Led by Davidson’s Clutch Shooting Down the Stretch, LoyalTees Tops Majeski in Summer Hoops Series Opener
NICK OF TIME: Nick Davidson unloads the ball in recent action for LoyalTees in the Princeton Recreation Department Men’s Summer Basketball League. Last Monday night, Davidson scored 18 points to help LoyalTees edge Majeski Foundation 45-42 in the first game of the league’s best-of-three championship series. Game two is scheduled for Wednesday night at the Community Park courts with game three, if necessary, set for Friday at the same site. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)
By Bill Alden
Nick Davidson took it easy last week as he went on a family vacation to Massachusetts.
The relaxation came to an end last Monday as Davidson returned to the area to play for LoyalTees when it faced Majeski Foundation in the first game of the best-of-three championship series of the Princeton Recreation Department Men’s Summer Basketball League.
Davidson knew that the two-time defending champion LoyalTees would have its hands full in the match-up with Majeski, which is comprised of players on The College of New Jersey men’s hoops team.
“They are all in shape, they have a great chemistry,” said Davidson.
“They do a lot of things well on the court, they move without the ball. You just have to be really disciplined with them. They are all searching for the that three-ball, they can all shoot.”
In order to deal with Majeski, LoyalTees was emphasizing perimeter defense.
“Our focus today was trying to eliminate the three as much as possible,” said Davidson.
“It kind of got away from us at stretches but when we buckled down, I thought we had it good.”
After building a 22-18 lead at halftime, LoyalTees found itself down 39-38 with four minutes left. Buckling down over the waning moments of the contest, LoyalTees pulled out a 45-42 win before a crowd spilling beyond the bleachers at the Community Park courts.
“They were getting a little bit of transition, I remember they had a lob for a dunk,” said Davidson.
“So we slowed down the pace and I felt we just grinded out a win.”
Davidson’s shooting helped LoyalTees earn the win as he hit a three-pointer and four free throws down the stretch to account for the team’s final seven points and end up with a game-high 18 points.
“In the first half, I was just kind of testing it out seeing what I could get,” said the 6’6, 220-pound Davidson, who starred at Bloomfield College where he scored 1,924 points and helped the Bears reach the NCAA Division II Sweet 16 in 2018 as a senior.
“It was getting me back from a week of doing nothing. I just wanted to get my legs back together.”
In draining the clutch free throws in the last minute of regulation, Davidson kept his head together.
“I just try to visualize it as much as possible and I go through my routine,” said Davidson.
“I do the same thing every time and I just try to keep my eyes on the basket.”
As LoyalTees, now 9-1 this summer, eyes a third straight title, Davidson believes the squad has the qualities to achieve that goal.
“We are just guys that play with a lot of heart on the court, we give it our all,” asserted Davidson.
“We take defense very seriously, I love playing with guys like that. We had a very big stop at the end tonight. We have a high basketball IQ. We do all of the little things on the court. I love doing that.”
Davidson is looking to do whatever the team needs on the court.
“This year I feel is a little bit of a step back for me,” said Davidson.
“Zahrion [former Princeton High and current Lincoln University hoops star Zahrion Blue] is our main option right now. I want Z to get as many shots in as possible. He is going into his senior year of basketball, I want him to be a star as much as possible. I am just trying take a role in the cast. When I need to assert myself, I try to assert myself as much as possible.”
With LoyalTees having a chance to win the title on Wednesday in game two of the series, Davidson believes the team will assert itself as it battles Majeski.
“Wednesday is a close out game,” said Davidson. “They are going to be after it but we are going to be after it too. We have been in these positions before. I really want to get them out of here in two.”