Prison Sports Ministry (“Green Team”) overcame the San Quentin Warriors’ surging fourth-quarter comeback and a head referee overturning a foul call to win in double overtime, 90-82. Dan Wohl, a former overseas pro, led the “Green Team” with a career high of 50 points.
“I don’t think I’ve ever scored 50 anywhere,” Wohl said. He also had 10 rebounds.
He added that his average was 20 points a game playing for Williams College in Massachusetts and about 7 playing pro in Israel.
For the last game of the San Quentin basketball program season, The Green Team showed up with another new ringer — Seth Tarver, who played for Oregon State and an NBA D-League team called the Idaho Stampede. The game also marked the return of point guard Remy Pinson — who handles the basketball like Steph Curry — and Antoine Maddox, a former Washington General, among others.
The Warriors went with a starting lineup that didn’t include its leading scorer, Allan McIntosh. He came off the bench.
Harry “ATL” Smith, a powerhouse in the paint, didn’t make it to the game.
Both Tarver and Wohl, playing for the first time on a prison yard surrounded by incarcerated faces and barbed wire, missed their first three shots. But they came to life and started torching the Warriors. Tarver also dominated on the boards, finishing with 17 rebounds along with 23 points.
By the end of the third quarter, the Warriors were down 48-36. But they came charging back. Tevin Fournette and Tyrrell Price Sr. scored back-to-back buckets that brought their team within 5 with three minutes and 38 seconds left in the fourth. McIntosh followed with a spin move for a deuce inside.
With 24 seconds left and the score 66-62, Jason “Boo” Robinson rebounded his own miss and scored to bring the Warriors within 2 points. He finished with 8 points and 14 rebounds.
Warrior point guard David Lee tied the score at 66 with a drive to the rack, leaving four seconds on the clock.
The inbound pass went to Tarver.
He had the ball just inside the 3-point line with a defender all over him as referee J. “Huggie” Davis called a foul with1 second left on the clock.
Tarver headed for the free-throw line for two free shots at winning the game for the Green Team just as head Ref Robert Lee overruled the call and the timekeeper to send the game into overtime.
“Referees don’t decide games,” Lee told the scorekeepers who argued the call.
In the first overtime, McIntosh immediately hit a 3 to give the Warriors the lead. But two steals by Green Team player Charles Lowery brought the Green Team back, capped off with a dunk by Wohl on a fast break, for a 75-73 lead.
McIntosh tied the score at 75-75.
When neither team scored in the last 41 seconds, the game went into another extra period.
Pinson swung the momentum with an alley-oop pass to Harry Webb, who caught the ball in the air and laid it up. That key basket made Webb’s only points in the game although he started.
Wohl followed with a steal and the basket, followed by two 3-pointers for a total of eight straight points. The Green Team coasted through the rest of the second OT while the Warriors took three minutes to score their first basket.
Fournette led the Warriors with 23 points, 9 rebounds, 3 steals and 2 assists.
Pinson had 10 points, 4 assists and 7 steals.
At the end of the game, the Warriors’ general manager, Robert “Bishop” Butler, was honored. He was found suitable for parole on Nov. 16, after serving 23 years.
“I won’t remember what this court is like without Bishop,” Green Team sponsor Don Smith told the players at the end of the game.
Smith has ministered and interacted with Butler at San Quentin for more than a decade.
“As we congratulate Bishop, may God bless you all with hope,” Smith said.
Green Teamer Lowery spoke about the power of basketball in making connections. It starts with one guy shooting around, then another person comes and starts shooting. Then more people come and a game starts and bonds form.
“It helps us connect; it saved me. It kept me out of trouble — this basketball, it’s like a spiritual journey,” Lowery said. “Don’t be alone in your spiritual journey; be with people going through what you’re going through.”