Vol. LXV, No. 32
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
(Photo by Stephen Goldsmith)
TURNING POINT: Devon Holman of University Radiology looks to get around Al Jerido of Winberies/Miller Lite last Friday night in the final game of the best-of-three championship series in the Princeton Recreation Department Summer Mens Basketball League. With star guard Brian Dunlap out of town for the game due to a previous commitment, Holman assumed the starting point guard role and capably ran the offense as University Radiology pulled out a 36-34 win.
As University Radiology took the court last Friday evening for the third and decisive game of the championship series in the Princeton Recreation Department Summer Mens Basketball League, the team was missing a key weapon.
Point guard and team leader Brian Dunlap was not on hand at the Community Park courts for the winner-take-all clash against Winberies/Miller Lite because he was in Chicago at a friends wedding.
While former Princeton High standout Dunlap was not present, he left plenty of instructions for his replacement, Devon Holman.
I got about 100 text messages from him when he was on the plane, said a grinning Holman, a former PHS hoops starting guard.
He was saying make sure you do this, make sure you do that. Obviously they are big shoes for me to fill even through high school. I did my best and just tried to control the team.
Following instructions, Holman kept things under control, capably handling his playmaker role as second-seeded University Radiology rallied for a 36-34 triumph over top-seeded Winberies before an overflow crowd with the bleachers packed and other fans standing around the court.
My teammates put a lot of confidence in me, said Holman, who hit a key 3-pointer to help ignite a second half rally which saw University Radiology overcome an 18-13 halftime deficit. Everyone made it really easy; I was really happy.
The teams confidence did waver as it fell behind the battled-tested Winberies squad, who went undefeated in regular season play.
Of course, we had a little bit of doubt, said Holman. But we still had enough optimism to keep going and make sure that we were alright and just pull it through.
University Radiology started the second half with a 12-5 run as it pulled ahead of Winberies for the first time since midway through the first half.
I think it was controlling the game and not getting down on ourselves after a missed shot, said Holman, reflecting on the teams second half effort.
If we missed a shot, it was lets go down and play hard defense. Dont look at the score too much and just continue to play our game and it would come out in our favor.
The game could have gone either way as neither team led by more than two points over the last 10 minutes of the contest with four ties in that stretch. With the teams knotted at 34-34 heading into the waning seconds, Skye Ettin came through for University Radiology, coolly draining two free throws with eight seconds left to give the team a 36-34 lead.
Cliff Pollard of Winberies was able to get off a 3-pointer just before the buzzer but it clanked off the rim as University Radiology secured the rebound and the victory.
Ettin scored a game-high 12 points to lead University Radiology with DeQuan Holman chipping in 10. Darryl Frazier tallied eight points to pace Winberies with Chris Hatchell adding seven.
University Radiologys Eamon Cuddy had faith that Ettin would come through in crunch time. Skye has veins of ice, I knew those were going in, said Cuddy. I was completely confident with Skye taking those shots and it worked out.
Holman, for his part, is surprised at how things worked out for University Radiology.
This means a lot, we never expected to win this early, said Holman. It is our second year in the league. Last year we made a strong playoff run but I think we exceeded expectations this year. I just wanted to make the championship. I was excited to be in the championship series, let alone win it.
Holman was excited to join forces in the backcourt with older brother, DeQuan, who ended up winning the Foreal Wooten Award as playoff MVP after averaging 16.7 points a game in five playoff appearances.
It is fun, we have a bond, said Holman. I can tell him something and he will listen and vice versa. It is not one-sided where the the big brother overpowers the little brother. It is a little give-and-take.
In Holmans view, the collective chemistry the players developed through playing for the PHS hoops program gave University Radiology an edge when it counted most.
I think the team chemistry never goes away, said Holman. Especially playing four years for Carter [PHS boys hoops head coach Jason Carter] jamming it in your head, team, team, team. It doesnt matter if we yell at each other, the chemistry stays with us.
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