PrimeTime defends title after wild fourth quarter

July 3, 2013 

— The PrimeTime Players, who played their home games in Fort Mill this season, won their second straight TRBL Championship, defeating the previously unbeaten Cary Invasion 126-118.

The win marked PrimeTime’s 27th straight victory in the TRBL after losing their season opener in 2012. It was the second straight year that the Players and the Invasion have met in the finale and the fourth installment of the rivalry.

PrimeTime started out with the hotter hand in the first quarter as Chris Moore knocked down a pair of three pointers to combat an otherwise cold shooting start for both teams. Cary shot just 2-of-13 from behind the arc in the first quarter as they tried to jump out early on the defending champions. The difference in the quarter was the Players’ free-throw shooting. PrimeTime was 7-of-7 from the charity stripe and took a 29-22 lead into the first break.

The second quarter was dominated by PrimeTime as Donald Rutherford and Sean Barnette combined for 24 points on 6-of-7 shooting from long range. Terell Smith knocked down a pair of three pointers of his own during a crucial PrimeTime run that stretched the lead to 68-46 at halftime.

Freddie Little almost single-handedly erased the Cary deficit in the third quarter with a scorching shooting performance from three point land. Little was 5-for-5 from long distance during the period as the Invasion quickly got back into the game and cut the PrimeTime lead to as few as six. The Players’ Chris Moore knocked down a pair of threes and hit four consecutive free-throws towards the end of the period but the teams headed into the fourth quarter with the Invasion down only nine and possessing all the momentum.

The final stanza was an epic back-and-forth battle between PrimeTime and Cary. The teams exchanged runs several times with PrimeTime pushing the lead to as many as 14 and Cary cutting their deficit to as few as five. Terell Smith drained a three from the top of the key to all but wrap up the title for PrimeTime. PrimeTime made 11-of-13 free throws in the fourth quarter and Moore knocked down all five of his attempts down the stretch.

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