Ravens Win First Open Division Title
The New York Ravens, a program with a lengthy history of winning basketball games, took home the 2002 adidas Big Time championship. They defeated the Florida Hoopsters, a surprise finalist built for the future with young talent.
The Ravens won the game 71-69 as Tariq Adkins converted the eventual game-winning free-throws. Curtis Stinson was named the MVP of the event. He led the Ravens in scoring with 16 points. Brian Laing and Justin Marshall chipped in with 13 each.
Just as they did in their playoff opener earlier in the week, the Ravens squandered a significant halftime lead and rallied for the win. This time, they led by 11 points at the break. But, that wouldn't be enough as Darius Washington was in the process of heating up.
Washington scored 37 points in the loss. He shot 12-for-20 from the field including 5-for-8 from downtown and a perfect 8-for-8 from the line. The one-man wrecking crew single-handedly lifted the Hoopsters. Originally slated to play with EBO, but couldn't due to the 100-mile rule, Washington made the most of his time with the Hoopsters.
Unlike most prolific scorers, Washington is very thrifty with his shots. He took 20 of them tonight but hit 12. He has a special knack for capitalizing even on his misses. Watch him enough and you'll notice that though he certainly will force shots, he gets himself to the line. Even better, when he gets to the line, he makes his shots. Today, he converted 32-of-35 during his team's three-game run to the championship. That's an amazingly efficient statistic.
While Washington was doing his thing with the Hoopsters, Artie Green's Ravens never allowed the Floridians to get truly comfortable. Then, with the game on the line, Adkins stepped up and made the free-throws that mattered.
The Ravens run to the title went right through the Tim Thomas Playaz Gold whom they drubbed by 29. They then defeated rival Long Island Panthers and knocked off the two surprises of the tournament in the Billy Shepherd team and finally the Florida Hoopsters.