P.J. Torres (6'3''-G-93) rolled out 40 points and the Petersburg Revolution basketball team pulled away in the closing stages to trump Fayetteville Crossover for the second time this week, winning 135-116. The Revolution has now won six straight and is gearing up for a third consecutive Saturday where they will defend their home court at the Rock Church of Petersburg. Coming to Petersburg on April 30 is Winston-Salem Certified, the team responsible for the Revolution's sole loss through their first seven games of 2016. The Revolution players' most recent battle to improve to 6-1 wasn't an easy one, as they fell behind 2-12 in the first four minutes of the game and then lost the lead again in the third quarter before rolling past the Crossover and steadily growing their lead with Torres heading the charge in the fourth. "As time goes on, we're just building chemistry. Earlier in the season, if something like that happened in the first half, we probably would have crumbled and probably lost by 20," Torres said. "But since there's so much chemistry and believing in each other ... if we start off 20-0, we're all looking each other like 'We're good' ... look down the line, go to the next person, let him know we're good and we just keep playing until the clock hits zero." Petersburg had also beaten the Crossover in a narrower contest on Sunday in Fayetteville, N.C. with a final score of 121-116. "It was definitely a challenge ... trying to beat a team twice is always hard, especially when you're playing them back-to-back," Torres said. "But we came in, we accepted the challenge, we embraced it ... we said we've got to go hard just like last game, but even more because we knew they were going to bring it. "We just turned it up another level and we came out with the win." Head coach Kyle Dixon said they had to make sure they knew that it wasn't easy the first time they played Fayetteville. "We can't take this team for granted. [We had] to make sure we kept everything basic ... move the ball around, keep the teammates involved," Dixon said. "We also had a huge engagement from the bench. Our bench players ... were very active and very communicative [on] what they saw on the floor." Facing a talented squad in the Crossover with Raymond McKeithan matching Torres' 40 points, the Revolution turned up the outside shooting and overcame the opponent in the latter stages of each half. "The more aggressive we are on defense, the more we make them frustrated," Dixon said. "We got a lot of stops, we got them frustrated and we got a lot of easy buckets." Torres, who fired in several three-pointers including back-to-back treys on the Revolution's breakaway bid in the second quarter, credited his teammates for fueling his outside shooting game. "Making shots just becomes contagious once you see other people on your team doing it," Torres said. "Just domino effect." Team plays led to several buckets, as Petersburg notched its first two points off of James Shambley nabbing the steal and then bouncing the ball to Torres, who blasted it through on the dunk. The Revolution straightened up after the timeout call with eight minutes left in the first quarter. The blistering speed and three-point shots of Earl Gee II sparked Petersburg's first rally as his teammates turned his passes into baskets and he briefly sent his team to the point on the trey. Cedric Kwindja netted the ball off the rebound, Tyre Desmore rocketed in the one-armed dunk and Torres made the two-pointer as the Revolution went back and forth with the Crossover for the lead near the top of the second. After Fayetteville netted the three-pointer early and often, the shots from behind the arc kept coming from Petersburg in the second quarter as they broke away to lead 66-55 at the half. Fayetteville charged back into the picture, taking back the point (79-78) off the three-pointer with six minutes to play in the third. The two teams traded the lead until three-pointers from Reggie Cherry and Deshon Dabbs put them up 92-89 at the end of the third quarter. From there, Torres helped pull the Revolution outside of the visitors' reach. "It's amazing what we have here, the potential that we have here and we have a means to really bring a name to Petersburg, Virginia," Dixon said. Behind Torres, Gee scored 15 points, followed by Cherry with 14, Dabbs with 12, Kwindja and Desmore with 11 each and William Mackey with nine. Petersburg's only loss on the season came in their first-ever game as a team against their upcoming opponent Winston-Salem Certified. The margin of loss was listed at five points. That loss was also on the road. There is one place where the Revolution remains unbeaten. The Rock Church of Petersburg. "We're home," Dixon said. "We're going to defend our undefeated home record."
The PrimeTime Players returned to York Prep Academy in Rock Hill for their second of seven home games at their new home venue against the Savannah Storm. The Storm coming in having won two of their first three games were looking to make an early statement to the league by trying to knock off the top team in the ECBL Southern Conference. The backcourt duo of Grayson David and Calvin Hamilton got off to a good first quarter start combining for 16 first quarter for the visitors, but were ma... [read more]
The PrimeTime Players returned to York Prep Academy in Rock Hill for their second of seven home games at their new home venue against the Savannah Storm. The Storm coming in having won two of their first three games were looking to make an early statement to the league by trying to knock off the top team in the ECBL Southern Conference.
The backcourt duo of Grayson David and Calvin Hamilton got off to a good first quarter start combining for 16 first quarter for the visitors, but were matched by Brian Mobley (6'6''-SF-87, college: Johnson C. Smith) from PrimeTime who poured in 17 of his 21 points in the opening period to help PrimeTime to a 40-26 lead at the end of the quarter. The second quarter First Team All League performer Terell Smith (6'3''-G-85, college: Limestone) scored 21 points in the quarter and Chris Moore (6'2''-PG-86, college: Charleston So.) finished the half with 20 point, while Dijuan Harris (5'9''-PG-86, college: Charlotte) finding someone wide open seemingly on every possession. Grayson David did his part to try and keep the visitors in the game with 20 total points in the first half, but the Storm went into the half down 85-55.
The second half started where the first one ended with PrimeTime pushing the lead up to as many as 44 with Terell Smith leading the way by hitting eight second half three pointers. Dijuan Harris added 19 points in the half and finished with a ECBL single-game record 18 assists. The inside play of Thomas Pfaff (6'8''-C-87, college: Lipscomb), Jonathan Hart (6'7''-F-86, college: UNC Pembroke), and Brian Mobley limited the Savannah chances at second chance points as they all finished in with double figure rebounds and kept the home team running for the full 48 minutes in scoring a season-high point total in the 165-124 win.
The Carolina Thunder didn't have to wait long to get into the win column. They travelled to High Point, NC on March 26 and picked up their first win of the season. With the majority of the teams in the league having played at least three games, the Thunder couldn't wait to get started. High Point Hawks came in the game as the heavy favorite, but this unknown team out of Dillon, SC came and shocked the ECBL. The Thunder had their hands full from the start, getting down 17 points. They cou... [read more]
The Carolina Thunder didn't have to wait long to get into the win column. They travelled to High Point, NC on March 26 and picked up their first win of the season. With the majority of the teams in the league having played at least three games, the Thunder couldn't wait to get started. High Point Hawks came in the game as the heavy favorite, but this unknown team out of Dillon, SC came and shocked the ECBL.
The Thunder had their hands full from the start, getting down 17 points. They could have easily packed up and quit, but after trimming the 17 point lead to five points at the half, it was enough for the Thunder to stick around and try to win. Dashawn Bethea came off the bench to give the Thunder the spark they needed in the first half, scoring 9 points. It was Bethea who answered the call early with the Thunder leading scorer of the preseason Andrew Crawford (6'4''-G, college: Benedict) in a funk.
Deonte Johnson (6'4''-F-87, college: Benedict) filling in for Trey James was very special on this evening. The former Marion High/Benedict star led the way with 27 points, 17 rebounds. When the Thunder signed Radio late in the preseason, this was the bonus Coach Page knew he would have, adding a guy of that caliber. The point guard Jarvis Williams (5'11''-PG) was a huge part of the win with controlling the game and knowing when to score. The lefty closed the Hawks out with big buckets and free throws in the fourth.
With the Thunder being new to the ECBL, they needed someone who played in the league before. The basketball Gods blessed them with this young man in Anthony Keane (6'3''-G, college: Hartwick). Keane played the last few years with the two-time runner-up Crossover. With this team no longer in the league, Keane reached out to Thunder Nation. While in Conway, SC, it took Coach Page one play to see if Keane was a fit for the roster. The former Crossover guard came off the bench for his new team and put up a quiet double double with 13 points, 12 rebounds. Andrew Crawford did manage 24 points, but the shooting percentage from the 3-point land is a level of worry. On this day, it was enough to give the Thunder the 118-111 victory.
The PrimeTime Players returned to Banks Street Gym in Fort Mill for their lone appearance at their former home as they hosted the expansion Florence Wildcats. Coming off of two hard fought road losses, the Wildcats came into Fort Mill ready to play and also brought a crowd with them to cheer them on in their first matchup with the two-time defending ECBL champions. The game went back and forth for the first part of the first quarter, but after a Destine Albert (6'0''-PG) assist to Heyvis... [read more]
The PrimeTime Players returned to Banks Street Gym in Fort Mill for their lone appearance at their former home as they hosted the expansion Florence Wildcats. Coming off of two hard fought road losses, the Wildcats came into Fort Mill ready to play and also brought a crowd with them to cheer them on in their first matchup with the two-time defending ECBL champions.
The game went back and forth for the first part of the first quarter, but after a Destine Albert (6'0''-PG) assist to Heyvis Jackson (6'6''-F, college: York, NB), then a spectacular dunk by Albert that had the entire gym into a frenzy. Momentum was in the Wildcats favor taking a 16-14 lead at the five minutes mark. The PrimeTime Players responded immediately and were able to close out the quarter on a 15-1 run to take a 29-17 lead after the first quarter. Brian Mobley (6'6''-SF-87, college: Johnson C. Smith) scored eight points in the quarter while Chris Moore (6'2''-PG-86, college: Charleston So.) connected on two straight three pointers in the 15-1 run.
The second quarter saw Demerous Robinson (F, college: USC-Salkahatcie JC) and the league's second leading scorer Quincy Washington (6'5''-G, college: Charleston) combine for 17 points as they played a even quarter with the PrimeTime Players for most of the quarter. The host team were able to get into the bonus at the midway point of the quarter and guard Dijuan Harris (5'9''-PG-86, college: Charlotte) took advantage of this by attacking the basket and getting to the free throw line where he was able to convert five-ofs-six helping the PrimeTime Players take a 61-44 halftime advantage.
The second half started out quick for both teams as they combined for 75 total points in the quarter. Quincy Washington scored 13 points for the Wildcats while Chris Moore adding 17 of his team-high 32 in the quarter as the Players went into the fourth quarter leading 99-81.
PrimeTime opened the final frame with a quick 10-0 run to push the lead to 109-81 with 10 minutes remaining after two Vic Street free throws. The next 10 minutes of the game the Wildcats were able to outscore the host PrimeTime Players 41-25 with Michael Ellis (6'5''-G-86, college: Mercer) leading the way scoring all 11 of his points in the final quarter. Teammate Demerous Robinson added nine points in the quarter, but the Wildcats were not able to get close the gap to less than 12 points.
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