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January 10, 2013
Bernstein 55, Hollywood 52 (OT)By Dave Keefer
The Bernstein Dragons dug themselves out of a hole and pulled out the win against the crosstown rival Hollywood Sheiks in overtime, 55-52, in front of a loud and packed gym at Bernstein. The victory puts Bernstein atop the Central League at 2-0, as they prepare to face the defending league champs Torres (1-0) on Friday.
Bernstein head coach Craig Laurent said this game "was one of the most intense games I've ever coached. This is what I coach for."
We can't argue with that! It seemed like every possession was contested, as the ball was constantly being knocked loose and both teams pushed the pace relentlessly. And it didn't look good for Bernstein (6-10) early. Hollywood (2-12, 0-1) led 13-4 after a scoring drive by Val Gazarov four minutes into the game and it was beginning to look like they'd go wire to wire with the lead.
A three-pointer by Dexter Estoquia kept Hollywood 9 points ahead at 16-7 but Bernstein scored the next 4 points, the last two on a fastbreak basket by Brandon Orange and it was 16-11 after the first quarter.
Bernstein had trouble knocking down shots as the second quarter unfolded, and Hollywood took advantage. A three-pointer by Gazarov gave the Sheiks a double digit lead, 21-11, and Reese Rothenburg fed Gazarov for another score to make it 23-11.
Then it was Bernstein's turn to go on a tear. Ethan Young started a 14-2 run with a pair of free throws, then went coast to coast and canned a short jumper to make it 23-15 at the 3:10 mark. And the momentum kept building: Yonathan Reyes got a steal and started a fast break that ended with a Luis Hernandez putback.
Estoquia tried to slow Bernstein's blitz when he drove the lane and scored, but the Dragons kept rolling. Reyes got a three-point play and Delano Jackson added a trey. When Orange got a steal and layup just before the half ended, Bernstein had tied the game 25-25 and the gym was rocking!
Young opened the third quarter scoring with a three-point play and Bernstein had its first lead of the game, 28-25, with 7:33 on the clock. Then the battle was on - there would be 5 more lead changes and 3 ties in regulation.
Hollywood regained the lead, 31-30, after some nice post work from Johnny Gant got him a bucket midway through the 3rd quarter. Gant added a putback at the 3:25 mark but Bernstein countered with 2 straight baskets to lead, 34-33, after 3 quarters.
Gazarov nailed a three to open the 4th quarter to give Hollywood back the lead, 36-34, but Bernstein responded with an 8-0 run to lead by a 42-36 score. The run included a three-pointer by Jackson and a nice bucket by Hector Pinto on an assist from Reyes. The Dragons maintained their 6-point lead after Orange hit 2 free throws at the 4:46 mark to make it 44-38.
Hollywood then went on its own 8-0 run to grab the lead once again, 46-44, on a score by Karyos Tyus after a dish from Estoquia with 2 minutes left in regulation. Orange tied the game, 46-46, after hitting 2 pressure FTs in his 1-and-1 bonus opportunity. The last 1:19 was scoreless and the game went to a 4-minute overtime.
Tyus scored with a three-point play at the 3:11 mark to make it 49-46 as Hollywood struck first. Orange answered with a scoring drive through the lane, but Gazarov countered with his own scoring drive to keep Hollywood three points ahead, 51-48. Then, with 2:10 to go, Jackson coolly drained a three-pointer to tie the game at 51-51 and Hollywood never led again.
But this game would not be decided until the final horn would sound. At 1:26 Young went to the line for Bernstein in the double bonus. He missed the first but made the second free throw and the Dragons sat precariously on top, 52-51.Orange got a steal for Bernstein with 1:15 on the clock but they couldn't capitalize.
Estoquia was fouled by Bernstein and went to the line for two FTs with 50 seconds left. He missed the first but made the second and the game was tied again, 52-52. Jackson took the ball for Bernstein and drove down the middle of the paint and lofted a floater that bounced in and Bernstein had a 54-52 lead with 30 seconds left.
Gazarov got fouled with 16 seconds left in the game and had a chance to tie it for Hollywood if he converted both ends of a 1-and-1. But he missed the first and Bernstein rebounded. Orange was fouled with 11 seconds left and had a chance to make it a 2-possession game with two free throws coming in the double bonus.
He made one of two to make it 55-52 and Hollywood stayed alive with a chance to tie on a three-pointer. They worked the ball for a shot but Bernstein's defense swarmed all over Tyus and his three-point shot at the buzzer had no chance, as Bernstein prevailed in a thriller, 55-52.
Orange led all scorers with 18 points and had plenty of help from Jackson who had 13, and Young with 9. For Hollywood, Tyus led the way with 15. Gazarov added 12 and Gant chipped in 9.
It seemed strange to watch coach Laurent direct his Bernstein team against Hollywood - he coached for several years at Hollywood and we covered many of his games there, where he had built a loyal following. It was good to see many of his former Sheik players and staff on hand: ?Gevork Nersisyan,?Ronel Anunciacion,?Gustavo Aguilar and Elena & Liana Secret.
Score by Quarters:
Hollywood---16-09-08-13-06 = 52
Bernstein----11-14-09-12-09 = 55
Hollywood (52): 1-Ta'Aven Rogue 5, 3-Reese Rothenburg 6, 4-Dexter Estoquia 5, 5-Val Gazarov 12, 23-Johnny Gant 9, 24-Karyos Tyus 15.
Bernstein (55): 4-Yonathan Reyes 7, 10-Brandon Orange 18, 20-Delano Jackson 13, 24-Luis Hernandez 4, 33-Hector Pinto 4, 34-Ethan Young 9.
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