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HomeNewsArchivesAlliance Stuns Previously Unbeaten Hoyas, 71-69

Alliance Stuns Previously Unbeaten Hoyas, 71-69

The Hoyas' Karl John comes up with one of his many blocks, but Alliance would keep coming.Alliance surprised the defending champions Hoyas, 71-69, to knock them from the ranks of the unbeaten Wednesday night in the New Breed Basketball Association League action at the Ronald Charles Gymnasium in front of a large boisterous crowd, the majority of which was cheering for the upset. The score was tied at 69 when Jerome “Ives” Nathaniel got the ball at the top of the key with six seconds left on the clock. He found a seam in the Hoyas defense, attacked the basket and laid in the game winner as time expired, to the delight of the majority Alliance supporters.
Defense was the name of the game in the early stages of this contest with the champs holding Alliance to just eight first-quarter points while scoring a season low 18 , opening-period points themselves. Roman Castillo led the Hoyas with eight points in the opening stanza.
Led by seven points from Andre “50” McIntosh, Alliance came back to outscore the Hoyas 15-11 to trail by six at the half at 29-23.
At the start of the third quarter, Alliance would find themselves down by as many as 15, but a tight defense and a balanced attack midway through the period saw them begin a run that would take them into the lead. With the crowd staunchly behind them, Alliance surged to the lead at 45-44 with seconds left in the third; however, the Hoyas would regain the lead at 46-45 on a basket by Omarie Applewaite as time expired.
The stage was now set for easily the most exciting finish this season to date. Alliance opened the final quarter on a 15-4 run to take a 10-point lead at 59-49 and the crowd was on its feet, cheering and smelling the upset. Just about every player on the Alliance bench was contributing either on offense or defense, but the one leading the charge was Nathaniel. Showing their championship pedigree, however, the Hoyas went on a run of their own, reeling off 13 unanswered points to retake the lead at 62-59 with 5:13 left in the game.
The Hoyas lead was four at 67-63 at the 2:53 mark, but Alliance came back with a 6-2 run to tie the game at 69 with 28 seconds to go. After a missed opportunity by the Hoyas to take the lead, Alliance had the ball back with 18.9 seconds on the game clock. The Hoyas were playing tight defense as Alliance brought the ball up court, but at about the six seconds mark Nathaniel had the ball in his hands at the top of the key. What he saw at that moment was a momentary breakdown in the Hoyas defense, and that was all he needed. He attacked the basket without hesitation for what turned out to be a relatively easy game-winning layup as time expired, giving Alliance the 71-69 upset victory.
“The big difference here tonight, I must say, was coaching,” said Alliance Coach Lugvig “Biggs” Harrigan. “I was not here last game but tonight we had a game plan. Also this team does not practice like it should. If we practice, we would be a dominating force in this league,” He went on.
Nathaniel and McIntosh both finished with 17 points for Alliance with teammates Warren Christian and Colin Steven contributing 11 and 10 points respectively. Roman Castillo led the Hoyas with a game-high 22 points, Darnel Hendrickson had 15 and Kurt John knocked down 13.

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