Lincoln Hill Community Church (LHCC) basketball team blocked the San Quentin Kings’ final shot attempt and secured a 72-70 win.
“I heard around halftime that Pep (Oris Williams) was one of their strongest players,” said LHCC’s Dominique Thompson, who made the block. “With the clock ticking down, I know I had to play him tight.”
A minute and 30 seconds preceding the block, LHCC was down by three. But they surged ahead, sparked by 5-foot-10 guard Brandon Hargrave. He jumped up and tipped in a teammate’s missed shot to make the score 69-70 with 1 minute and 30 seconds left in the game.
“I’m a big man in a guard’s body so every once in a while I get the tip,” he commented later.
On the next play, LHCC’s Chaze Russell stole the ball from the Kings and passed it forward. Hargrave caught the pass and drove to the rack for the layup and the 71-70 lead with 1:07 left.
Hargrave led all scorers with 18 points.
With the clock winding down, Williams shot a floater and missed, then got his own rebound and shot again but missed. Center Jason “Boo” Robinson, who normally plays for the San Quentin Warriors but subbed in for the shorthanded LHCC, grabbed the rebound. The Kings fouled the poor free-throw shooter immediately. However, he made one free-throw, increasing the LHCC lead to 72-70.
“Boo was huge,” Thompson said. “He got us offensive rebounds after we missed the ball.”
Robinson finished with 10 points and 14 rebounds.
The game came down to the final Kings possession. They had the ball with 12 seconds remaining in the game and trailing by 2. Just as shooting guard Demond Lewis raised the ball up to shoot, Kings Assistant Coach Ishmael Frelon called time out. The three-point attempt clacked on new fiber-glass backboards that were installed while the prison was on a three-week lockdown.
After the timeout, the Kings tried to execute an isolation play for power-forward Thad Fleeton.
He caught the pass, backed his man down and spun inward for the shot but it circled out of the cylinder and into the hands of Kings guard Burton. He passed the ball to Oris “Pep” Williams in the corner. With two seconds left, LHCC’s Dominique Thompson jumped at Williams as he went for the game winner. Thompson blocked the shot at the buzzer to secure the LHCC win.
“I had to shoot, wasn’t no time to do nothing else,” Williams said. “They play good. They are younger and faster.”
Williams finished with 9 points and Fleeton had 10. Despite the loss, the Kings still have a winning record, going 8-5 so far this season.
Normally, LHCC comes in to play the San Quentin Warriors but on Aug. 26, they tried their hand against the 40-and-over Kings.
“The biggest difference between the Kings and Warriors is how much more orientated and methodical the Kings are,” Thompson said. “They take their time to take shots. It makes us slow down our game and play theirs.”