Saratoga outguns Gunnersville

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 26, 2002

Mike Rue hit Dennis Whitehead under the basket for a layup with nine seconds remaining to secure Saratoga’s 41-38 win over Gunnersville in Strothers-Joyner Blacktop Summer League Competition at the Mary Estes Park on Wednesday.

Holding a 39-38 lead, Saratoga got possession with 21 seconds to go, and went into a stall. As several players passed the ball around the three-point line, Whitehead saw that the paint was open and dashed forward. Rue fired him a hard, one-handed pass, and Whitehead banked home only his second basket of the game.

After a timeout, the Gunners brought the ball downcourt, but an errant pass ate up several seconds, and they were unable to get a shot off.

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&uot;This was a tough game,&uot; said Randy Darden, who scored 10 points for Saratoga. &uot;Our shots weren’t falling at first, but we played to win.&uot;

Neither team was able to gain more that a two-point lead in the first 11 minutes, but Rafel Harris dropped in a jumper with just over three minutes left to give the Gunners a 13-9 lead. Troy Godwin (who led all players with 17 rebounds) charged through the Gunner defense to knock the lead down to 13-11, but Freaky Hart sank a jumper from the corner and Antoine Riddick a three-pointer to extend the Gunnners’ advantage to 18-11.

Vondelle White, however, completed Saratoga’s first three-point play with 30 seconds to go, and Saratoga was within four.

The team in yellow had stolen the momentum, and it showed in the first half. Rue burned the Gunner defense for a breakaway, one-handed dunk, and he and Godwin scored six more points to give their team a 22-19 lead. Terrance Sharp brought the Gunners back to 24-24, but Darden and Whitehead scored to go ahead 28-24 with 9:44 remaining.

Undaunted, Hart hit a jump shot from the corner, and Tarell Mitchell knocked in a turnaround jumper has the Gunners went back up 31-30.

Godwin missed a layup, but Rue flew in and tipped in the rebound with six minutes to go, getting the lead back. Darden outran the Gunner defense for another layup with 5:34 back, but a Riddick three-pointer tied the score at 36 with 4:36 left. Saratoga called timeout, and Darden swished a three-pointer. Hart cut the lead to one, but Rue and Whitehead combined for the last basket to end the game.

In other action, Theotis Porter scored four points in overtime as Da Fans took a 62-56 victory from the All-Stars.