By Kenall Hilton
BARRY FARMS — Last summer, Bruce Massey, left his Kobe 8s in the middle of the Goodman League court after leading Lincoln Park 23-point comeback.
This summer’s Goodman Final’s MVP, Dele Ojo, did the same thing, leaving his Kobe 9s at both ends of the court.
Lincoln Park sealed their dynasty with an 80-66 win over the Showstoppers, completing the repeat. This is Lincoln Park’s 3rd Goodman title overall, putting them in an elite class with Shooters and Great 8 as the only teams to win three Goodman titles.
Ojo led the team win 19 points and 3 steals, claiming MVP honors and adding to his decorated Goodman legacy.
Commissioner Miles labeled Ojo as the best defensive player in Goodman League history. He checked all of the Showstoppers guards, most notably this summer’s leading scorer, J-Dubb. Dubb finished with 12 points, nine points short of his 21ppg average. Anytime J-Dubb was on the court Ojo was right in front or beside him. This defensive performance was very similar to how he contained Trey Kelly in last summer’s Goodman Finals. All of the top offensive talent that you can think of, Mo Creek, Aquille Carr, whoever is known for scoring, Ojo has handled them inside the Gates.
Brent Arrington aka “Jason Terry” led the Showstopper with 21 points. The Baltimore native joined the Showstoppers in the playoffs and was a big reason they made it to the Finals.
With Brent and Derek aka “Kirk Franklin”, J-Dubb got the additional help he had needed. This game they ran into a defensive juggernaut.
Bruce followed up his Final Four performance with 18 points and 4 steals, solidifying him and Ojo as the best backcourt in the Goodman.
Bruce didn’t have to use any heroic game-winners this game, but he did in the Final Four against the Drew All-Stars. Bruce game-winner three is what sent Lincoln Park to the Championship, making this two years in a row he has spoiled Drew’s hopes of Goodman title with a game winner.
Lincoln Park controlled the game from start to finish on all levels. Four players finished with double-figures, Super Coop adding 14 points and Baby Shaq with 13.
Coop and Shaq made their living inside the paint and the Showstoppers had no answer. Coop, who is usually the shooter of the bunch, showed the versatility and experience by getting all his buckets inside since his shot wasn’t falling from behind the arc.
Shaq, who hasn’t played much this summer, came back to the Finals showing he can still get a bucket, working the glass with his pull up jumper in the lane.
These are the reasons why Lincoln Park has been the standard Inside the Gates since I covered my first game three summers ago. I like to consider the Spurs of Streetbasketball because of the way they play together. They come with 8 players, sometimes less, and get the job done. While other teams fly players in for the playoffs, Lincoln Park comes with their guys only. They are the definition of what an elite streetball team is supposed to look like.
After the game, Ojo addressed the crowd but shared some bad news, signaling that this is probably the last summer they will be Inside the Gates as a mob. Whether or not they come back to defend their title and chase the repeat, no one can deny that they will go down as one of the best Mobs in Goodman League history.
Kendall Hilton is founder of Fan-i Sports & A reporter for the Goodman League.