Kings hold court against against the ThunderPublished 8:09pm Saturday, February 2, 2013
The Thunder struck with all their might in the fourth quarter but it wasn’t enough to overcome the loss of point guard Trajuan Smaw and a 13-point effort by the Knicks Jacquez Ruffin as the Thunder fell 35-32 on Saturday in a battle of undefeated teams in the 11-12-year old division of the Washington Youth Basketball League.
The Thunder took a 2-0 lead in the first quarter but shortly after it would take a big blow as Smaw injured his left arm while diving on the floor for a loose ball at the 3:30 mark.
“Trajuan is one of our ball handlers and has made a large contribution to our team all year,” Thunder coach Franz Holscher said. “He’s was going for a loose ball, and I’m not really sure how it happened, but we’ve been told he broke his arm.”
The scene sent shockwaves through the Bobby Andrews Rec center but both Holscher and Kings coach Rick Rufin were able to calm their players down and bring their focus back to the game.
When play resumed the Thunder’s Oreylon Brooks got hot and scored five first-quarter points to put his team up 9-7.
Brooks would score a game-high 15 points, while Timon Harris tallied nine and Nicholas Rawls, Clay Brantley and Frederick Holscher each scored two for the Thunder (4-1).
Ruffin paced the Kings (5-0) with 13 points, while Uriah Lawrence and Hykeem Ruffin each racked up seven, Ty’Nahj Smith scored three, Jacob Wactor tallied two and Trey Williams scored one point.
The two teams would head into halftime deadlocked at 14, but the Kings would come out of the break on fire and erupted for 15 points to give themselves a 29-23 lead going into the fourth.
The third quarter was highlighted by a big Kings run that ended in style as Jacquez Ruffin drove to the hoop and put the ball behind his back and up for a layup while drawing a foul. Ruffin would hit the free throw and put his team up 27-19.
Despite several clutch plays on offense, Kings coach Rick Ruffin said defense was the key to victory.
“It all starts with our defense,” Ruffin said. “I teach my boys to pick the ball and push hard and that’s exactly what they did. They got some easy opportunities and they made plays on them.”
The Thunder rallied back in the fourth and tied the game up at 29 all when Harris converted a layup at the five-minute mark. However, the Kings would end the game on a 6-3 run.
“Our team has a lot of heart,” Holscher said after the game. “We got down by about nine or 10 points but you could just tell they did not want to give up and they fought till the end.”
Kings 7 7 15 6 — 35
Thunder 9 5 9 9 — 32
Ty’Nahj Smith 3, Jacob Wactor 2, Uriah Lawrence 7, Jacquez Ruffin 13, Hykeem Ruffin 7, Trey Williams 1.
Trajuan Smaw 2, Oreylon Brooks 15, Nicholas Rawls 2, Clay Brantley 2, Timon Harris 9, Frederick Holscher 2.