5-0 and going for more: the Georgia Spartans prevail against the Atlanta Legends 112-105
The April 10th matchup between the Georgia Spartans and Atlanta Legends pit the United Men's Basketball League's top teams (both enter the game at 4-0) against each other. With the league's semi-professional season getting in high gear, the game shapes up as a solid checkpoint for both teams.
The game action shows why these teams are the current "cream of the crop".
Starting the game without their full team (as they suit up 5 for the opening tip), the Spartans are clearly undaunted. By the midway point of the first quarter, they have a 24-15 lead and seem to be holding down the fort until reinforcements come. However, the Legends show their mettle and what makes them legendary; they go on a 16-7 run to take a 1-point lead, but thanks to a buzzer beater, the Spartans find themselves up 32-31 going into the second quarter.
The level of play not only becomes more focused as both teams remain within 5 points of each other for most of the period. With the increased level of play, increased intensity comes to the forefront. With a few calls that are draw questions from both teams and their head coaches, along with physical play which leads to some verbal sparring, the teams are beyond locked in knowing the stakes (maintaining a perfect regular season and gradually post-season positioning). Another buzzer beater by the Spartans gives them a 59-57 halftime lead.
The second half (3rd quarter) picks up where the 2nd quarter leads off. Inside of the 5-minute mark, the Spartans push the tempo to building a 76-63 lead. After a technical foul is called against them (when seemingly other physical play is disregarded), the Legends go on yet another run; they close out the quarter on a 16-4 run to pull within 1 point (80-79).
About halfway through the 4th quarter, the Spartans hit their stride and seem to regain control; by the 3:40 mark of the quarter, their 99-87 lead includes a solid run (19-8) which is interrupted by a no-call and turnaround technical foul called against them. This provides another spark for the Legends as they pull within 5 points with 52 seconds left. However, the Spartans show enough resiliency to not let them get any closer, closing out with a 112-105 win.
Harold Parkwood, better known as "Bird", spread his wings as the player of the game. His 31 points and focused play provide solid energy, clearly needed to maintain their undefeated season (5-0) and beating a Legends team that is likely looking forward to seeing them down the road (4-1).
The team looks to build on this win going into their next game; with a lot of basketball left, there's bound to be even more exciting action on the court in the days and games to come.
And definitely plan on spending part of your Saturday with the Georgia Spartans.
Notes: all photos and video recorded by Andrew Snorton.
Top row left: the Georgia Spartans' offense during the first half.
Top row center: the Georgia Spartans put up 59 points in the first half, but they are holding on to a 2 point lead at the half against the Atlanta Legends.
Top row right: the April 10th game between the Georgia Spartans and the Atlanta Legends features the UMBL's top-2 teams as both enter with a 4-0 record.
Bottom row left: the action gets intense when you have 2 unbeatens on the court.
Bottom row center: more game action as the teams battled intensely for the entire game.
Bottom row right: affectionately known as "Bird", the player of the game (31 points) takes time to speak with us post-game after a hard-fought 112-105 win.
Video clips: all of the clips show highlights of the 1st and 2nd half; the last video is our post-game interview.