Team Mike Walter & Associates wins with Gish’s outside shot
monica simpson | SUN
Nick Evangelista works the basketball court for
Team Mike Walter & Associates.
Last Tuesday night, more than halfway through the regular season, four teams hit the indoor court at The Center for two hard fought adult recreational league basketball games. This season sees many new faces take to the court along with a number of returning league veterans to make up the five teams in fall action.
The last game of the night pitted a winless Team Mike Walter & Associates against Team Intechgrate Systems, which came into the game of the week with one victory under its belt. With a five-man roster for the game, Intechgrate Systems sparked new life midway through the season with the addition of Aaron Daduks.
Daduks, a longtime league player, has led a number of teams to the championship game, and as the team captain, has claimed the ultimate victory in the past. His experience and solid play has helped his team this season go from big losses to being solid contenders.
Team Mike Walter & Associates, led by Sam Hooker, started the game off with a quick three pointer by Tyler Bekkerus just seconds after the tipoff.
Intechgrate’s Ted Hurst and Craig McDonald reacted with solid high percentage shots laying up the ball for two back-to-back baskets. After stealing the ball from Team Mike Walter & Associates, Intechgrate’s third basket gave the team a three-point lead.
Hooker answered back with an outside shot, closing the scoring gap. A personal foul by Bekkerus put McDonald at the free throw line after hitting the basket. Missing both free throws, the score remained at 5-8.
After a shooting foul called on Intechgrate Systems, Ian Hardy made the free throw shot tying ballgame. Team Mike Walter gained momentum with the defensive steal and on-court razzle-dazzle by Thomas Gish, followed by a smooth outside shot Hardy.
With luck hitting the three-pointers, Hardy, Gish and Bekkerus kept Intechgrate’s defenders on their toes. A series of the low percentage shots would not fall in with a shot in and out of the basket and another brick shot off the rim.
Nick Evangelista was called for a foul on Daduks. Team captain Rick Hurst’s team just could not capitalize on the advantage of the offensive drive with T. Hurst dribbling out trying to find someone to take the pass.
Off of an offensive turnover, Hooker was fouled on the way up on his scoring layup, but missed the shot at the line. Gish hit a strong outside shot. The three-pointer was followed by a series of baskets by both teams landing the score at 19-15.
Team Mike Walter & Associates continued with the outside shot by Hardy that was rebound by league newcomer Gy Yatros and a scoring three-point shot by Gish widened the scoring gap to seven points, 22-15.
Daduks answered back with three points of his own showing his teammates, opponents and the fans why adding him to the Team Intechgrate roster was a game changer.
With three minutes left on the clock and the score 26-20, Intechgrate Systems called a timeout giving the team a much needed breather with substitutes on the bench.
As the seconds clicked off the clock, the first half buzzer sounded with the scoreboard posting the score at 29-24.
Coming into the second half of play with a five-point lead, Team Mike Walter & Associates started on offense. Back and forth scoring and a quick defensive take away gave Yatros a clean layup opportunity, putting up two more points for Intechgrate Systems.
Gish hit another shot from downtown pushing the score to 34-28. Taking advantage of a spoiled offensive drive, Hardy took the ball to the hoop, but missed the layup under the pressure of Yatros, who also made the rebound.
Yatros hit Daduks who found McDonald in the paint, but an offensive violation gave the basketball back to Hooker’s team. T. Hurst’s tenacity on the court forced the turnover and gave him two more points in the game.
Hooker’s clean shot from the outside added three points to the scoreboard and widened his team’s lead to seven points.
Daduks and McDonald scored back-to-back baskets, making it a three-point ballgame.
After baskets and free throws, R. Hurst heard the swish of the net with his only basket of the game taking the score to 38-36.
With only a two-point lead, Team Mike Walter turned up the heat. Sinking another three-point shot, Team Intechgrate called a timeout with 13 minutes left on the clock.
Showing the whole team has the outside shot in their arsenal, Jay Terry scored a shot just inside the three-point line. Hurst’s team came back with two points added to the scoreboard.
As the intensity level of the game rose, both teams intensely fought for every rebound. Shots were made by both teams despite the defensive pressures. The whistle of the referees started to get more use in the second half of the game.
A smart foul by Bekkerus on Daduks prevented the break away, but gave Daduks the three-point opportunity leveling the score back out at 44-41.
Gish, who finished with 29 points in the game, scored another two points. T. Hurst dribbled his way past four defenders before making his sho returning it to a one-point lead for Team Mike Walter & Associates.
Daduks lightly placed the ball in the basket taking back the lead for Intechgrate Systems. With Yatros and Terry both with four fouls, both teams quickly found themselves going to the free throw line for infractions.
Crashing in from behind, Bekkerus batted the ball out of Daduks’ hand in what seemed a certain scoring situation.
Going up for the shot, Terry was fouled by McDonald. Missing both free throw shots, the game remained close. In what seemed to be a repeat on the opposite end of the court Yatros was fouled on the way up by Gish. Yatros could not find the net, leaving the score status quo.
With a hip check by Yatros, he fouled out of the game. In a show of grand sportsmanship, while on the line for his free throws, Gish asked if Yatros could stay in the game so that game would remain as a five-on-five battle. With everyone in agreement, Gish missed the penalty shots, but his basket moved Team Mike Walter & Associates back into the lead by one point.
Coming up on a strong defense, Daduks was forced to try to dribble around Terry. Losing the ball in the battle for position, Daduks intentionally fouled Terry from behind to prevent the quick and easy basket.
R. Hurst hustled to steel the ball, but Team Intechgrate could not capitalize. Bekkerus’ follow-up shot fell short, but repeated rebounds by his team lead to a basket by Hardy taking the score to 50-47.
With less than two minutes on the clock, R. Hurst was called for traveling, giving the ball back to his opponent. Elevating the level of excitement, Terry dunked the ball widening the scoring gap to five points.
The scoreboard showed one minute left in the game and the score 52-47. Bekkerus fouled Daduks, who easily made both free throws.
Time management and intentional fouls took over the game. Terry and Gish both found themselves on the free throw line in the last 60 seconds of game. With Terry missing both and Gish hitting one, the score landed at 54-49.
Team Mike Walter’s Terry fouled out of the game, putting Daduks, with a total of 23 points for the night, back on the line. Making the first shot, Daduks’ free throw ended the scoring and the game with the score of 54-50, giving Team Mike Walter & Associates the win.