Fedolph Marshall came in earlier at the Visioneers office in preparation for the game. It was a surprise to the coaching staff cause been a Monday and a school day he was one of those that had the staff worry if all their player will be on time.
“No, we close before I headed to town, I had to ride a bike,” he answered when quizzed if he skipped class for the game.
He and some of his teammates then settled in for the drive to Paynesville, outside Monrovia.
Bushrod Bulls were already dress and warming up when they got to the gym. Bulls looked ready and poised to take the day!
Fedolph is the younger brother of Carlos Marshall, skipper for Bushrod Bulls. A match-up of which Marshall is better has started to engulf the basketball sphere after the younger brother dropped 26pts to upset the favorites Bushrod Bulls 88-74.
Three other Visioneers players scored in double figure. C. Young (16pts), S. Bono (12pts) and W. Gittens (10pts), were all contributors for the W. Carlos Marshall matched his younger brother in points by scoring team high 26pts.
Bushrod Bulls started with aggression, taking the ball to the heart of the Visioneers defense with strong drives to the basket, three points shooting and crashing the boards. The lads from Visioneers kept their cool and made sure the Bulls didnt get a run.
Visioneers, playing very composed dug in and was still able to win the opening quarter with strong showings from F. Marshall and Gittens. Quarter ended 16-19 in favor of the D1 new comers.
The second quarter was a disastrous one for the red, white and blue boys. It was like what their team mate had warned before the start of the quarter was coming to pass.
“We always have a good first quarter but then follow by a bad second quarter. We need to not allow it happen today,” W. Gittens advised his teammates.
Some sloppy fouls had them in the penalties with seven minutes to go in the quarter. With an early team foul for their opponents, Bushrod Bulls attacked on every possession which had them going to the line on multiple occasions. They scored eleven of their 21pts from the charity stripe.
Visioneers lost their lead despite I. Anosike hitting a buzzer beater at the end of the half which could had tied the score 39 apiece. The referee cancelled the bucket on the grounds that C. Young traveled on the assist.
B. Bulls won the half 39-36 after outscoring Visioneers 21-17 in the second quarter.
“This is just where we need to be,” said Coach Thompson of Visioneers. “We are within striking distance and we will use the second half to get the victory. Now we ball!”
The halftime pip talk worked as Visioneers came out playing a different brand of basketball. They switched to dribble penetration with the extra pass which lead to easy buckets and long range shots.
Their skillful ball handling started to pay off as they unbalance their the Bulls players.
Gittens then suffered an injury on a three pointer attempt. He landed on the foot of a defender and had to leave the game. He would not return having scored 10pts.
With their mask-man off, someone needed to step in his role!
Bushrod Bulls finally decided to switch to their trademark full court press to slow the younger team but it seems their opponents were set and ready for that. Visioneers broke the press fluidly.
The third quarter ended15-26 for the Visioneers.
It was just a matter of closure in the final quarter and Bushrod Bulls were not ready to roll over. Carlos Marshall staring defeat tried to take over but had constantly having defenders shadowing him closely.
Visioneers had on defense I. Anosike and S. Bono switching constantly on Carlos. He was visibly frustrated with not receiving much help from his team mates in setting screens.
Visioneers dribble penetration in no time had their rim protectors fouling out of the game. Paving the way for more aggressive plays.
With both sides flag up in the last five minutes, it became who would do better at the free throws.
With two minutes left, and a final timeout, Visioneers, up by twelve, played the clock. Two costly turnovers had the Bulls within eight points. C. Young after some ball movement was open for a three pointe which cushion their lead.
The icing on the cake was a 2-on-1 fast-break lead by C. Young and M. Tsiko with the later setting an alley for his team mate who threw it down with authority that had the crowd in attendance going ape.
With the victory, Bushrod Bulls go home and Visioneers move to the next round.
Visioneers next opponent could be Du-Runners as Oilers has pulled out of the tournament thus their opponent moves up automatically. Once it is confirm, Liberiabasketball.com will inform our cherished readers.
Has Visioneers proven doubters wrong with this victory? Have your say in the comment box below.