“It was tough because everybody had to learn how to play with each other,” Outsider Sponsor John Brewster said. “We played as a team and it went pretty flawless.”
While most people were away celebrating Labor Day, eight basketball players— members of the Trailblazers, Green Team, Outsiders and Lincoln Hill—showed up on the Lower Yard to en- joy a game against the Kings 40-and-over team.
“I thank God for you sharing your light with us,” Kings assistant coach Ishmael Freelon told the visitors. “This is an outlet for us.”
The game was scrappy. Both teams tied at 19 to closeout the first quarter.
He wasn’t alone.
Chaze Russell, another Lincoln Hill player, tied the score at 34 with a three- pointer just as the ref blew his duck whistle, which signaled it was halftime.
The game came down to the final minutes. The Outsiders pulled ahead 70-62 after Russell nailed another three with 2:50 left in regulation.
The Kings came back. Jamal Harrison made a lay-up despite being fouled, but missed the free throw that followed.
King Tare “Cancun” Beltranchuc went to the rack and got fouled as he scored. He went to the line with Kings down one at 75-74 and missed the free throw that would have tied the game.
“I think we both hit the ball, but he had a fingernail on it more than me,” Thompson said.
The ball went to Beltranchuc and he took a short- range jumper that went in then bounced out of the rim.
Geoffrey “Free” Gary, who normally plays with the Trailblazers, grabbed the rebound.
“Refs still couldn’t give them the game,” Gary said.
The Kings fouled immediately. He made one of two free-throws and left the Kings with two seconds on the clock, down 76-74.
A desperate last second shot missed and the Outsiders got the win.
“Pep (Williams) played big,” Gary said. “Robinson had some big rebounds and put backs.”
For the Outsiders, Gary dropped 16 points with 12 rebounds and Russell added 14 points, with four steals, four rebounds and an assist.
All involved showed they have game.
“It feels good playing with people my age; there’s unity in this,” King Harrison said. “It’s a good experience.”