Legend Stops Brooklyn in Game One of USBL Championship
After each team missed its opening shot, Brooklyn took the early lead behind four Brice Assie free throws. Chet Mason made one of two free throws after he was fouled by Brooklyn’s Anthony Glover on a baseline drive. The Legend followed that by forcing a steal that led to pull up jumper from Shaun Fountain making the game 8-5 in favor of the Kings.
Despite only shooting 5 of 19 in the first quarter, Dodge City pulled within one with 6:31 to go in the frame after Chris Sockwell made two free throws.
On the next possession Brooklyn’s Dajan Smith connected on a turnaround jumper. Dodge City’s offense finally found the basket with a DeShaun Hadley three-pointer, narrowing the Legend deficit to four with two minutes left in the first quarter. The Legend’s Steve Castleberry finally got the ball to drop after several Dodge City shots to close out the quarter with Dodge City trailing 23-20.
Abdul Mills and DeShaun Hadley had back-to back three-point field goals as the second quarter started with end to end action. Randy Orr fouled Dodge’s Sockwell who had gained inside position. Sockwell’s two free throws brought the Legend within one of the Kings with 8:23 left to play in the half. Hadley’s transition basket pulled the game even at 34 with 5:58 to play in the second quarter. After teams traded turnovers, Legend coach, Dale Osbourne, called timeout with Brooklyn leading by two with 3:03 left to play in the half.
A lob pass into Brooklyn’s Justin Marshall led to an easy lay-up for the Kings, extending the lead to four points. Abdul Mills’ pilfer led to a breakaway slam dunk with 20 seconds remaining in the half extending Brooklyn’s lead to 47-38. However, it was Dodge City who made the final basket of the half after Shaun Fountains jumper from the right baseline beat the buzzer.
Brooklyn took a 47-40 lead into the half behind Brice Assie’s 11 first half points.
The pace picked up in the second half. Dajan Smith’s long jumper with 10:27 gave Brooklyn a 50-44 lead. The Kings’ Anthony Glover picked up his fourth foul on the ensuing Legend possession, forcing him back to the bench early in the third. Dodge City’s Elvin Mims hit a 12-footer to cut the Brooklyn lead to four.
The Legend’s first lead of the game came after DeShaun Hadley’s reverse lay-up came off the iron and Elvin Mims grabbed the rebound. Mims was fouled on the put back but still managed to make the bucket. Despite missing the free throw to convert the three-point play, Mim’s bucket gave the Legend a 53-52 with 8:23 left in the third quarter.
The lead was short-lived as Brooklyn’s Kaz Nakagawa drained a three pointer on the next trip down the floor. A steal by Dajan Smith led to a three-point play giving the Kings a five-point lead. Dodge City stepped up the intensity on defense, but Abdul Mills knocked down a three-point basket with 4:40 to go in the quarter to give the Kings the lead again at 65-63.
After a missed Kyle Williams three-point attempt, Hadley took the rebound and sent a long outlet pass down court, hitting Chet Mason in stride. Mason was subsequently fouled on the way up to the rim. Mason missed his first attempt before rattling his second down. Hadley’s hot hand continued as he made another three-pointer giving the Legend a one point lead with two minutes to go in the game.
Brooklyn answered by breaking Dodge City’s full court pressure easily as Kaz Nakagawa converted a three-point play. The Legend countered with Lincoln Glass and Daryl Dora working the pick and roll, ending with an open Dora knocking down a 10-footer to tie the game at 71 at the end of the third.
The lead went back and forth as each team made big shots in the fourth quarter. Lincoln Glass' three pointer with 9:37 to go gave Dodge a two point lead. But Nakagawa answered with his own three-point basket for Brooklyn. The Kings pull within one after Glover converts a three-point play after being fouled in the paint with 5:24 to go in the game. However, a steal by DeShaun Hadley in the backcourt led to transition lay-up extending the Dodge City lead to five.
Dodge City’s Chet Mason comes up with a big assist finding Hadley cutting underneath the hoop. Hadley makes the shot while getting fouled and converts the three-point play giving Dodge a 94-90 lead with three minutes left in the game.
Brooklyn was able to get to the free throw line late in the fourth keeping the game tight down the stretch. With less than a minute to play, Brooklyn’s defense pressures Lincoln Glass into a crucial turnover with only 48 seconds left in the game with the Kings tailing by only three points.
However, the Kings came up short as Kaz Nakagawa’s three point attempt rimmed out and was grabbed by the Legend’s Castleberry. Castleberry makes the second of his two free throws to give Dodge City a 99-95 lead with 28 seconds left in the game.
Brooklyn was unable to regain the lead after several missed shots on the ensuing possession. Steve Castleberry iced the game with a pair of free throws giving the Legend a 103-97 victory in Game 1 of the 2007 USBL Post Season Championship.
DeShaun Hadley led all scorers with 31 points, shooting 10 for 14 from the field. He also added 4 assists, 4 rebounds and 3 steals. Sockwell, Fountain and Castleberry also scored in double-figures for the Legend.
Abdul Mills’ 20 points led the scoring for the Kings, who had seven players in double-digits. Brice Assie pulled down nine rebounds and scored 13 points.