Terrance Bailey and his teammates on the once-beaten Winberie’s squad were determined to get off to a fast start last Monday as they faced undefeated Dr. Palmer in the Princeton Recreation Department Summer Men’s Basketball League.
“It was a big game,” said Bailey. “We knew we needed to come in here focused and ready to play because we know this is a great team. They came in undefeated and we already played a big game against Ivy so we had to come in here prepared.”
Sharpshooting guard Bailey, a former Lawrence High standout, took matters into his own hands, scoring 11 points in the first five minutes of the contest as defending league champion Winberie’s roared out to a 13-0 lead.
“I just knew that my team was looking for me to score so I was just ready to go and ball,” said Bailey, who tallied 15 points in the first half as Winberie’s took a 36-26 lead into intermission.
In the second half, Dr. Palmer did some balling of its own as it fought back from a 45-30 deficit to knot the game at 50-50 and turn it into a nailbiter.
“I felt as though we played a little too comfortable,” said Bailey, reflecting on the Dr. Palmer’s rally. “We were playing like everything was under control.”
Winberie’s, though, held off Dr. Palmer and pulled out a 59-56 win, learning a valuable lesson in the process.
“We need to keep the intensity up and keep it going,” said Bailey, who tallied a game-high 26 points on the evening with Chris Hatchell chipping in 18 as Winberie’s improved to 6-1. Greg Ford scored 22 points to lead Dr. Palmer as it moved to 6-1. “Anybody can come back late in the game so we have to stay focused.”
In other action on Monday, Jesse Krasna and Pat Vasturia tallied 12 points apiece as the PA Blue Devils topped Northeast Realty 53-40 and Ivy Inn defeated WTG 58-43 with Mark Aziz scoring 19 points and Lior Levy chipping in 18 to lead the way.
For Bailey, the victory on Monday was especially meaningful since he had played for Dr. Palmer in 2012 before joining Winberie’s this summer.
“It has been great, they have great chemistry,” said Bailey, reflecting on his move to Winberie’s.
“They welcomed me with open arms. As soon as I came in, I thought they were going to look down on me, being the young one and the rookie. I thought they were going to look at me like he’s got to earn respect. But as soon as I came in, they gave me respect, they said we know what you can do, so keep it going.”
Bailey is confident that Winberie’s can go on another big playoff run. “We can never be too comfortable because we won a title last year,” said Bailey.
“We have to be ready to play every time. If we come with that fire and that anger, I don’t think anybody can stop us.”