It came down to a final shot. Simon missed a tough three from the corner and Watson Chevrolet held on to a 105-102 win in what had to be the most entertaining game of the young league.
Damon Stoudamire and Terry were the main attractions, both taking time out to high five the crowd in introductions and ham it up on the microphone. The two NBA veterans delivered, but Salim Stoudamire wasn’t about to let the two pros overshadow him.
The senior Wildcat had the hot hand early, and never really cooled off. He scored 16 in the first half and 21 in the second, to finish with 37 points on 17-24 shooting. He was solid from the outside, but it was his mid-range, pull-up jumper that was really doing the damage.
Early on the former Wildcat guards were trying to wow the crowd with great passing and fancy ball handling. Time after time Terry, Damon Stoudamire and Simon would thread the needle and make pinpoint passes through defenders.
The action was frantic and back and forth with neither team getting much of an upper hand. Both Terry and the elder Stoudamire took their fair share of shots, but were a bit cold and it was Salim and Simon who led their respective teams in scoring.
Salim ended the first half with a breakaway dunk and his Steak Out team took a 42-41 lead at the intermission.
The second half saw the two NBA players get hot.
After missing his first shot of the second half, Damon nailed two threes and a pull-up and Steak Out took a 50-46 lead.
Former Amphi standout Anthony Oates converted an old fashioned three-point play and put Steak Out up 74-65, but La Salsa was not done by any means.
Terry converted a three-point play of his own and added a pull-up jumper that got La Salsa within five, 89-84.
La Salsa hung around the five-point mark, until another Terry got hot. Jason’s brother, the UNLV bound Curtis Terry, got the hot hand and his five quick points gave Steak Out a 94-84 lead.
“The guy was out there knocking down shots,” Jason said of his brother. “I worked with him. Hard work definitely pays off. He has more height than me, but he does not have quite the speed. He’s going to UNLV next year. I tried to get Lute (Olson) to offer him a scholarship, but he passed on him. He’ll do great things at UNLV.”
La Salsa would slowly battle back. Simon and Terry each buried long threes and the deficit was down to just four, 103-99. Strategic fouling and another Terry three gave La Salsa their last shot, but Terry found Simon with just seconds left and his rushed three-point attempt with a defender in his face hit the back iron.
Terry was hot late, making his last four three-point attempts in the failed comeback bid. He finished with a game-high 41 points. Stoudamire scored 29, while Simon finished with 25.
Future Wildcat Daniel Dillon did not get many touches, but did not seem to mind giving way to the older players. He managed eight points on 3-of-6 shooting.
Gene Edgerson and Corey Williams accepted roles for their teams. Edgerson had 12 points, while hitting the boards hard. Williams finished with six points.
Terry and Stoudamire went head-to-head quite a bit. Both players took more than their fair share of long three-pointers, especially in the second half when the defense did all they could to keep them from driving to the hole.
The two former All-Americans went at it, but didn’t have any old scores to settle. The great point guards never played on the same team.
“I didn’t even go to school with J.T., I was gone when J.T. was here,” Stoudamire said. “But I was the one who showed him around when he came on his recruiting visit.”
The night’s first game lacked the big names and the high scoring of the nightcap. Watson Chevrolet beat Contractors Employment 52-42.
Mohamed Tangara recorded his third double-double in as many games, scoring 20 points and ripping down 17 rebounds.
Contractors opened the second half with an 11-0 lead thanks mostly to Tangara and former Wildcat Anis Fellah. A Fellah steal and lay-in cemented the win as Contractors went up 48-40 and coasted to the finish.
Photos by Carl F. Shifflette III