Hi! I’m Chris Whalen, coming to you straight from Billings Montana as we cover Game 7 of the 2017 FBA Finals! This has been an incredible matchup! Two incredible teams who had some close calls along the way fought their way to be here. The excitement is so thick you can cut it with a knife as fans are anxious to see Montana take home the trophy. The home team has been plagued with injuries this series, and the fans here in Montana wanna see all that blood, sweat, and tears mean something. The aggressive playoffs schedule has really taken a toll on the Howlers, but they’ve had some big wins, bringing Tallahassee to their first 7-game series in this playoffs.
Speaking of Tallahassee, talk about a Cinderella story! This team has been the bane of many fans’ brackets this year – no one expected the Typhoons to get this far as they worked up the latter rung by rung. But like Montana, you could see them start to flag a little in the last game, the exhaustion setting in for the long haul that got them here.
Whoever wins this series, both teams deserve credit for making it this far, and both teams have fought hard to be called champions.
Early in the game, you can see this is going to be a close matchup. Montana is out their starting center, Sterling Bengtzing, but Tallahassee has made the very controversial call to start Klaus Korber despite being on the Day-to-Day injury list! He looks a little stiff out the gate, but Tallahassee gives a strong start putting up 25 points in the first quarter. Neil LaRocca leads the Typhoons in scoring with 10 points.
On the Montana side, Kresta Resntill wastes no time, putting up 11 points in the quarter. Despite being down a player, the Howlers are giving everything they got, and with an unexpected 3-point shot by
Wescot Yobia, Montana earns a respectable 28 points at the end of the first quarter.
TAL 25, MON 28
Welcome back to Treasure State Arena for the second quarter of the last game in the 2017 FBA Finals! Montana is working hard to maintain their lead here before halftime as the offense on both teams is just incredible. Wescot Yobia and Brax Trenor continue to dominate as they tag-team rebounds at 4 apiece, with the hare putting up 12 points total this half. But the star for Montana tonight really is Kresta Renstill, who is all over the court, 2 rebounds, 2 assists, and a steal. She’s really been calling the shots here in Montana, and ends the half with 20 points.
Tallahassee does manage to hold their own, though, as Neil LaRocca comes away with 7 rebounds for the half. Klaus Korber and Narkissa Kassius trading off the ball with 4 assists a piece, with the lemur leading her team in scoring at 17 points.
It’s been a wild first half, fans are on their feet, and the tension is mounting as we go into halftime, with Tallahassee managing to close the lead to a 1-point game at the break! Score at halftime: TAL 58, MON 59
Coming back into the second half, here, you can see both teams look charged and ready to go. The ball is bouncing back and forth like a game of ping pong as both teams try to rack up points for their teams. The game stays steadily at one point, as Tallahassee finally earns their first lead of the night, only to have it taken away by Montana again. Then taken back. Then given back. It seems like this will go on for a while, but a critical miss by Montana gives Tallahassee the upper hand! A three pointer brings the lead to 4! Montana fans are extremely upset, and as play continues, an angry fan throws their beverage onto the court. The refs try to pause play, but it’s too late, Narkissa Kassius slips and slides into several Tallahassee players, as they all go down. Kassius leaves the court with 22 points for the game, and a broken tooth, but Tahiry Andriamatsinoro and Rosalie Smoot don’t fare so well, with leg and ear contusions respectively. Also caught in the crash, Vincent Maraundi, who also vacates the court with a shoulder injury.
Even though the Montana staff issues an apology, and the Howlers earn a Technical Foul, the Typhoons’ spirits seem to be broken. Montana is easily able to overtake them, much to the delight of the crowd here, and we see the lead get all the way to 10. Tallahassee gets in a basket before the buzzer, but it looks like this will be the tipping point for Montana. TAL 78, MON 86
Welcome back to the last quarter of Game 7 of the 2017 FBA Finals! I’m Chris Whalen, and if you’re just tuning in, you’ve missed a hell of a game so far. Both teams are down players now, both from before the game and due to a massive kerfuffle last quarter. I’m told that all involved are safe and sound in the care of excellent medical professionals.
As we start the fourth quarter, Montana is riding their lead with the air and pomp of FBA champions. With Maraundi off the court, Ren Inoue and Kresta Renstill have stepped in to fill in the gaps, each totaling 6 assists for the game, and putting up a total of 20 and 32 points respectively, and respectably! Wescot Yobia leads his team with 9 rebounds by the end of the game.
Tallahassee isn’t going down without a fight, though, and Klaus Korber and Neil LaRocca are doing everything they can to lead by example. They’re fighting with a ferocity unlike anything I’ve ever seen in an FBA game. Perhaps Hildegard Tetreault threatened to chase her team down with a tank, but they’re fighting like… well… excuse the pun… like injured animals out on the court. They’re closing the gap. 7, 5, 3 points! Neil LaRocca ends up putting up 12 rebounds by the end of the game, half of which are in the last quarter here, as he puts up another basket to make it a one point game! But that’s not good enough for Klaus Korber, who has been the driving force in this late game for Tallahassee, looking to match and maybe even exceed Kassius’s points, even with an injured hip!
Down to the wire, he puts up a long three right at the buzzer, and….
… he makes it! Klaus Korber has done it! He’s won the game for Tallahassee! Final score: TAL 110, MON 108!!! And of course, he gets Player of the Game as well, with 22 points, 11 rebounds, and 8 assists!
Oh, but wait. He’s still laying on the court. That’s not a grin, that’s a grimace of pain. The arena is completely silent as paramedics rush onto the court. This is… not good. Not good. Not good. Everyone here is watching as he’s carried off the court, the portrait of pain in his face is indescribable. Not a good way to start off a celebration. We’ll keep you updated as we hear more about his situation. For now, it’s back to the studio for the post-game coverage of the FBA 2017 Finals, right here, on FSPN.