Playaz one-point-better than Fire
Monday night, the Greenville Parks and Recreation Department's men's final came down to a free throw.
Glen Hicks stood on the charity stripe staring at a pair of freebies with the game on the line. The first one clanged off the back of the iron and the Fire took a time out to ice the shooter.
When the time ended, Hicks took the line again this time though, his shot fell straight through the bucket putting the Playaz up 54-53 with 1.7 seconds left on the clock.
The Fire inbounded the ball, but Thomas Canaty intercepted the long pass securing the blue-clad Playaz the league championship and the big trophy that goes with it.
The Playaz jumped out to an early 8-2 lead thanks to a pair of three pointers from Kevin Norris. The unbeaten Playaz, who finished the league as the No. 1 team, battled back to tie the game at 10-10 and then push ahead 13-10 with a three of their own.
The Fire answers back with an underneath basket to cut the lead to a point, 13-12.
Emotions began to take over for the Fire as Wes Robinson gets called for a technical foul that sends a shooter from the Playaz to the line.
Canaty drained both baskets and pushed ahead to a 15-12 lead.
Both teams battled back and forth through the duration of the 20:00 first half.
The Playaz remain in front for a majority of the period, but the Fire answer back. Garrard Warren takes the dribble coast-to-coast, putting Canaty on his back in the process and cutting the lead to one basket.
The teams head to the benches at the end of the first period with the score tied 22-22.
The Playaz open up the second half with a seven point run with baskets from Robert Blankenship and Bobby Bedgood.
Andre Womack sinks a fade-away jumper to end the run and cut the lead to four points.
Both teams trade baskets and are able to keep the score within a few points of each other, with four points being the largest stretch between the two tallies.
Womack drains a long two pointer to tie the game at 33-33 with 11:25 left in the game.
The Playaz tack on a pair of back-to-back baskets in an attempt to push the score up, but Warren and Womack get in two-on-one situation that leads to a basket and a 37-35 score.
The Playaz and the Fire battle back and forth like the No. 1 and No. 2 teams in the league should do.
With 5:30 left in the game and a two-point lead, the Fire go into a stall offense and begin to try to run the clock down.
That works for a moment but the Playaz force a steal and record the basket to tie the game at 43-43.
After a free throw and a pair of baskets, the Playaz jump out to a 48-43 lead, forcing the Fire to call a timeout to talk things over.
The Playaz push out to a 50-43 lead, but the Fire battle back with a three pointer from Womack with 1:25 left in the game.
The Fire continue their run, closing the gap to a three-point margin with :38.2 left in the game.
Donnie Kemp is called for travel and then for a tech sending Warren to the line for a pair of free throws. He sank the second of two, cutting the lead to two points, 53-51.
Warren got the rebound and took it coast-to-coast to tie the game at 53-53 with :16.4 seconds left in the game. The Playaz inbound the ball and play for the last shot. Hicks was fouled by Robinson sending him to the free throw line for a pair of freebies. Hicks sinks the second one to push the lead to a 54-53 tally.
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