SQ Warriors dish up a beatdown over Green Team
The San Quentin Warriors’ dominating defense helped them post a conclusive 81- 67 victory over the visiting Green Team.
“If we play with energy, we’ll win,” said SQ Warriors Head Coach Jeremiah “J.B.” Brown before the game. “If we don’t, we lose.” So he won.
The Oct. 29 game jumped off at high noon and from the start, it was all gas, no break. It was played with high energy and intensity on that warm day. The court was surrounded by the SQ residents and players. This was a match that both teams wanted to come out victorious. However, even with the height advantage, conditioning overtook the Green Team’s veterans.
The SQ Warriors used their energy to rack up 40 of their 81 total points from free throws. But it was their defense which ultimately had 20 steals that contributed to their dominating victory.
Sadiq Davis was the high scorer of the Warriors, with 17 points, 5 of them free throws.
Rich “Big Rick” Hale had 14 points, 6 steals, and 10 rebounds. Murdock had 12 points and 6 rebounds, Delvy Adams had 13 points, and the entire SQ Warriors team had only 5 turnovers.
Longtime volunteer Bill Epling brought the Green Team into the prison to try and take the lead in the season series. He shared a specific reason why he decided to come with a different strategy for what he considered might have helped his team win.
“I hope to not get a technical foul like I did last week,” said Epling. “I look forward for the guys to get a good run and for strategy; we plan to keep the game close.”
The Green Team had more to offer than jump shots to help stay in range. Victor Hahs joined his dad on the court for the Green Team. He expressed what coming into the prison meant to him and how important it is to play the game he loves with his dad, Ted Hahs, who is a veteran of the Green Team.
“It means a lot playing with him,” the younger Hahs said, “San Quentin is his favorite place, [he] thinks you guys are nice and give him a great workout.”
Jamaal “Do It All” Harrison played in the game that his team lost last week to the Green Team. Although he was refereeing the game, Harrison matched up against the younger Hahs last week and said that it was one of his toughest matchups.
“Vic was one of my main reasons I got tired last week. It was his defense and he’s got good foot work,” said Harrison.
The elder Hahs struggled on defense and offense during the first three quarters but his son made up for the slack.
“It’s a struggle for me right now, but I’m saving my energy for the fourth quarter,” said the elder Hahs. He was at 60% because he suffered an injury in the last game. However, he spoke highly and proudly of the performance from his son.
“He’s playing great with confidence and is doing incredible. He’s awesome. It’s fun to watch him build relationships with the incarcerated,” said Hahs.
The father and son stats showed no sign of any struggle from either. The former professional basketball elder Hahs put up 17 points and 6 rebounds. The promising Prodigal Son, Vic Hahs, was the leading scorer, finishing with 20 points and 5 rebounds.
Arguably the most underrated SQ Warrior, Ryan “Taz” Matlock, was an add-on for the Green Team and showed Coach Brown why he should not be slept on for the upcoming season. He finished with 13 points, 3 steals, 4 rebounds, and 1 block. He capitalized off a jump ball and scored a lay-up as well.
“It’s good that I got this time to play,” said Matlock. “At first, I was playing with a chip on my shoulder and wanted to show the coach that I can compete.”
Hale controlled the boards for the Warriors, with friendly trash talk flying in all directions. While the Green Team trailed the entire game, there was one spectator who rooted for them even when times looked like it would take a miracle for them to overcome their deficit.
“I always root for the underdog,” said Carolyn Epling, the wife of Bill Epling, while pulling for her team to win the battle of a jump ball.
Green Team shooting guard Anthony G., who stands 5’8”, contributed 5 points and 1 steal. Warriors shooting guard, and new add-on, Keyshawn “Steez” Strickland, had 4 points, 2 steals, 1 assist, and 1 rebound.
“I’m glad that coach sees me in the light he sees me in, and I’m excited for our team’s future,” said Strickland.
Coach Brown said that he is proud of his team, in particular the performance by Matlock, which will make him consider giving him more playing time in the upcoming season.