August 5, 2011 - Last night the Nike D.C. Pro City summer league held its first pair of playoff quarterfinals, with one upset occurring. More on the action follows:
Triple OT thriller - After a trio of three minute extra sessions, Hyper Dunk division's second place team DCX, outlasted Hyper Air division's third slotted squad, Team Symonds, 78-71. DCX outscored Symonds 11-3 in that final extra stanza.
Throughout the game DCX attempted to use its comparative advantage - size inside - with it really paying dividends in that final bonus period. Forward Robert Diggs scored four of his eight points then. For the game, G'town senior forward/center Henry Sims accounted for 18 points, while sophomore guard Markel Starks finished with 20, 10 of those being free throws, many notched down the stretch.
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Symonds received 13 points from Ian Hummer, a sophomore at Princeton, while Hoya sophomore center Moses Ayegba logged 12 points, though this game has a devastating impact on him; he went down with around seven minutes to play, laying on the ground for several minutes and having to be carried off (see Premium Court for more information).
Though Symonds fought hard - they staved off losing by having chance to win for 13 minutes of play afterward Moses went down - Ayegba's loss was too much to overcome. "That was tough; he was our big man and he knows how to play" opined John Kopriva, a George Washington freshman swingman of losing Moses.
During the last overtime, Symonds seemed to lose focus, of which Kopriva initially disagreed, saying "We had turnovers", but upon reflection said "Yeah, I guess that is a loss of focus. Turnovers will kill you".
His Colonial teammate, junior forward David Pellom of DCX was honest in his assessment, saying "We both were kind of trying to give the game away" meaning both squads had opportunities to win. "We just executed down the stretch".
It's not just age and physicality - Hyper Air division's first place squad, Team Takeover had just dispatched Boss Auto 80-65 Sunday, in a hard fought, physical battle. Leading 39-33 at halftime last night, it seemed as the younger and very talented Takeover would advance to semifinal action Saturday, by again defeating Boss Auto.
That would not be the case, as Boss, Hyper Dunk's fourth and last placed team, walked away with an 80-67 victory. They were led in scoring by point guard Joe Flegler's 20 points - including back to back second half three pointers that seemed to blow the game open. Forward Cal Brown finished with 10 points and swingman Jamal Wise had 14, evidencing balanced scoring for the team.
Takeover tried to exploit their young legs by scrambling on defense and even going small to accentuate that philosophy, yet just couldn't get over the hump; Boss seemed to get loose balls, score when needed and outside of a short stretch never really got flustered.
At first blush experience, age and physical maturity would be reasons for Boss' wins, as the team, coached by Al Brown, had no present day collegiate players, and many have played together in EBA action with the Metro All-Stars.
Brown, the coach, wasn't sold on that explanation.
"We have talented players" he said. "People have been disregarding that". He continued, noting "People just underestimate that. Sure we play well together, but they deserve a little more accolades".
Takeover got 20 points from Chris Wright, the former Hoya, and 13 out of Chris Braswell, a junior forward at Charlotte. Bowie State's senior center, Travis Hyman, scored 11 points.