WILMINGTON, N.C. — Special to the Fort Mill Times
For two quarters on Saturday night, it seemed as though PrimeTime basketball team might be forced to make the late-night drive back to Fort Mill with a loss on their minds for a second straight year.
The Wilmington Sea Dawgs, playing at full strength for the first time this season, jumped on the Players early behind lights-out shooting from UNC-Wilmington hero Brett Blizzard. PrimeTime found themselves a step short in contesting the Sea Dawgs from the perimeter early on and consequently found themselves in a dog fight.
Terell Smith buried three from behind the arc on his way to 16 first quarter points. It was a Smith three at the buzzer that gave the Players a 33-31 lead at the end of the first.
The second quarter started off much the same as the first, with Wilmington hitting shots and PrimeTime failing to do so. The saving grace for the Players was the lack of ball control from the Sea Dawgs. A good portion of the PrimeTime offense in the second quarter came off of Wilmington turnovers, allowing PrimeTime to stay within striking distance after being down by as many as eight.
Chris Moore heated up for the Players in the second half of the period and helped PrimeTime even the score at 67 heading into halftime.
It was only a matter of time before PrimeTime’s shots began to fall and that time came in the third quarter. Moore hit four of the Players’ seven threes in the period on his way to 15 of his game-high 41 points. The Sea Dawgs could not provide an answer this time with Players center Thomas Pfaff denying Blizzard any opening outside the arch, creating a catastrophic disruption in their offensive flow. PrimeTime took a 115-96 lead into the final stanza.
It was more of the same in the fourth, as the Players hit another seven threes and completed the route in style. Smith finished with 39 points and 10 rebounds. James Dillard continued to be a double-double factory with 18 hard-fought points to go along with 13 rebounds. Antonio Houston overcame a rough night shooting the ball to finish with 15 points and 11 rebounds.
The PrimeTime Players, a minor league basketball team, plays its home games at Banks Street Gym, 490 Academy St., Fort Mill. For more on the team. go to primetimeplayers.trblproball.com or call Chris Thomas at 803-554-9286.