health & sports
AAA Mortgage Market escapes with 35-29 win over Urban Mo’s
Rusty shooting plagues both teams during second week of San Diego Hoops play
Published Thursday, 07-Dec-2006 in issue 989
The Thanksgiving break from San Diego Hoops basketball league play may have been a bit too long, as many players struggled to make shots as well as offensive and defensive plays all evening during the second week of competition at the Joan Kroc Center on Nov. 29.
Despite poor shooting, AAA Mortgage Market pulled out a close 35-29 victory over Urban Mo’s in a low-scoring battle.
“We played lot of defense,” AAA coach/captain Robert Wiggins said after the game. “Defense was the key.”
The first few minutes of the game featured hurried plays and numerous missed shots; both teams seemed unable to get into a groove. Urban Mo’s Bryan Leigh sank a 3-point shot for an early 3-2 lead and then Andrew Mitchell hit another jump shot for a 6-5 lead.
The lead fluctuated several times in the second half as each team struggled by committing turnover after turnover and missing several easy shots.
Urban Mo’s gained some momentum halfway through the first half. After Mitchell stole the ball and passed it to Urban Mo’s captain/coach Chris Battistuz for an easy layup, AAA led 11-8. Then Mitchell assisted on another great play to Leigh for a 13-8 lead. After AAA’s Larry Granville hit a free throw, Wiggins pulled out a great assist to Darin Adler for an easy layup and the score became 13-11.
Leigh did a good job on the inside, pulling down crucial rebounds that allowed Urban Mo’s to remain in the lead before the first half ended. After grabbing an offensive rebound, Ki Kim hit a jump shot to add to Urban Mo’s lead at 15-11 with 5:44 left in the half.
The last five minutes of the game featured steals, turnovers, air balls, fouls and shots that hit the rim as neither team could capitalize on their opportunities. AAA’s Sam Salazar threw in a last-minute jump shot to cut Urban Mo’s lead to 15-14 as the halftime buzzer sounded.
AAA took their first lead in the second half after Darin Adler sank a jump shot for a 16-15 lead. The score flip-flopped a few times, but AAA slowly took control of the game when Granville hit an easy layup for a 20-17 lead.
Urban Mo’s still had a lot of energy left and played aggressively in order to tie it up at 20-20 with 12:40 left on the clock.
After AAA called a timeout, Granville capitalized on Urban Mo’s turnovers for two successive aggressive plays, breaking away for a slam dunk and then hitting another shot inside for a 24-20 AAA lead.
After Urban Mo’s Joseph Martinez missed a 3-point shot, Mitchell was able to grab the rebound and cut the lead to 24-22 with 9:30 left in the game.
During a 3-point play, Wiggins hit a layup and was fouled. He hit the free throw for a 27-22 AAA lead.
Trailing now by 5 points, Urban Mo’s needed to score on their next drive in order to stay within striking distance and not let AAA run away with the game. Leigh hit a critical 3-point shot to keep Urban Mo’s in the mix. They now trailed by 2 points at 29-27.
Granville tried to retaliate with his own 3-point try but failed. Urban Mo’s now had a chance to tie or take the lead with 5:10 left. Leigh attempted a 3-point shot but missed, and soon Granville was fouled and at the free throw line once again. He missed both shots and James McDermott tried to tip in the rebound, but it was unsuccessful.
After a slew of turnovers on both sides, AAA finally capitalized, but it took a couple attempts. Granville had the opportunity to add to their 2-point lead at the free throw line but missed both shots again. Then, as a result of yet another Urban Mo’s turnover, he broke away and slam-dunked the ball for a crucial 31-27 lead.
A time out was called by Urban Mo’s. They had to devise a plan to get back into the game with only a few minutes left on the clock.
Wiggins hit another jump shot to increase AAA’s lead to 33-27 with only a minute left. The shot effectively sealed the victory for AAA; they were able to run down the clock during their next two possessions while Urban Mo’s kept missing shots.
Granville, AAA’s leading scorer, could only muster 14 points compared to the 33 points he scored in during his last game.
“The key play in the game was the steal I had when Larry was coming down the court all by himself,” Wiggins said. “That just broke the game up right there. It was all about defense tonight because offense, we didn’t do too well.”
Wiggins finished with 9 points for AAA. Adler added 6 and Salazar scored 4.
Leigh led Urban Mo’s with 12 points, Mitchell scored 8 points and Frank Jakka had 4.
All San Diego Hoops games are played at the Joan Kroc Center, located at 6760 University Ave., each Wednesday from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m.
For more information about S.D. Hoops, visit their Web site at www.sdhoops.net.