Tuesday , Aug , 15 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

EBC Day Forty: Black Wall Street vs. Dezert Heat

For a game that’s supposed to be, as more than one person predicts, “a massacre”, this Black Wall Street-Dezert Heat showdown is surprisingly close in the opening minutes, with the challengers keeping up with the defending champs with a mix of good ball movement and excellent defence. Although DH fall into five-point holes twice in the game’s first six minutes, they show surprising composure to pull themselves even again, matching Crabby and GE’s interior buckets with an array of long jumpers, even briefly taking the lead at 22-21.

EBC Day Forty: Black Wall Street vs. Dezert Heat

Hardnosed veteran James “Speedy” Williams decides that enough is enough, however, hitting back-to-back-to-back triples in addition to a pair of free throws to put the champs back on top, also letting Dezert Heat know he’s in the building with a liberal dose of trash talk along the way. Although a turned ankle for GE provides a brief scare, it’s clear that Black Wall Street have their swagger back, and they use it to build an eight-point lead by the half.

Garnett, heretofore relatively quiet in the game, catches his second wind after the break, following up an impressive alley-oop jam with a string of stops that set the tone for his team, which rides their defence to a 64-53 advantage midway through the period. While they have trouble finding the basket thereafter, they more than make up for it with their efforts at the other end, and even a full-court press by Dezert Heat has little impact.

A desperation run at the end shaves the DH deficit to single digits momentarily, but it’s ultimately a case of too little, too late for them as they fall to the still-undefeated BWS 74-62.