Mar 10, 2013 Sports
By Edison Jefford
Pepsi Sonics withstood a first half attack from Panthers to win their opening game of the ongoing Georgetown Amateur Basketball Association (GABA) Division I League Friday night when the competition continued on Burnham Basketball Court.
Sonics came from behind to win 47-34 in the low-scoring game as both teams struggled to put it together on the outdoor court. Guard, Ryan Melville scored 12 points for Pepsi Sonics, including a three-pointer on the stroke of the end of regulation time.
He was the only player in double figures for the team with shooting guard, Trevor Smith scoring eight points in a valiant effort for the team. Haslyn Hooper had 15 points for Panthers that was in control of the game throughout the first half. Forward, Yannick December scored 11 points in an overall performance that deserved a more positive result.
The game started evenly until December landed a huge three-pointer to put Panthers up 11-4 in the middle of the first period. But a scoreless two minutes from Panthers allowed Pepsi back in the game, which was capped with a put back from Jason Squires.
The first quarter ended 13-10 in favour of Panthers, who distributed the ball better and played in rotation with Hooper involved in the final offensive decision. Pepsi seemed to gain some early second quarter momentum with good ball movement, but struggled to finish as December landed another one from downtown to maintain Panthers’ lead.
Leading 17-12, Pepsi went of a 6-0 run with Junior Lovell finishing a showtime reverse layup to come within one point (18-19), but Panthers upped its defence and managed to secure 22-18 lead at halftime where the game continued to be a low-scoring encounter.
Pepsi started the second period with a much-improved offensive performance, finishing attempts to trail 25-26 in third period. Forward, Marlondo Mickel finished one of two free-throws that tied the game at 26 apiece for the first time since the first quarter.
Then Squires scored two free-throws to give Pepsi its first lead 28-26 late in third period. Trevor Smith landed a three-pointer that allowed Pepsi to close the third period 31-26, giving Pepsi the offensive momentum they were searching for throughout the game. It was no turning back for them. Apart from the brief signs of recovery from Panthers that centre Hooper led with some And1 finishes, Panthers never seemed like the composed first half team it was in the game.
Hooper finished an And1 play early in the fourth quarter, but Pepsi Sonics’ run continued with a 42-29 lead on 24-7 run that started in the third period.
It was all but over for Panthers, who visibly mourned the huge collapse following the game. The night commenced with a 48-42 points win for Plaisance Guardians against Melanie Patriots in a Division III encounter of the GABA League.
Nduka Horatio scored 23 points for Guardians while Daynian Denny had nine points. Anthony Richards scored 14 points for Patriots.
The League continues today from 4:30pm with West Side Jammers taking on Colts and TGH Pacesetters against Eagles.
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