Thursday , Jul , 20 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

EBC Day Eighteen: Vezzeo vs. Dezert Heat

With the growing tendency in streetball for teams to work everything inside, the word “shootout” is now used to describe any game in which both sides hit two or more jumpers. In tonight’s match-up, however, it truly applies. Looking more like a Euroleague contest than a showdown in Harlem, the early minutes particularly showcase the hot hands of Dezert Heat’s “The Future” and Donald “The Last Don” Copeland of Vezzeo (pronounced, as I discovered today, vee-zee-oh).

When their back-and-forth three party ends with a miss by The Future, DH’s “DC Sniper” (better known as “White Chocolate” of MTV fame) gets in on the act himself, finding the net on an ambitious step-back triple that makes it 14-13 before we’ve even reached the fifteen-minute mark. With both teams icing everything they toss up, not even the refs want to slow the game down, the first free throws of the outing coming with the score at 26-23, by which point eight trifectas have already been made.

EBC Day Eighteen: Vezzeo vs. Dezert HeatAlthough the game moves into the paint for the rest of the half, an encore bomb from The Last Don with three minutes left gives Vezzeo a 44-37 lead. Following this up with a flurry of fastbreak buckets, they stretch their advantage out to eleven, the period ending at 54-43, the highest point total for a half this season.

The scoring slows down significantly for Dezert Heat in the second period, but, as it stops entirely for Vezzeo, they’re able to piece together a 12-0 run around a timeout that puts them on top for the first time in the game. Once again, it becomes the Don-Future show, with the pair scoring nine consecutive points between them, the last three of these – a triple by TLD – regaining the lead for his squad. 

His teammates quickly respond with two layups and a dunk around a score by Dezert Heat’s “The Machine” that makes it 66-61 with two minutes thirty remaining. DH refuse to die, though, calmly hitting two free throws and breaking loose for a wide-open slam that makes it a one-point game again. 

Vezzeo come up short on their third straight offence to give their opponents the chance to take a late lead, and they do just that on a tough fastbreak layup by White Chocolate over two defenders. When Vezzeo’s final play ends with a contested layup that barely grazes the underside of the rim, Dezert Heat snatch the board and the game, coming out unlikely winners in the 67-66 thriller.