By Mark Carroll - Blog Coordinator
The second semifinals match-up of the night was a rematch of one of the most electrifying games of the year, as Andre Dawkins and D1 Sports looked to get revenge on Seth Curry and Team Jamison.
In the first contest between the two, Dawkins dialed in from long distance in the final minutes to bring his team within three points, but Josh Powell's inside play for Team Jamison could not be stopped. Despite Dawkins' 36 points, Team Jamison escaped as victors.
Powell suited up again on Saturday, but this time for D1 Sports. He had his hands full down low throughout the night, going back and forth against Miami center Julian Gamble.
Neither team could break away from the other in the first quarter, as Gamble and D1 Sports' Ryan Kelly found early buckets down low. After some miscommunication by Team Jamison, Kelly was able to drop in an uncontested lay-in in the final minute of the first quarter to give D1 Sports a 15-14 advantage before the first intermission.
The competition got a lot hotter in the second quarter when Hayward Fain threw down a one-handed slam off an offensive rebound. Dawkins responded with a trey ball, as his teammate Marcus Fisher added one of his own. The crowd erupted when Dawkins hit another three to cap off a 9-0 run. Curry laid in the final two points with a finger roll off the glass, but his team trailed 44-33 at halftime.
D1 Sports maintained control throughout the third quarter, with five different players scoring in the period. Powell's one-handed jam with 2:15 left on the clock put his team up by 17. Curry hit the second of two free throws with 26.2 seconds remaining, but D1 Sports took a commanding 63-47 lead into the final intermission.
After trailing by over a dozen for nearly the entire half, Curry and Gamble were not about to let the game get away without a fight. Curry's play from behind the arc helped open things up down low for Gamble, and Team Jamison was able to pull within four with just over two minutes left in the game.
"We knew that they weren't just going to give up," Dawkins said. "We let them come back but we just had to buckle down today and get some stops and some buckets."
After giving up an 8-0 run to allow Team Jamison a shot at the championship, D1 Sports found ways to score tough baskets when it mattered most. With 2:07 remaining, Powell regained some momentum for his team by converting an old-fashioned three point play. Gamble threw down a pair of dunks in the final two minutes, but it was not enough. Dawkins ended the game in dramatic fashion, throwing the ball off the backboard to set himself up for a one-handed slam. With the 83-74 win, D1 Sports reached the championship game.
Powell and Dawkins were the key players in getting the win, scoring 21 points and 15 points, respectively. While they were able to steal the win, Curry turned in 18 points for Team Jamison. Dawkins and Curry were on opposing sides in Saturday's game, but fans will have the opportunity to see the two guards play together for the Duke Blue Devils this season.
"It's going to be a lot of fun," Dawkins said. "Our backcourt is really, really good. As long as we keep working hard, we should have a really good season."
For the time being, Dawkins hopes to continue to showcase his backcourt skills at 4:30 on Sunday, when he and D1 Sports face Hendrick of Durham for the Greater NC Pro-Am championship.