Fresh off a victory in their home opener, the Cubs open the Maranatha tournament against the Providence Pioneers. Both teams had a strong showing in the Paul Sutton Tournament, a competition hosted by the Pioneers, with the Cubs finishing third and the Pioneers ending as runners up.
PG - 6’3” Jr. John Belardi
SG - 6’1” Sr. Uriel Ferguson
SF - 6’3” Sr. Andre Parris
PF - 6’7” Jr. Remington Rofer
C - 6’7” Sr. Colby Brooks
The Cubs come out hot, going up 4-0 after two strong drives from Brooks. After beating the press, though, the Pioneers are able to complete a 5-0 run of their run, giving them the lead. Kresich ends the run with a strong layup before Belardi gets a quick transition layup to put the Cubs in front by three. More transition play gets the Pioneers a layup, but Brooks responds with a step-back three in his man’s face. The Pioneers complete another three-point play, but strong Cub defense and another Brooks three keeps the Cubs in front by a single bucket. The Pioneers hit a three to beat the zone at 2:00, but Kresich hits a baseline floater and Brooks hustles for a reverse layup, keeping the Cubs ahead 18-15. The quick scoring spree elicits a timeout call from the Pioneer head coach, leaving just one minute in the quarter. A steal leads to free throws for Kresich, giving the Cubs an extra point off a one-of-two free throw conversion. After giving up a three, Ferguson makes a pretty move to close the quarter on a Cub layup score.
The Cubs force a quarter to start the quarter but turn the ball over themselves to keep the score 21-18. Beautiful passing leads to Suceveanu being fouled inside, allowing him to score one of two free throws. Stellar team and individual defense allows the Cubs to move the ball some more on offense, leading to Ferguson converting two free throws. The active Cubs won’t allow a bucket as a fastbreak leads to a Roquemore layup. The Pioneers finally end the bleeding with an and-one layup, following it up with a floater to cut the lead again. With 4:30 left in the half, the Cubs turn the ball over but remain disciplined on defense to find Brooks for a baseline floater. The Cubs give up a transition layup off a turnover, leading to two Pioneer free throws. The Cubs miss a pair of shots but crash the offensive boards to earn Rofer a putback layup. The Cubs give up another three-point play, but a Kresich triple keeps the Cubs up by 6. A quick 7-0 run puts the Pioneers in front with just 43 seconds left to play in the half. Coach Adams decides he needs a timeout to make a final first-half push. The Cubs get called for an illegal screen, ending the half with another turnover.
The Cubs struggled heavily with the zone defense of the Pioneers, committing silly turnovers on traps and taking poor shots all too often. Defensively, the Cubs struggled heavily with the Pioneer guards, getting beat off the drive regularly. To win the game, the Cubs need play better first-man defense and take better quality shots on the other end of the floor.
The Cubs opt for a bigger lineup to start the second half, sending in Belardi, Rofer, Brooks, Parris, and Kresich to mount the comeback. The Cubs start the half with a Belardi steal, and Belardi putback layup, putting the Cubs in front by a point. Brooks draws a foul after another Cub stop, converting two of two to extend the Cub lead to three. The Pioneers get called for five seconds, allowing Parris to drive baseline and hit an and-one layup. The Pioneers’ lack of dynamism on both ends to start the half causes the Pioneer head coach to call a timeout with 5:49 left in the third. The Cubs’ hustle keeps the Pioneers from scoring a sure transition layup, and a steal allows Rofer to hit a tough jumper from the key. The Pioneers end the cold streak with a fadeaway triple but give up a foul on the other end that allows Brooks to hit two free throws. Trailing 44-37, the Pioneers earn two free throws and convert one. Great ball movement leads to a Rofer bank shot a la Tim Duncan from ten feet away. A third foul call on Rofer brings Roquemore into the game. The team becomes foul prone, putting the Pioneers back at teh line for another point. Bad passing on the part of the Cubs allow the Pioneers to earn an and-one layup, cutting the lead to just two. Another Cub turnover gives the Pioneers the ball with a minute left in the quarter, allowing the Pioneers to equalize on a tough layup. The Cubs again throw the ball away but are bailed out by a Pioneer miss. Brooks ends the run and the quarter with a one-hand jam to put the Cubs up by two.
The Cubs can’t figure out the 2-3 zone to start the quarter but are able to steal the ball on the other end. The Cubs throw the ball away, and the Pioneer guard earns free throws, scoring one of two. The Cubs finally score in the final frame with a Brooks corner three but give up another and-one score to cut the lead to just one. Belardi hits a three in response, but the Pioneer guard hits a prayer of a shot to cut the lead to two. Brooks completes another three-point play in response. Rofer picks up his fourth foul, keeping out of play in favor of Kresich with 4:57 left to play. Leading by three, the Cubs give up a silly turnover, allowing the Pioneers to convert an and-one floater. The opposing guard misses his free throw and wide-open layup attempt following a steal, preserving the one-point Cub lead. Coach Adams decides he still needs a timeout, calling for a brief intermission with 4:24 left to play. The Cubs commit silly turnovers and fouls, allowing the Pioneers to take back the lead. Trailing 57-58, the Cubs turn the ball over once more. The Pioneers call a full timeout to rest their players, providing energy for a final push in the 3:15 that remains. The Cubs force an offensive foul but is called for one on the other end, allowing the Pioneers to hit a floater that extends the lead to three. Brooks hits two free throws on the other end, cutting the lead to one. The Cubs turn the ball over again, allowing the Pioneers to extend the lead to three with 1:21 left in the game. A Belardi steal and score cuts the lead to one with a minute left, convincing the Pioneer coach to call timeout at the 49 second mark. A controversial foul puts the Pioneers up three off free throws. Belardi earns a foul with 20 seconds, hitting two free throws and cutting the lead to one. Brooks steals the ball on the inbounds but is called for an offensive foul off a clear flop from the Providence guard. On the next possession, the Pioneers are called for a travel, leaving 13 seconds for a Cub team trailing by one. Coach Adams calls timeout to draw up the Cubs’ play, resulting in a Cub turnover. The Pioneers call a timeout, hoping to preserve the one-point advantage over the final 8.6 seconds of the game. The Cubs foul and the Pioneer guard hits both shots to three. The Cubs are called for a travel before they can even get a shot off, losing 63-66.