Lab Survives See-Saw Affair for First Title in LA Hoopz Summer Pro Am

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The air was hot and full of intensity Sunday, when Student Athlete Lab I (SALab I) took the floor against Team Three-One-Ohh in the LA Hoopz Summer Pro Am Championship Game. Comprised of mostly college underclassmen, SALab I had played spirited, tough defense and fundamental, team-oriented basketball to get themselves to the championship game. On the other side, Team Three-One-Ohh fought hard as well with their cast of strong and wily veterans. SALab I’s team presented a team comprised of young athletic players, while Team Three-One-Ohh presented a team of multi-tooled craftsmen. The game that was in store for the spectators was unknown. Each team had an advantage. Yet each team couple be exploited as well. While there were so many uncertains, there were a couple things that were for certain, someone had to win and neither team wanted to lose.

From the tip, the contest was fast and furious seeing each team go on runs of six or more points. SALab I looked to be in for a hot shooting game as they made shot after shot, but Team Three-One-Ohh didn’t back down making a few shots of their own to keep the game close. At halftime, SALab I held a six-point lead over Team Three-One-Ohh. Midway through the third quarter Team Three-One-Ohh put together another run to tie the game momentarily, but SALab I put together a run of their own to distance themselves. As the game went on, coaches, players and fans alike became more and more emotionally invested in a game that seemingly went back and forth like a pendulum. Tempers flared at points in the game. Two technical fouls were accessed during the second half of the game. As the game went on, each team tighten up on defense; forcing the other team to make adjustments.

The see-saw affair continued into the fourth quarter. Team Three-One-Ohh fought hard to tie the game yet again late in the fourth. But SALab I re-gathered themselves and put up another six-point lead. Team-One-Ohh, digging deep, would not be denied. In the latter moments of the game, former UCLA and LA Defenders center, Anthony Stover hit 2 free throws to put SALab I up by four points. With a game of runs as this one, Team Three-One-Ohh hit a three-point shot to bring it within one point with just seconds seconds left in the game. That one point lead would prove to be the decisive point as SALab I edged by Team Three-One-Ohh for an 82-81 victory. Student Athlete Lab I was led by solid performances from center, Anthony Stover, point guard Michael Ratliff, guard Garrett Jeffries and eventual MVP Darryl Arnold. The win marks Student Athlete Lab’s first summer pro am title–its first in as many years participating in the summer event.

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