The season opener for San Quentin’s 40 and over basketball team was played in perfect weather, but the result was an 86-75 loss to the outside team, A.I.S.The San Quentin Kings trailed throughout, but kept it completive to the end.
The July 30 game featured the Kings’ new white uniforms with a gold crown logo on their jerseys and their position number on their shorts. A.I.S. met them at center court for the tipoff just to see the Kings take control of the first possession of the basketball.
During the beginning of the first quarter A.I.S. started strong, making two jump shots and a layup to take a 6-0 lead. Billy Wilson, Bishop and Joe Harrison of the Kings countered with points of their own. However, towards the end of the quarter, Joe Vierra and Gareth Hancock hit consecutive jumpers and the first quarter ended 18-11.
The second quarter started fast. Each team answered with a jump shot and layups. Al Lacey, who stepped in as a substitute for A.I.S. scored six early points. The Kings tried to draw closer but Hancock ended the first half with back-to-back layups and A.I.S. took a 36-23 halftime lead.
Wilson started the second half with four points and Mario Ellis contributed with points in the paint. However, A.I.S. continued to hit outside jump shots and took a 64-49 lead to end the third quarter.
The fourth quarter started out physical as both teams committed multiple fouls. Both teams continued to hustle. The Kings tried very hard to make a comeback. Orlando “Duck” Harris made an acrobatic reverse layup to cut the lead down to a five-point deficit. However, Mr. Cosby, who also was a substitute player for A.I.S., hit a clutch fade away jumper as they proceeded to pull away with jump shots and fast-break points.
Asked about his experience in playing the Kings, Hancock said, the game was fun. “The men are nice and respectful and I love to come in and play with them.”
Orlando Harris of the Kings said, “The first game was a mixed reaction. We came out and played well until we faced adversity. I think we will improve when we work on our conditioning and defense as well as play together. Despite the loss, I still had fun. I played hard with sportsmanship.”