Holding the fort: the Georgia Spartans top the Ft Benning Yellow Jackets in double overtime
On Saturday, July 11th, the Georgia Spartans returned to the court.
The summer is an opportunity to play a few exhibition games to keep things together during the downtime prior to the regular season. Their competition comes from Columbus, GA, as the Yellow Jackets (based out of Ft Benning) make the road trip to "hoop it up".
Clearly, the Spartans have a height advantage; however, the Yellow Jackets brought the attention to detail and tenacity associated with the armed forces. Even in the opening quarter, neither team could truly separate from the other (as the largest lead either team has is 8 points); at the end of the quarter, the Spartans hold a 26-24 lead.
The same close play continues in the second quarter, as the Spartans go into the half with a 57-53 lead.
Then the 3rd quarter takes place.
The Georgia Spartans showcase the style of play that has them in their league's championship game as an array of solid perimeter shooting and defense give the team a game-high 18 point lead. Going into the 4th quarter, they have a 90-77 advantage and look like they are in control of the game.
However, this is basketball. Teams do make runs, and nobody has an idea of the run the Yellow Jackets embark on.
Their blend of a motion offense and heady play actually result in a 31-13 run to have a 108-103 lead with 2:20 left in the 4th quarter. The Spartans would collect themselves and work their way back in the game thanks to a late 7-2 run to tie the game at the end of regulation (110-110) to put the game into overtime. With the score deadlocked at 116, it leads to a second overtime.
Intense play by both teams almost lead to the game going into a 3rd overtime. With a mere 1.2 seconds left in the game, a slashing drive by the Spartans' Joseph Solomon gives the team a 126-124 lead; the last second attempt by the Yellow Jackets falls short, ending the game.
A soundly competitive game between a championship caliber team and team full of heart and championship mettle. Saturdays with the Spartans takes on a different tone given the competitive spirit shown by their opponents from Ft Benning (make sure to check out the post-game interview).
Another game between the two teams?