The visiting Green Team posted a 97-94 overtime win over the San Quentin Warriors basketball team.
“It was close — we should have had it in regulation,” said Ari “Ari-Automatic” Warmerdam, who scored 45 points for the Christian Sports Ministry’s Green Team. The former UC Davis basketball player led all scorers.
“He’s a pure shooter,” said Warrior Tevin Fournette about Warmerdam. “But next time it ain’t going to happen.”
With six seconds left in regulation, the Green Team led 86-84 with the ball in Juston Willis’ hands to pass inbounds from the sideline. Willis slid over to the left to make the pass and was called for the illegal movement.
The Warrior in-bounded to Harry “ATL” Smith. He power dribbled to the basket for the tying layup, sending the game into overtime.
Green Team sponsor and Golden State Warrior accountant Ben Draa coached the game, in his first return to San Quentin this season.
In the extra period, with 32 seconds left, the Warriors were up 92-90. The Green Team got the ball to Warmerdam, who tried to dribble through traffic. Warrior Allan McIntosh stole the ball. McIntosh and teammate David Lee increased the Warriors’ lead from the free-throw line.
However, the Green Team had the ball with five seconds left, down 97-94. Warmerdam had the ball at the top of the key and let it fly for a three-pointer, but it clacked off the rim.
“We stuck with it through it all,” said Fournette. “We stayed on our defense, stayed crashing and came out with the victory.”
McIntosh led the Warriors with 29 points, followed by Fournette with 25 points and 19 rebounds, and Smith with 20 points and 18 rebounds.
Fournette also had back-to-back highlight plays in the third quarter. First, he slam-dunked in traffic. Then, on the next possession, he completed an up-and-under lay up.
“He’s a great player,” said Warmerdam about Fournette. “He commands so much attention because he can do everything. We had a hard time keeping him and ATL out of the paint. When they did miss, they met the ball at the rim.”
Warrior Coach Daniel Wright wasn’t impressed with the outcome, which made the Warriors’ record against the Green Team a losing 3-4.
“We have not turned the corner,” said Wright. “They (Green Team) outplayed us the entire game, except where they turned the ball over in the last 30 seconds, which is uncharacteristic of that team.”
Fournette said, “It’s time to get back to where we’re supposed to be.”
During halftime, both teams, as per custom, circled around half court where Green Team sponsor Bill Epling usually opens the ministry talks with a joke. In his absence, Green Team Center Billy Dic skipped the comedy and opened up about his experiences inside San Quentin.
“My first time here a year ago — the love you guys showed me is more than what’s going on in the world,” Dic said. “If God is love and love is God, then we ain’t doing it right out there. You guys are doing it right.”