NEX Summer Pro League Heats Up
Competitive Choice (1-1) and 832 (0-3) were each seeking their first victory in the games on Wednesday, July 19. Ryan White, leading scorer in the entire summer league, has earned 31 points, two rebounds and three assists.
Defending champions Competitive Choice, led by Jordan Clark with 13 points and four rebounds, entered as the sixth seed losing their first match against Houston Flight on the first night of summer league action.
For the entire first half of the game, Choice and 832 were neck and neck. However, Choice edged out 832 to gain a three-point lead going into halftime, 45-42.
First half leaders were White (832) with 17 points and Andre Potts (Competitive Choice) with 12 points.
In the first five minutes of the second half, Choice went on a 13-2 run, which was ended by White after an uncontested shot from behind the arc.
By the end of the third, Choice continued to play lockdown defense and stretched their lead to 13, now up 65-52. 832 cut into their lead by eight points, but it was not enough to get them back into the game.
Choice earned their first victory of the league, as they defeated 832, whose losing streak extends to three, by a score of 89-76. White dominated the night with a high of 34 points for 832; Choice’s Shaquille Burrell finished the night with a team high of 18 points.
In the second game of the evening, It’s Jus Us (1-1) took on Nuff Said (2-1).
Throughout the first quarter, Nuff Said could not seem to find their rhythm as they could not convert easy looks at the basket and were unable to get a solid defensive stop. It’s Jus Us lead going into the second quarter 21-9.
Andrew Fitzgerald, who carried the team with 26 points in their victory over Houston Flight on Monday night, scored more points than Nuff Said alone in the first quarter with 12 points and five rebounds.
Nuff Said trailed 34-24 at halftime with Fitzgerald leading all scorers.
Through the final two quarters of the game, It’s Jus Us dominated the court as Nuff Said was unable to come within ten points of the lead.
It’s Jus Us defeated Nuff Said 83-71, earning their second win of the summer league.
Fitzgerald stated that the team’s goal was simple coming into Wednesday’s game.
“Stay focused,” said Fitzgerald. “Play together as one and just enjoy [our] time being out on the court.”
The final game of the night featured Baseline Houston (2-0) taking on Houston Flight (1-2).
Baseline struggled to knock down shots against Houston Flight’s solid defense in the first quarter as they were down 24-12.
However, in the second quarter, Flight handled the sloppy handling of the ball allowed Baseline to cut the lead to four, as Corey Brewer created back-to-back opportunities for easy shots at the line for the team before halftime.
Houston Flight led Baseline 35-31 at halftime with Isaiah Canaan (Houston Flight) leading all scorers with 15 points. Myron “The Show” Allen and Brewer split 10 points each for Baseline.
Brewer described critical defensive adjustments that Coach Watkins, head coach for Baseline Houston, needed to make entering the second half of the game.
“We wanted to be more aggressive off the pick-and-roll because they were making a lot of shots,” said Brewer. “Coach told us that the big man had to get up.”
Coming out of halftime, Flight continued to push and work their lead with aggressive play from both teams. After a hard foul from Allen that sent Canaan to the line, he received back-to-back technical fouls for first exerting his frustration over the initial call and then for passing the ball at the referee. He was ejected from the game and finished the night with 12 points, two rebounds and two assists.
Entering the fourth quarter, Baseline was down 11 points with Brewer scoring all, but four points for the entire team in the third.
Baseline earned their first lead of the game with 6:50 remaining in regulation, after nine straight points for Brewer since start of the fourth.
The game tied at 56 with 4:30 left on the clock, as every possession became more and more critical to the coaches and players.
Once Brewer converted two easy shots at the free throw line, Baseline continued to dominate the end of the game, and Flight let their second game in a row slip away, after leading the entirety of the game until the fourth quarter.
Brewer finished the night with 32 points, as he led Baseline Houston to their third straight win, 63-60.
“[In] the first half, I was just playing a little bit and wasn’t being aggressive,” said Brewer.
Coach Watkins asked for more from Brewer, that was exactly what he did.
“He told me that he needed me to be more aggressive because we wanted to win the game,” said Brewer. “So, I got really ultra-aggressive, and we came out with a win.”
Brewer and all of Houston’s favorite players will be back in action Monday night at the Fonde Rec Center. For scores, interviews, and other news about the summer league, check out noexcusesfoundation.net.