By Mark Carroll - Blog Coordinator
Duke guard Nolan Smith and Team Dreamworks went head-to-head with Team Navy for the final contest of the evening. Both teams came into the game searching for the first win of the season.
UNC-Greensboro forward Elhanan Bone got things started early for Team Dreamworks, putting in some tough buckets in the paint. Smith helped lighten the load for his teammate by hitting a three pointer and a deep two early on. Corey Evans and former ECU Pirate Derrick Wiley stepped up for Team Navy on the other end, leading their team to a 15-13 lead after the first quarter.
Duke's Mason Plumlee showed off his range, knocking down a trey for Team Dreamworks to begin the second period. Smith added baskets of his own, as he continued his scoring binge by hitting all six of his free throws and adding a couple three pointers. Fans recognized a familiar sight late in the half as Smith found Plumlee for an alley-oop slam.
Smith and Plumlee were putting on a show for Team Dreamworks, but Team Navy had answers on the other end. Wiley knocked down a perimeter shot early on, and added an assist shortly after as he set up Anthony Greenup for a three pointer. Charles Ward showed tremendous athleticism, elevating for a two-handed dunk despite being fouled by Plumlee. His successful free throw attempt completed the three point play.
The second quarter produced several highlights and came to a fitting ending when Nolan Smith hit a halfcourt shot to end the half. At the break, Team Navy held a 37-34 lead.
Team Navy came out hard in the second half, making a run fueled by five Anthony Greenup slams. Toward the end of the third quarter, Marcus Wells dropped in a lay-up to extend the lead to 61-47, the largest margin of the game.
Team Dreamworks trailed by 12 after the third quarter, but ended the period with some momentum after Smith found Plumlee for a reverse alley-oop. Shortly after the final quarter of regulation began, Smith took over by nailing two shots from three point land to cut the lead to six. Wiley responded with a deep three for Team Navy, but Smith continued to hit free throws and find open shots.
With 2:57 remaining in the game, Smith hit a step-back three ball to tie the game at 72-72. Plumlee scored three straight baskets, two of which were monster alley-oop jams assisted by Smith. The fans were ecstatic as Team Dreamworks began to run away with the lead.
"Even though it's just a pick-up game, we want to win, so we just had to start competing," Smith said.
A high level of competition could be seen on both sides, as Wiley responded to Team Dreamworks' run with a three pointer. After Bone hit the second of two free throws to extend Team Dreamworks' lead to four, Wiley was fouled on a three point attempt by David Williams. The lead was cut to one after Wiley swished all three free throws.
Team Navy's late push was not enough, however. With 5.9 seconds remaining, Smith hit two shots from the charity stripe. Team Navy's last possession did not produce a bucket, and Team Dreamworks escaped with the 81-78 win.
"When it comes down to winning, that's what I'm used to doing, so I just had to get that second wind and try and do whatever it takes to win," Smith said.
Smith's 36 point effort was the performance of the night, not to mention numerous assists to Plumlee, who had 22 points. Smith implied that Duke fans have a lot to look forward to this season.
"Miles and Mason [Plumlee] both can catch alley-oops, and me and Kyrie [Irving] are going to pass them," Smith said with a grin.
Team Dreamworks' next match-up will be against Team 212 on July 15, and Team Navy will face Hendrick of Durham in their next contest on July 13.