The Minnesota Rangers brought six players to the Cedar Valley SportsPlex on June 17th. This made the game prediction pretty simple: Ranger’s gas tank will die in the 4th. And die, it did. There are no loopholes for fatigue. It is unrelenting, mean to you at recess, and withers down even the most conditioned teams. If anything this game should serve as a lesson to coaches everywhere, that stamina and depth will trump all things. And a team considered the second or third best in the MBL (The Rangers), continue to not be a match for the now 15-0 CourtKings. 127–108 final score, CourtKings over Rangers. And in a game without CourtKings starting point guard Anthony James [out with ankle injury].
Life comes with few truths. Ice cream is a super-food, the Earth is spherical, and if you bring six players to play a full-length basketball game, you will run out of gas in the 4th. Though on most occasions, the Rangers can do more with six players than most MBL teams can do with nine. One could notice fatigue sneaking up on it’s prey in the first quarter. As CourtKings head coach Michael Mohlis was subbing through a nine-deep plus bench, the same sweaty Ranger faces continued to play. Slowly and obviously losing defensive intensity by the second. Communicating less and settling more.
With 30-seconds left in the 1st quarter Ranger head coach Jason Sandifer called for substitute. A lengthy Ranger, Dominique Dawson, trotted to the scorers table, drenched in hard-work, ready to do his best spark plug impression, and with obviously something left in the tank, Dawson came in and performed a hop-step dunk over uber athletic Terry Carter. This made sure the game didn’t uncork until the 2nd quarter.
In the 2nd quarter the Rangers still had six players. And then the they allowed three consecutive CourtKing dunks. Two to Raheem Tyner and one to Eric Coleman. These dunks didn’t come off of well executed plays either. They occurred on routine passes to the post, where no Ranger player decided to contest, three plays in a row. The visible sweat on each and every Ranger player became distracting during this portion of the game, reminiscent of a lubed up bald head. Because of this, the CourtKing lead rose. Oh and Alex Houston scored 22 in the first half, which probably had something to do with the 65-54 lead as well.
“I workout and play everyday.” Houston said after the game. “I feel like every game could be my game.”
Rest did the Minnesota Rangers a great service. If halftime didn’t exist, this game would have ended in an even larger deficit. Instead, the Rangers drank extra Gatorade, vegged out, and looked crisp in the 3rd quarter. So crisp, the lead was cut to only one. But something loomed over the Rangers as the 4th quarter started: The fact that the Ranger’s legs were scheduled to die in this quarter. And fatigue, so far this season, is just as undefeated as the CourtKings.
“Knowing they had six, previous games they wore out in the 3rd and 4th.” Coach Mohlis said. “We made runs in prior games [vs. The Rangers].”
Undefeated, fatigue stays. The simple pre-game prediction came true and in eye-opening proportions. In the 3rd quarter the Rangers outscored the CourtKings 34-24. In the 4th the table flipped and a 38-20 quarter. If you play against the defending champion CourtKings, you might want to bring backup.