In two tight games at OTE Arena on Friday night, the City Reapers and Holy Rams both secured wins with games going down to the final minute.
In two potential playoff matchups, it was the City Reapers that locked in with an 88-84 win over the Cold Hearts to sweep them in the regular season series. Amen and Ausar Thompson had huge games as Amen went for 22 points on 9-11 shooting and had nine assists and five rebounds. Ausar had 17 points, nine assists and six rebounds.
In a game where the City Reapers appeared to have complete control leading by as many as 22 points in the game, the Cold Hearts fought back with a huge run in the third quarter. They outscored the Reapers 31-19 over that frame to get within four points heading into the fourth.
The Reapers got their lead back to double-figures early in the fourth, but the Cold Hearts kept coming at them. With just under a minute remaining, Naasir Cunningham made a free throw to cut the lead to three. The Reapers brought the ball up the floor and Ausar found Trey Parker in the corner for a huge three to go up six. Rob Dillingham came right back down and answered with a three of his own to cut the lead back to three points.
After a Reapers turnover, Bryce Griggs got a good look from three to tie the game with nine seconds remaining, but came up empty. After securing the rebound, Parker hit one of his free throws to give them the 88-84 win.
Tyler Smith and Cunningham were both the Cold Hearts leading scorers with 19 points.
The second game of the night was almost as entertaining as the first and also saw a comeback. The YNG Dreamerz led by 16 in the second quarter, but didn’t close the half out well. The Holy Rams ran off eight straight to only trail by seven at the break and took that momentum into the third quarter. They scored the first 14 points in the third to go up 54-47.
After the 22-point run, the Holy Rams kept pushing, taking a lead by as many as 14. The Dreamerz did try and spoil the Holy Rams' big comeback with one of their own. They got within one point twice, but could not get the lead back.
The Holy Rams closed it out to get the 90-81 victory. They’re 5-1 in their last six games with the only loss coming against the City Reapers.
Dra Gibbs-Lawhorn and Mayar Wol both led the Holy Rams with 22 points. Isaiah Coleman and Justin Monden were also in double figures.
There is one more game at OTE Arena this weekend and it is the Dreamerz getting a second crack against the Holy Rams. Tip is at 7 p.m.