Photos from Saturday 11/21 in Glendale Tucson Buckets at AZ Scorpions 107-85 Final Score AZ Scorpions
It was finally time to test the resolve of our newly assembled team. Adding players to our practice and reserve roster has helped us in growing the competitive edge we believe we need to thrive in the professional ranks. Our players and coaches have been hard at work after taking our first loss in franchise history. It has been two weeks since we last stepped on the court as a full roster. We debuted our new jerseys to the public this weekend. The new stylish team jerseys made for us that we hoped would help with the legitimacy are as an organization.
Our first road game is up against the Arizona Scorpions a 120 mile drive to the only other ABA franchise in the state of Arizona. We recently played them in an exhibition but this would be the first opportunity to showcase our full team on a road gym. These are the type of trips that build team chemistry. A weekend of basketball and an opportunity to establish a proactive rivalry between the two franchises.
The Arizona Scorpions came out in the first half and punched us in the face. The team looked sloppy at points and in some instances our nerves were showing. The beginning of the game started with turnovers and that seemed to be the theme of the entire game for the Tucson Buckets. The Scorpions played a good game offensively, dominating the backboards and holding our small line up to a poor shooting performance.
The 2nd half Tucson played much better and competed with much more confidence. Mark Simmons lead the way in that game with a tough 26 points in a road loss they will like to forget 107-85. This game opened the eyes of most of our players. The work has to be completed and translated onto the basketball court. A learning lesson that the team will definitely build on.
Showdown in Tucson
Sunday afternoon looked to be one for the ABA history books. A rematch from the night before on short rest since it was a 1 PM game tip-off. The players were ready to redeem themselves from a disappointing road trip. The Buckets started the game in control handling the same team that muscled them out of the paint the night before. A spark from sharpshooter #3 Doniell DP Perryman who knocked down three consecutive 3’s to put the Buckets in great position early in the 2nd quarter. #24 Donte Williams played well dropping in 15 points.
Mark Simmons played his best overall game and provided a needed spark throughout the game but especially in the 2nd half. He hit some big buckets to put the Buckets in position to win at the end. Tucson had a lead by 5 down the stretch but the team could not close the talented Scorpions out. It came down to the final shot. Arizona took the ball out with 4 seconds remaining which resulted in a deflected pass ultimately falling into the scorpions point guard hands allowing him to make a last second heave from half court banking it in to tie the game at 92-92, forcing overtime.
TheABA overtime rules are a bit unorthodox. The refs explained that all ineligible players were allowed back into the game and every player who had previous fouls during the game would go back to zero fouls to begin the overtime. From there each player would be limited to two fouls until disqualification. They put 3 minutes on the clock and on we went. The Scorpions started off strong getting to the line to take the quick lead, from there they were able to control the pace and limit the Buckets to only 5 points in extra time. The score ended 99-97 with the Tucson Buckets failing to knock down the final shot as the buzzer went off.
This weekend takes the Tucson Buckets to a slow 0-3 start but after the performance on Sunday the chemistry seems to be coming together. We were unfortunately starting a season with limited exhibition games or practice reps as a full unit and I think the early performances showed our lack of experience. The players are working hard to improve every day. Great weekend of basketball. What did you think about the game? Did you know about our live stream of our away game? Leave a comment and we can talk buckets.
Live Stream of November 21,2015 Game vs AZ Scorpions
Photos from 11/22 AZ Scorpions at Tucson Buckets Final Score 99-97 OT AZ Scorpions