“We just had to play defense. In the end it just came down to us getting some stops,” Darryl Webb said.
Those stops were a big reason why PGT Trucking defeated top seeded GNC 83-78 in overtime to win the Pro-Am.
Leading the way in points was Patterson with 27 points to go along with 10 rebounds. Patterson scored 95 total points.
From the opening tip off, everything was going GNC’s way.
It looked like a runaway starting with the first basket which was a three point shot drilled by Kendrick Perry.
A notable absence for PGT Trucking was much heralded center Steven Adams. Add that to Trey Ziegler’s injury and that meant Talib Zanna and Chris Jones who were knocked out earlier in the playoffs were replacements. It was clear that PGT was missing Adams and his physicality, as they had no answer for Jakim Donaldson.
The first half was a frustrating one for PGT and Patterson who would go 5-22 from the field was being covered well by Perry.
After one half it was 34-25 GNC.
Things went from bad to worse for PGT as the lead stretched out to 18. With 12:50 left in regulation, it was cut to 57-44 and that was when PGT started digging in defensively. Five minutes later the GNC lead was drastically cut to 61-58.
The turning point of the game came however with 4:45 left in regulation. Perry, the sparkplug for the team was defending Patterson would made a move, Perry fouled in vain and immediately started screaming in pain. It would take a few minutes before Perry was helped off the court by two of his teammates.
“Dislocated my knee cap in the championship game tonite,” Perry tweeted following the game. “Can bend it and walk on it so it’s all good. Thanks for all the support!!”
Patterson, the beneficiary felt bad, but recognized the advantage this gave for his team.
“He pressured me a lot, he was hitting shots and it hurt them a lot,” Patterson said. “He was a key piece of that team and I hope he is okay.”
Another big difference for PGT Trucking was their free throw shooting. They were able to get to the free throw line countless times and Patterson was 13-14 from the line.
Replacement Jones and James Robinson, both freshmen had big moments during the run. Jones scored all 13 of his points in the second half and Robinson, who had been more of a facilitator more than a scorer had 13 points of his own.
Still, down the stretch GNC held the lead entering the final minute. A couple of missed free throws would haunt them though.
With 40 seconds Patterson took a three point shot putting both his and the team’s fate on one shot. The shot went in, tying the game and drawing loud applause from the crowd who fully understood what that shot meant. No one was happier than Patterson though who with the help of his teammates had done what seemed to be impossible, complete the comeback.
“I was praying on everything for it to go in,” Patterson said of the shot. “Coming back like that, with two freshmen is amazing and they had a big part in it. They stepped up big time and showed a lot of toughness.”
The game went to overtime where a first happened for PGT; a lead. GNC was able to make a shot, but then Webb was able to make an offensive rebound and then was fouled as he went back up with a shot. The shot went in and one made free throw later, PGT had completely seized momentum.
“That’s always been my thing, just getting offensive rebounds, so we were down, why not go back up with it,” Webb said. “I wasn’t expecting an ‘and one’, but I was just trying to get the rebound.”
From there PGT continued to rely on their defense and momentum to pull away and win the championship.
Playing with all kinds of Panthers teammates, Patterson appears to be ready to lead this team and realizes the give and take nature of the role.
“Keep leading these guys and let them lead me also,” Patterson said. “We’re a family, and we want to stick together. When someone’s down, we’re all down, so we just need to make sure we all stay up.”
Round 1: #2 PGT Trucking 97 #7 SPK Law 83
#3 South Hills Audi 95 #6 Steel City Tickets 91
#4 UPMC 83 #5 Oliverio’s Peppers 78
Round 2: #1 GNC 97 #4 UPMC 89
#2 PGT Trucking 80 #3 South Hills Audi 79
Round 3: #2 PGT Trucking 83 #1 GNC 78
Steven Adams- Pitt
Derick Colter- Duquesne
Durand Johnson- Pitt
Lucky Jones- Robert Morris
Jakim Donaldson- Edinboro (Grad)
Keaton Miles- West Virginia
Kendrick Perry Youngstown State
Ovie Soko- Duquesne
Chevon Troutman- Pitt (Grad)
All Newcomer Team
Steven Adams- Pitt
Derick Colter- Duquesne
Stephen Hawkins- Robert Morris
James Robinson- Pitt
Quevyn Winters- Duquesne
Lamar Patterson- Pitt