Legend Makes History - 32 and Counting
By Andrew Astleford
Chudney Gray appeared poised to take charge with history in the balance.
With the last six seconds ticking away toward United States Basketball League and Dodge City Legend history, all Rob Dye could do was watch as a Gray 3-point attempt flew over his outstretched arms.
Home rims were once again kind to Dodge City as the shot bounced away off the right side, clinching the Legend's 103-101 victory against the Brooklyn Kings Thursday, its 100th franchise victory and 32nd straight at the Dodge City Civic Center - a USBL record.
"We don't try to think about that stuff. We just try to take one game at a time," Legend coach Osbourne said. "But to have that kind of winning streak at home, a lot of credit goes to the ownership and the community for coming out here and supporting us."
Immanuel McElroy goes to the hoop
Drama and controversy filled the final nine seconds.
With Brooklyn trailing 102-101, Immanuel McElroy stripped Mike Campbell to give Dodge City the possession after the ball trickled out of bounds off a sprawling Kings' player.
Moments later, B.J. McFarlan was called for a questionable reach-in foul after stripping Ray Young.
The official's decision angered Brooklyn coach Kenny Charles.
"You have two teams working hard to win a basketball game," Charles said. "The minimum you expect is quality officiating. You don't mind losing basketball games. But you've got to expect some minimum level of competency.
"Guys are working too hard. I don't want to be one of those guys that complains about the officiating, but I'm just observing what happened today."
Reed Rawlings led Dodge City (18-6) with 21 points; he said early success made all the difference for his confidence.
"If feels good not only to contribute points but to give energy," Rawlings said. "The ball went in the hole tonight. When the first few shots go in, it makes a world of difference."
Osbourne said he has seen steady progression with Rawlings in recent games.
"In the last three games, slowly but surely he has been doing some good things out there," Osbourne said. "I tell him he's a shooter
when we put him in the game we expect him to shoot it. He's got the green light out there."
Rawlings scored seven of his 14 first-half points during a 15-2 Legend run to close out the half.
Dodge City held Brooklyn to one field goal in the last 4:23 of the second quarter to take a 57-47 halftime lead.
The Legend's lead grew to 71-60 midway through the third quarter, but the Kings closed with a 26-10 run to hold a 86-81 lead going into the fourth quarter.
Rawlings opened the fourth quarter with two straight 3-point conversions to cut the Brooklyn lead to 88-86.
The Kings (16-9) continued to lead until Dye found Young underneath the basket for a lay-up with 1:55 left to give the Legend its first advantage since late in the third quarter.
"I just told the guys don't panic and just get stops," Osbourne said. "Three games in four night, a lot of guys don't have their legs.
We knew it was going to be a struggle tonight."
NOTES: Brooklyn's Chudney Gray was named USBL Player of the Week after averaging nearly 26 points in three victories this past week, including two 30-plus performances against Kansas and Cedar Rapids. He previously played for the National Basketball Development League's Fayetteville Patriots. "The Fayetteville situation was hard for me," Gray said. "I had a knee injury early in the year. When I came back, I was out of shape. Now I'm in my groove, and I'm just trying to make things happen."
Brooklyn, entering as the Eastern Division leader at 16-8, has been one of the surprise stories of the USBL this season. The Kings finished the 2003 season at 12-18.
Dodge City closes out its home schedule against Adirondack on Sunday and Cedar Rapids on Monday.
BROOKLYN (101) - Willams 3-8 0-0 6, Morris 0-0 0-0 0, Shaw 2-3 0-0 4, Campbell 7-21 2-4 18, Gray 9-19 3-4 25, Dobie 1-5 2-2 4, McFarlan 7-12 6-9 20, Bryant 0-2 0-0 0, Agbai 5-13 5-6 15, Glover 2-5 3-4 7, Jones 1-2 0-0 2. Totals 37-90 21-29 101.
DODGE CITY (103) - Dye 1-5 4-4 6, Young 6-12 7-8 20, Davis 0-0 0-0 0, Bergersen 3-5 0-2 8, McElroy 7-16 1-1 15, Bailey 3-8 1-1 7, Rawlings 7-13 4-4 21, Tate 5-10 3-8 13, Clark 1-3 2-2 4, Okosa 1-2 0-0 2, Nelson 2-4 3-6 7, Okeson 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 36-78 25-36 103.
Brooklyn 26 21 39 15 - 101
Dodge City 25 32 24 22 - 103
Halftime - Dodge City 57, Brooklyn 47. 3-point goals - Brooklyn 6-17 (Williams 0-1, Shaw 0-1, Campbell 2-4, Gray 4-9, Bryant 0-1, Glover 0-1), Dodge City 6-12 (Young 1-3, Bergersen 2-4, Bailey 0-1, Rawlings 3-4). Rebounds - Brooklyn 51 (McFarlan 11), Dodge City 50 (McElroy 12). Assists - Brooklyn 13 (Campbell 4), Dodge City 17 (McElroy 6). Turnovers - Brooklyn 14, Dodge City 19. Fouls - Brooklyn 24, Dodge City 21. Fouled out - Brooklyn 1 (McFarlan). Technical fouls - Brooklyn 1 (Charles), Dodge City 1 (Bailey).