Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXIV, No. 32
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
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HEATING UP: Kyle Burke of George’s Roasters and Ribs/The Ivy Inn lofts a jump shot last Wednesday night at the Community Park courts in the best-of three championship series of the Princeton Recreation Department Summer Men’s Basketball League. Burke scored 12 points to help top-seeded George’s beat No. 3 Princeton Sports Bar and Grill 49-42 and sweep the series 2-0. In Game One of the series, Burke hit a long three-pointer in the waning seconds to provide the margin of victory in a 36-34 nailbiter.

Sharpshooting Burke Heated Up at Right Time As George’s Roasters Took 3rd Straight Crown

Bill Alden

Kyle Burke wasn’t satisfied with his performance during regular season action in the Princeton Recreation Department Summer Men’s Basketball League. “I am on the court to make shots and to spread the court,” said Burke, a guard for George’s Roasters and Ribs/The Ivy Inn. “I hadn’t been doing that until the playoffs.”

In the quarterfinals of the playoffs, Burke woke up in a big way, netting 17 points to help top-seeded George’s edge No. 8 BLK 49-48.

In Game One of the best-of-three championship series against third-seeded Princeton Sports Bar and Grill, Burke provided the margin of victory as he heaved in a three-pointer in the waning seconds to give George’s a 36-34 win.

“We got lucky because that was a broken play,” said Burke, reflecting on his game-winning shot. “It was a loose ball and I kind of just shot out to the corner. Shahid [Abdul-Karim] found me.”

Last Wednesday in Game Two at the Community Park courts, Burke found his shooting form early on, hitting a three-pointer and sinking three free throws as George’s built a 24-17 halftime lead.

“Tonight I made a couple and got off to a good start,” said Burke, who ended the night with 12 points as George’s won 49-42 to take its third straight summer league title.

“I didn’t get too many good looks. They played me tough; I am glad I made some.”

George’s had the scoring balance, however, to make things tough on Princeton Sports Bar and Grill.

“We have three or four players on the court at all times who can make outside shots,” said Burke. “It helps when you can spread the floor and it helps when Mark [Aziz] is playing so well inside.”

In Burke’s view, George’s victory in the series came down to intangibles and court savvy.

“We have been in close games before, whether it be in this league or in college,” said Burke.

“I think rebounding and effort were the keys to both games. They were bigger than us at every position. We have been in these situations before.”

The squad brought a little extra inspiration into the playoffs, looking to win the title for stalwart Scott Findlay, whose season was wiped out by a knee injury in July.

“It was especially good to win this year with losing Scott,” said Burke. “He is such a good guy and he cares so much. Everyone had to do a little more and everyone showed their true colors. We wanted to win it for Scott; hopefully we’ll get to celebrate with him soon.”

While winning three straight titles is something to celebrate, Burke is just as proud of George’s love of the game and unity.

“The most important thing is that we come out and have fun,” asserted Burke, who played hoops at the College of New Jersey with George’s teammates, Aziz, Findlay, Brian Halligan, and former Princeton High standout Bobby Davison.

“We play hard but no one ever gets a technical or gets thrown out. We have good guys and we just come out here and play hard. We are all friends off the court.”

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