FORT MILL, SC–The PrimeTime Players kicked off their 2014 home slate on Saturday with a 135-101 victory over the Carolina Gladiators in front of a packed house at the Banks Street Gym. Fans arrived in droves early to catch the presentation of the 2013 USBasket.com All-TRBL Awards to PrimeTime’s Chris Moore, Terell Smith, and Malaciah Jones, all of whom received huge ovations from the home crowd.
The game started off on shaky footing for the home team, as the Gladiators were able to convert on several easy baskets due to missed defensive assignments and miscommunications in transition. A pair of Chris Moore three-pointers broke the lead open for PrimeTime and a strong close to the quarter for Thomas Pfaff in the paint gave them a 33-26 lead heading into the first intermission.
In the second quarter, PrimeTime was able to correct some early defensive issues and lock down the Gladiators’ offense. It didn’t hurt that the Players shot just under 73% for the quarter from the field, including 11-of-11 from inside the three point line. A 15-5 run to close the half put PrimeTime up 70-46 at the break.
The Gladiators were not to be counted out, though, as they came out with a renewed energy in the second half. Demarco Williams scored 17 of his game-high 39 points in the third quarter and the Gladiators outscored PrimeTime 33-31 in the period. Brian Mobley carried the bulk of the weight for the Players, scoring 10 in the period behind a pair of back-to-back three pointers to stop a Gladiator run.
The fourth quarter saw the Gladiators run out of steam and the PrimeTime Players were able to coast to a second straight victory to open the season. Chris Moore knocked down a trio of threes and Brian Mobley poured in 11 more points to add to the cushion between the two teams.
Moore finished with 31 points and 10 assists to lead PrimeTime, while Malaciah Jones and Thomas Pfaff also contributed double-doubles of 18 points, 10 rebounds and 17 points, 10 rebounds respectively. Mobley had 26 points and Terell Smith filled up the stat sheet with 20 points, six assists, five rebounds, and four steals. James Dillard had 12 points, Jamarius Colston had nine, and Victor Street rounded out the scoring with two points while dishing out six assists. Tay Raymon did not score but had four rebounds and a beautiful steal at mid-court that turned into a behind-the-back pass to Pfaff for a big dunk to ignite the crowd mid-way through the third quarter.
Demarco Williams led the way for the Gladiators with 39 points and 16 rebounds, while Omonzo Bellamy contributed 18 points and six rebounds. Desi Crisp (nine assists) and Maurice Murphy chipped in 15 apiece and Richard Green finished with 11.
The PrimeTime Players will be back in action next Saturday in Durham against the Bull City Legacy. Their next home game will be April 26th at the Banks Street Gym against the Palmetto Flight.