76 to win the 2016 Drew League championship.
The win completed a perfect 15-0 season for BB4L, only the second team in Drew League history to go undefeated and win the championship.
Ware was phenomenal in the third quarter, ending five straight possessions with three-pointers during a particularly blistering stretch. Ware made 8-of-13 threes in the game, with seven coming in the third quarter of play.
BB4L led #Juglife 45-35 at halftime, getting 13 points from Stanley Johnson (Arizona, Detroit Pistons). BB4L F Van Girard II (Dominguez Hills), named the league’s Most Inspirational Player before the game, scored two of his 10 points on a tip-jam early in the third quarter.
Following a skirmish between BB4L G Tim Johnson (Cameron) and #Juglife G Sek Henry (Nebraska), Ware got hot, hitting three after three from the right elbow extended above the break. By the time Ware had made his eighth three of the game, BB4L had an 84-57 lead vs. #Juglife. The fourth quarter was more like a coronation, and Ware was named the Finals MVP.
The only other team to go undefeated at the Drew League and win the championship was Problems in 2007. BB4L defeated Problems in the Division Quarterfinals, then knocked off Birdie’s Revenge and co-MVP Franklin Session in the Division Semifinals. That set up a date with LAUNFD, the defending champions, for the John Williams Division championship. BB4L was able to defeat LAUNFD to temporarily end their dynasty at four titles in seven seasons.
#Juglife entered the playoffs as the #6 seed, but they upset 2014 champions Houdini’s All-Stars in the Division Quarterfinals, getting a dominant performance from C JaVale McGee (Nevada, Golden State Warriors). #Juglife then faced off with #7 seed Scrapes & Gravel, and despite McGee being on the wrong end of a dunk/+1 by F Dorell Wright (South Kent School), #Juglife defeated Scrapes & Gravel to reach the Stanley Dill Division championship against #1 seed Redemption. Despite being down 22-4 to start the game, #Juglife came all the way back to defeat Redemption and Drew League Coach of the Year Keion Kindred to give F Nick Young (Southern California, Los Angeles Lakers) another shot at winning a title.
But just like Young was upstaged by James Harden (Arizona State, Houston Rockets) in LAUNFD’s championship win last year against M.H.P., Ware stole the show in a game that also featured F Terrence Ross (Washington, Toronto Raptors) and G Baron Davis (UCLA). BB4L’s win gave head coach Derrick Huey a championship to go with an undefeated season in the 40-and-over league, while Baron Davis now has some bonus features for his documentary, “The Drew: No Excuse, Just Produce.”
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Author Law Murray is a USC Annenberg graduate, who writes for the ClipperBlog on the ESPN TrueHoop Network