The Georgia Spartans survive the Strong Rox Steppers 116-115 (overtime)
The postseason is vastly different from the regular season. All of the teams enter with a 0-0 slate. Today's game sees the top seeded Georgia Spartans taking on the Strong Rox Steppers; it marks the 3rd time the teams play against each other, so there's a sense of familiarity and the added bonus of one team ending the other's season.
Even with their 2 regular season wins against the Strong Rox Steppers, the Georgia Spartans surely are aware they are in for a tough game. Given their most recent regular season matchup against them (an 83-71 win - click HERE for the recap), the Steppers' late run and perimeter shooting provides a hint with a faster start, it may be a different game.
And what a game.
Solid play on the offensive glass gives the Georgia Spartans a 25-23 lead at the end of the 1st quarter. However, solid guard play and perimeter shooting by the Strong Rox Steppers keeps them close. During the 2nd quarter, a combination of inconsistent play by the Spartans positions the Steppers to take a game-high 17 point lead. A late run would make it a 52-47 halftime deficit, but clearly, this has the makings of what playoff basketball is all about: gritty, intense, and high-energy play knowing it's win or go home.
The 3rd quarter would see the Strong Rox Steppers push their lead into double-digits. By the start of the 4th quarter, the Georgia Spartans are down 82-72 and in need of some defensive stops and solid runs to keep their season alive. This is exactly what would happen as they would work their way into tying the game, only to end regulation deadlocked at 100 (as their 28-18 4th quarter pushes the game into overtime).
The overtime period would see the Spartans take a 5 point lead and seemingly, in control of the game. However, the Strong Rox Steppers have something to say as a late run would have them down 113-111 when they would convert a 4 point play with 6 seconds left in overtime to take a 115-113 lead.
And then with 1 second left on the clock (after debate and a league first instance of video review), the Spartans are fouled in the act of shooting a 3-point basket, giving them 3 three throws. After nailing all 3, it's a 116-115 game with a mere second. Despite a solid inbound play and look, the end of overtime effort by the Strong Rox Steppers grazes the front rim, falling short.
The Steppers came to play and arguably played their best game of the season. The Georgia Spartans persevere and move onto the league finals on May 29th.
Another thrilling Saturday with the Georgia Spartans as they'll make their run for the league title on May 29th.
Notes: All photos and video recorded by Andrew Snorton.
1st half highlights as the Georgia Spartans take on the Strong Rox Steppers.
2nd half highlights of the game.
Overtime snapshots at the Georgia Spartans prevail 116-115.
Post-game interview with Parysh Munroe as the Georgia Spartans are in the league championship game on May 29th.
Top row (left-right): The Georgia Spartans coming together as the Strong Rox Steppers competed at a high level the entire game. The game action is intense the entire game as both teams are looking to make it to the championship round.
Second row (left-right): The Georgia Spartans taking their time at the free throw line.
Third row (left-right): Setting up for a solid shot of a high-energy playoff game. Likewise, the Spartans at the free throw line.
Fourth row (left-right): More game action of the Georgia Spartans at the line.
Bottom row (left-right): The Georgia Spartans in overtime planning during a timeout. As an added bonus, members of the Status Network are in the building (one of hosts from Love and Hips TV and The Conversation Corner).