Despite a size advantage, the San Quentin Warriors basketball team missed critical free throws and lost to the outside Christian Ministries basketball team, 80-79 on June 15.
The Warriors lead the game most of the way, living up to center Chris Mujahid Munns’ pre-game statement, “Nobody is coming in here imposing their will on us no more.” Making the best of their size advantage and a slow start by Ministries player Ben Ilegbodu, who missed three lay-ups early on, they lead by as much as nine points.
With seven seconds left in the game and the Warriors down one point, Vines went up from the key to make a potential game-winning jumper, but Ministries’ player Ilegbodu blocked the shot.
It was called a foul and Vines went to the free throw line to shoot two. He air-balled the first shot and also missed the second, and time ran out.
With 5:00 left in the second quarter, Warriors’ outside-to-inside offensive game plan seemed to be working as they lead 37-28.
At halftime the Warriors trailed 46-45 against the smaller, energetic Ministries’ guards, who managed to make key steals.
“We lost the lead on bad decisions and not taking advantage of their lack of size,” said Warriors coach Daniel Wright.
The third quarter went back and forth, with one tie and two lead changes until the Warriors reclaimed the lead, 59-53, on great playing by Allen McIntosh, who scored eight during that period.
In the fourth, forward Ilegbodu, who scored 39 points, and center Mark Ivy led the Ministries back with strong inside moves, getting to the rack and the line.
Ministries tied the score at 71, with 3:20 left in the game when guard Matt Nash completed one of two free throws after being fouled going to the rack.
Ministries coach Bill Epling never panicked. “They have the size advantage, but we have the better guards,” he said during a timeout.
With less than 1:00 left, Ministries guards stole the ball from Munns and McIntosh on back-to-back plays, followed by Ilegbodu scoring from inside and at the line, taking a four point-lead at 80-76.
Down four with 10 seconds left in the game, Warriors player John Windham revived his team’s final chances of winning by hitting an “in your face” three-pointer, reducing their deficit 80-79.
With seven seconds left, Ministries could have padded their one-point lead when Ilegbodu went to the line, but he missed both free throws.