Friday, August 6, 2010

D1 Sports 75 Coaches in Christ 73 (OT)

The Greater NC Pro-Am regular season finished the way it started, as the final game Thursday night was an overtime thriller. Marcus Fisher and D1 Sports faced off with Marques Oliver and Coaches in Christ in a contest that resulted in a nail biting finish.

Coaches in Christ came out for a well-balanced first quarter, with Oliver finding buckets down low as Bishop Daniels dished out multiple assists and found success from the perimeter. Julian Gamble displayed his inside-out game for Coaches in Christ, as the big man found points both under the basket and from three point land. The team jumped out to a 23-16 at the end of the first quarter.

Fisher began to heat up after the opening period, scoring nine of his 34 points in the second quarter, but Coaches in Christ was seemingly incapable of missing. An old-fashioned three point play by Lamont McQueen followed by a goaltending violation against D1 Sports helped Coaches in Christ take a 15 point lead into halftime.

D1 Sports trailed by seven in the third quarter when Brandon Smith knocked down two points that sparked some life into his squad. The team followed his basket with two straight stops on defense, and a two-handed dunk by Jared Johnson helped chip away at the lead. Fisher continued his scoring spree by knocking down two free throws to cut the lead to 47-44, making it a one possession game.

It appeared that D1 Sports had all the momentum, but Oliver and Gamble each muscled in baskets to keep a comfortable lead for Coaches in Christ. Fisher nailed a two point field goal with just second remaining in the third quarter, and D1 Sports trailed only by five heading into the final period of regulation.

Coaches in Christ held on to their lead throughout the majority of the fourth quarter, but D1 Sports would not go away. Fisher stepped up to the free throw line with 5.9 seconds on the clock, with his team behind by two. He was good on both attempts, as his clutch shooting put the game into overtime.

D1 Sports' Mark Pounds may not have made much noise in regulation, but he was certainly the hero of overtime. After first getting a breakaway lay-up to extend his team's lead to four with just 23 seconds remaining, Pounds stepped up to the line with 8.6 seconds left and hit two big free throws that were ultimately the difference. D1 Sports rallied to steal the win from Coaches in Christ, 75-73.

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