Tevin Fournette led the San Quentin Warriors to a 75-73 victory over the Prison Sports Ministry’s Green Team, despite a 28-point performance by David Liss.
Fournette, back from a high ankle sprain, led the Warriors with 19 points.
You could tell it was his day when at the end of third quarter he shot a jumper that hit the rim, bounced around then dropped after the buzzer sounded. The basket brought the Warriors back within one at 59-58.
“It feels good,” Fournette said.
The lead kept changing throughout the game. Late in the fourth, Andre “NBA” Belion put the Warriors up 74-70 with a three pointer.
Liss, a three-point specialist who nailed a clutch-game winner in the Pan-America games, answered with a three.
Then Liss threatened to tie up the game. With 15 seconds left in regulation and the Green Team down 75-73, Liss came from the top of the key straight down the middle of the court, then pulled up for a floater eight feet from the basket, catching the defense on the backpedal. It bounced out and Harry “ATL” Smith, the LeBron James of San Quentin, snatched the rebound.
“I thought I had it,” Liss said. “I saw someone under the rim and short changed it. Good run though. Even run the whole way – that’s the best way to play.”
Liss shot 50 percent from three-point land to 15 of his 28 points.
The only other Warrior in double figures was Belion with 12.
For the Green Team, Patrick “Pat Tap” Lacey had 12 points with 13 rebounds, Beau Heidrich added 12 and Johnas Street made 14, shooting 6-14 from the field.
“If Blees was here, we would have won,” Lacey said, referring to a former Claremont-McKenna alumnus and All-American basketball player, who has fallen in love with golf.
Also missing from the Green Team roster was Remy Pinson, who stopped playing basketball to pick grapes in Sonoma. (The fires did not reach the winery where he works.)
Before, at half-time and at the end of each game, all involved circled around half-court for inspirational talks. At this game, Anthony Maddox, a former Washington General whose team lost every game to the Harlem Globetrotters, spoke about finding your passion and using it to get through tough times.
He uses physical fitness to overcome.
“That’s the way I praise God best, through my passion,” Maddox said.
Warrior Miguel Sifuentes spoke about what a blessing it is to be able to play basketball.
The much needed Oct. 7 triumph made the Warriors’ record 3-8 against the Green Team this season. With only a couple of games left against the Green Team before the San Quentin season ends in November, the Warriors won’t be able to catch up, but the plan is to go out in style.
“We’re going undefeated the rest of the season,” Fournette said. “We gonna have some fun for sure.”