By Mark Carroll - Blog Coordinator
Former N.C. State star Courtney Fells and Lucky Seven started off strong Thursday night, dropping many early buckets on Derrick Wiley and Team Navy. It was the first game for Lucky Seven since their blowout win over Coaches in Christ on July 8.
Lucky Seven's Jeremy Wise, who played college hoops at Southern Miss, led his team early in the contest knocking down a three that extended a first quarter lead. South Florida guard Justin Leemow joined Wise in the early scoring spree, hitting a trey of his own and dishing out an assist to Charlie Manning to give Lucky Seven a 25-14 lead after the first period.
Team Navy came clawing back immediately in the second quarter as Corey Evans rose up to the challenge and pushed for a comeback. Evans' three pointer just minutes into the the second quarter tied the game at 29-29. Former N.C. State forward Damon Thornton, making his first appearance of the summer at the Greater N.C. Pro-Am, ended Team Navy's run with a lay-in to reclaim the lead, but Evans continued to dominate on the other end. Team Navy's Kendall Smith was successful on his second of two free throws with 2:23 remaining in the quarter as his squad took a 40-39 advantage into halftime.
Thornton's two-handed slam to begin the second half was a sign of things to come, as jaw-dropping dunks were thrown down on both sides of the court throughout the third period. It appeared Team Navy was about to run away with the game after a two-handed jam by Wiley (game-high 18 points), but Thornton's old-fashioned three point play and Leemow's perimeter shooting kept Lucky Seven well within reach. Team Navy's Dominique Sutton showed tremendous elevation with a powerful dunk to end the third period, as his team held on to a 58-55 lead.
Leemow turned up the heat in the final quarter, immediately hitting a shot behind the arc for three of his 13 points, and finding his way to the free throw line just seconds later after being fouled on a three point attempt. Sutton displayed impressive offensive ability, getting physical as he muscled his way to the rack and helped maintain the lead for Team Navy. Lucky Seven's Tavares Alston found his way to the line after being fouled on a shot from three point land with 26.8 seconds remaining, but only cut the deficit to four after hitting just one of three free throws. Sutton pulled down the rebound and hit a pair of free throws on the other end to seal the deal, leading his team to a 73-65 victory.