Heat win in overtime thriller

Published 11:04 am Wednesday, January 22, 2014




A 30 degree drop in temperature and sheets of heavy snow did not deter the Bobby Andrews Recreation Center from filling up to maximum capacity on Tuesday, as the Heat and Mavericks of the 13-15 boys Washington Youth Basketball League warmed the crowd with one of the most entertaining games of the season.

Featuring some of the top teams in the age group, the game came down to the final seconds, but the Heat held on and inched out a victory over the Mavericks in overtime, 50-47.

“I’m proud of them guys for going hard all the way down until the last quarter and not giving up,” said Head Coach John Lampkins. “This is a team of champions. That’s what champions do. That’s resilience. When you don’t let up in either quarter and you play down to the last second, that’s a sign of a championship.”

From tipoff to the final whistle, both Lampkins and Mavericks Head Coach James Porter were on their feet, conducting their offenses and positioning their defenses accordingly. Every ounce of energy both on the floor and on the sidelines was expelled.

In the first half, the Mavericks were the better team on both sides of the floor. Forward Tykarrius Floyd proved to be a presence down low, collecting offense rebounds and earning himself points in the paint. The Mavericks guards began to control the tempo by forcing turnovers and accumulating points in transition.

Porter’s team led the Heat 22-16 at the half.

As the teams congregated on the sidelines, Heat guard Daquan Blount picked up a basketball and began shooting. He hit not one, not two, but seven straight threes from behind the arc. The spontaneous halftime performance would serve as a preface for what was yet to come.

After a rousing motivational halftime speech from Lampkins, it wouldn’t be long until the Heat turned to fire. A floater from Marquis Barnes over the defense, a long three from Tyshawn Roberson and a three from—you guessed it—Blount, shrunk the lead to just one point.

A clutch shot from the smallest player in the gym, Mavericks guard Javon Pope, kept the Mavericks up at the end of the third quarter, 36-34.

In the fourth quarter, both teams would go shot-for-shot, free throw-for-free throw, until there Barnes was able to penetrate down low and sink an acrobatic layup to put the Heat ahead, 48-46, with 25 seconds left.

Tight defense and a missed Mavericks layup would seal the comeback and a hard-earned victory.

Barnes ended with a game-high 21 points, while Blount finished with nine and Roberson with eight.

The Mavericks face off against the Thunder on Saturday at 3 p.m., while the Heat get the week off before they face one of the best teams in the age group, the Nets, on Thursday, Jan. 30.