Round Two in Championship Series As Close As Game One Finished
Chicago, IL- At halftime the Rochester Razorsharks lead the Indianapolis Diesels 47-44 in game two of the PBL championship series.
Ever since Metta World Peace, brother of Diesel player Daniel Artest has shown up, the Diesels have brought themselves back from being down by double-digits to a measly three-points.
The Razorsharks have been able to give themselves many scoring opportunities with strong offensive rebounds, but the Diesels have been strong shooting from the field when a strong opportunity arises.
If the Razorsharks win tonight in Indiana then the PBL trophy will be presented and the celebrations will begin for the boys in blue, but if the Diesels can continue their drive then this series may go back to Rochester for the third and final game.
Indianapolis Downs Rochester in Last Minute of Game 2
Indianapolis, IN- The Indianapolis Diesels earned a 103-99 victory over the Rochester RazorSharks tonight to force a decisive game 3 in the Premier Basketball League Championship.
After an outstanding finish to game 1, where Rochester’s Chaz Crawford tipped in a missed free throw with 4 seconds left gave Rochester a 100-99 victory, both teams knew game 2 was going to be just as tough and physical.
“We knew after a game like that (game 1), there was going to be no quit in this Diesels team. They are a tough bunch and they play together. Everyone on that team knows their role and they play it well”, said Rochester’s Scott Rodgers.
Both teams traded buckets for the first eight minutes of the opening period before Rochester’s Melvin Council hit back to back three pointers to give Rochester an early 16-10 lead.
After five points from Aaron Williams in a three minute span, Rochester found themselves up 27-22 at the end of the 1st quarter, in large part to their excellent bench play and strong full-court defense.
The second quarter was more like the first game between these two teams, as both teams struggled on offense and neither team could make a push to gain an advantage in the game. Rochester managed just 20 points in the period and had a 5:45 drought except for 1 made free throw off a defensive three second call on the Diesels.
The score at halftime was 47-44 with Rochester holding a slim lead.
Jerice Crouch scored 13 points and had 2 rebounds and 2 assist in the first half for Rochester. Crawford added 7 points and 5 rebounds for Rochester by halftime.
The Diesels were led by Jermaine Dearman in the first half who poured in 15 points. Dearman had 21 points in the game 1 loss.
The third quarter saw each team’s offense finally get into rhythm. Dearman scored 10 points in the quarter, and had several big offensive rebounds. The Diesels scored 35 points in the quarter to give them their first lead since it was 13-10 with 5:00 minutes left in the first quarter.
Rochester scored 29 points in the quarter, but suffered 6 turnovers and let the Diesels dominate the offensive glass behind Dearman and Noah Douglas.
At the end of the 3rd quarter, the Diesels found themselves with a 79-76 lead as they tried to keep their season alive.
The fourth quarter was everything the first two games have been; physical, close, outstanding defense, and grit from each team.
The largest lead in the entire fourth quarter was only 4 points which was held by Rochester early in the quarter.
With 1 minute remaining in the game Indianapolis’ John Hart was fouled attacking the hoop and hit 2 free throws to give the Diesels a 98-97 lead.
After a field goal and a free throw Crouch, Rochester found themselves up 1, 97-96 with :45 seconds left.
True to his game today, Dearman scored a tough over the shoulder hook shot to give the Diesels a one point lead.
Dearman finished with 32 points and overall dominated both ends of the floor tonight.
After Rochester failed to score with under 20 seconds left, they were forced to foul the Diesels, who hit their free throws and earned a 103-99 victory.
“To let this one slipped away really hurts. We were really confident we were going to end the series tonight and finally bring that championship trophy back to Rochester. The only silver lining of tonight is now we are a very hungry team and we have our home fans to back us in this winner take all game 3”, said Rochester’s game one hero Crawford.
Rochester was led by Crouch’s 28 points. Also having a good game for Rochester was Crawford who finished with 11 points and grabbed 12 rebounds.
Game three will be back in Rochester on Monday April 14, at the Blue Cross Arena, with a tip-off of 7:00 p.m. Rochester will look to come away with the victory or they will find themselves the league runner-up for the third consecutive season.