Togas halfway to win
Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 24, 2002
Normally, a basketball team only has about 20 minutes to rest up during halftime. The Togas and &uot;And One&uot; (AO) teams of the Strothers/Joyner Summer Basketball League, however, have slightly longer.
After rain soaked the blacktops of the Mary Estes Park courts on Wednesday evening, play was stopped in the season-ending tournament game. With the Togas ahead 27-23, the game will be completed at 6 p.m. on Friday evening.
After Lakeland High School student Alvester Franklin missed two free throws for AO at the beginning of the game, he snuck inside for a jumper to give his team a 2-0 lead less than a minute in. But Derrick Johnson burned down the left side of the court and flipped an alley-oop to center Troy Godwin to tie the score, a technique that would prove successful for the Togas as the half went on.
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Godwin and Rondell Whi-te gave the Togas their first lead, 6-4, with 12:10 to play, but AO went on the game’s first run soon after. Tony Jones headed to the left corner and sank the game’s first three-pointer, and breakaway layups by he and Franklin put AO ahead 11-8. Jonathan Riddick dropped in a jumper to get back to 11-10, but Jones completed a three-point play with 9:31 left. Earl White notched his first points of the game, and Franklin swished a pair of free throws to push the lead to 18-10 at the seven-minute mark.
For Godwin and the Togas, it was time to strike back. The center completed two three-point plays in less than 40 seconds, rising the Togas to 20-16. Johnson hit a jumper from the right side, and Godwin rattled off five consecutive points, giving the Togas a 23-20 lead with just over three minutes left.
The rain, slow and steady all the way through, began to increase, hurting the players’ ability to maintain traction on the court. Players who tried to stop after running quickly slid out of control, and some fell to the hard ground.
But White continued on, tying the score with a three-pointer at the 2:30 mark. Lee Wilson sank his first basket of the game for the Togas with 1:47 left, and Godwin ended his half with 19 points, bulling his way through the AO defense with 45 seconds on the clock for the game’s final points.
Again, the game will continue at 6 p.m. Friday. Barring more inclement weather, other tournament games will take place at Estes Park at 11 a.m., noon, and 2 p.m. Saturday.