Chaminade Julienne at Thurgood Marshall
Article by: Seth Keim
The home opener for Thurgood Marshall started off with a bang. Reico Colter opened up the game on an 8-0 run for the Cougars as they looked to step on the gas. The fast start kept CJ playing at a pace that caused them to turn the ball over and resort to some impressive playmaking by A.J. Solomon. Anthony McComb and Mekhi Elmore kept the scoring rolling for Thurgood.
The Cougars led 18-11 after the 1st Quarter.
The 2nd Quarter brought much of the same, Thurgood kept on the pedal and kept CJ off balance. CJ started to get something going with solid play from Larry Turner and Dion Bruce however Elmore had something to say about it as he nailed 2 big 3's to push the lead heading into halftime.
Halftime Thurgood led 42-31
After half Thurgood looked to keep pushing the ball and did so with success until CJ went into 2-3 zone to slow them down. At the same time they had a change of heart on the offensive end and started pounding the ball inside to stand out forward Dan Nauseef who had 12 pts in Q3. Thurgoods fast break out of half kept them in the lead going into the 4th as did the foul trouble that Nauseef found himself in.
End of 3rd Quarter Thurgood led 60-48.
The 4th Quarter was a completely different ball game. CJ stayed in their 2-3 and even threw in some 1-3-1 to keep Cougars unsettled. Thurgood slowed the game down by trying to play keep away, all the while CJ played excellent defense and capitalized on seemingly every missed shot or turnover with a bucket of their own Dan Nauseef entered back in with his 4th foul around the 4 min mark and thus began a wild finish. Thurgood continued to play the slow keep away game and Nauseef came back onto the court with vengeance in his eyes. Down the stretch, he made big buckets after great offensive rebounds. He was assisted in the furious finish with timely buckets by Sean Menker, good free throw shooting and a final tap in by Brandon Gibson to complete the comeback with 4.8 sec left by board crashing teammate.
Thurgood got the ball to Elmore for a last 2nd 3 pt attempt and subsequent follow up try by McComb but they didn't fall.
End of Regulation finished tied at 73-73
OT saw the continuation of what we saw in the 4th, a CJ zone that Thurgood couldn't break and consistent back-to-the-basket dominance in the post by Nauseef as well as good free throw shooting that helped to seal it. Thurgood did get one last chance to try for a tie of their own but a 3 attempt by Elmore clanged off the rim as time expired.
Thurgood Marshall 83
CJ completes the upset and firmly moves into the 2nd place rank in Div 2 for now
Player of the Game:
A.J. Solomon Mehki Elmore Anthony McComb
CJ gets what is considered an upset by most coming into this game. They prove that they are not to be taken lightly in Div 2 this year, even after losing 50% of their scoring from last season. This game ultimately says more about CJ's performance than it does about Thurgoods perceived lack of power. Thurgood should be able to make the necessary adjustments moving forward, after all this is the start of the season. Here is to hoping for a rematch in tournament play at the end of the year.