Everything was fine in the first quarter. It really was.
And then … all of a sudden … the Patroons went from a 6-point lead to a 36-point loss. Just like that.
I’m still scratching my head over this one. It’s almost as if the Patroons just ran out of gas in the second quarter and nobody refilled the tanks.
And the third quarter … ugh. Albany got outscored 51-27. That’s almost a 2-1 ratio.
Okay, what do you do after you get punched in the jaw for a 36-point loss?
There are old basketball sayings … mantras … koans … with such thoughts as “you have to lose one to win one,” and “you need a short memory to forget the losses,” and “you can’t win a championship series in a single game.”
Well, right now we’ve got a Game 2 for Tuesday night.
We’ve done all that we could. We cheered this team on. We were there at every moment.
And now they’re in the finals. All we want is one win Tuesday night. One win in Yakima.
If we get that … then everybody comes back to Albany and we play a winner-takes-all game Thursday night.
We can do this. It’s just one game. Albany was down to a one-game elimination against Raleigh last week. And we won. Albany was nearly eliminated from even getting to the playoffs by Jamestown. And we won.
Guys … we can do it. We will do it. Because there’s no reason for us NOT to do it.
I’m just saying though… do not make me get on a plane and fly to Yakima for tonight’s game.
Because I will bring one of my throwback Patroons uniforms with me.
And even though my feet are ruined from diabetic neuropathy and I couldn’t hit ten points in a Pop-A-Shot game…
I will suit up if needed.
On that you must depend.
ALBANY PATROONS PUMMELED IN GAME 1 LOSS TO YAKIMA, 133-97
(YAKIMA, Wash.) – Despite an early first quarter lead, the Albany Patroons saw that lead slip away – and then drift off to the horizon – in a 133-97 road loss to the Yakima Sun Kings. Yakima takes Game 1 of a best-of-three series, and continues a 7-0 postseason winning streak over Albany, a streak that dates back to 2006, when both teams played in the Continental Basketball Association.
The Patroons leaped out to an early 29-24 lead in the first quarter, with the lion’s share of Pats points coming from Shadell Millinghaus, with 12 of his 22 points in the first stanza.
But the Sun Kings came back in the second quarter, outscoring Albany 31-20 to take a 55-49 lead. Yakima’s lead increased in the third quarter, including a 14-0 run to push their lead to 21 points. By the end of the third quarter, Albany was caught at the short end of a 106-76 score, being outscored by Yakima 51-27 in the third.
By the fourth quarter, it was all academic, as Yakima outscored Albany 27-21 to take Game 1 easily. The Sun Kings averaged 55% (16-29) in 3-point shots, while the Patroons were stopped with a 45% average (10-22).
For the Patroons, Anthony Moe was the top scorer, with 26 points on 8-for-14 shooting. However, several of the Patroons had power shortages on the floor – Darius Paul scored 10 points, but he was 1-12 in field goal attempts. Stephen Cunningham had a team-high 14 rebounds, but could only muster eight points. And Joshua Cameron struggled with an anemic 4-for-12 average from the floor, finishing with 10 points.
For the Sun Kings, former NBA player Renaldo Major was the top scorer with 30 points; while Jackson Trapp scored 21, and Mac Koshwal had a double-double of 13 points and 14 team-high rebounds.
Game 2 of this best-of-three series will take place Tuesday night at 7:11 pm Pacific time (10:11 pm Eastern time). If the Patroons win Game 2, a deciding Game 3 will be played Thursday night at the Washington Avenue Armory in Albany.