Rough and tumble title tilt ends with Motivated as KOK Men’s Champs!
Photos-Kevin Montano-MHTS-Photo Album
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It was a late Sunday afternoon, but the stars were already out in East Utica as the King of Kings men’s division crowned their champion on Sunday, August 10.
The championship matchup featured a number of big-ticket names in local hoops, ranging from former SU guard Brandon Triche, to former Notre Dame Juggler and Colgate guard Pat Moore, among others.
When that talent assembles itself in one gymnasium, the result is some of the best summer basketball you can find.
That was certainly the case in Sunday’s championship as Motivated topped Upstate Swagger, 106-99 to snag the 2014 men’s crown at MVCC.
Even with the big name Division 1 talent out in force, it would be a Division 3 stars who would steal the show, and it didn’t take them long to make their presence felt in a fast-paced opening quarter.
Morrisville State star and Jamesville-Dewitt graduate Mickey Davis was the man of the moment, as he dropped 10 points to fuel Motivated to a 31-20 opening quarter lead.
All five Motivated players got themselves on the board to fill out the balance of the score sheet, as they shot 13-of-22 from the field.
For Upstate Swagger, SUNYIT grad Dave Golembiowski and Geneseo’s Scott Morton picked up six points apiece.
Both Golembiowski and Davis were just getting started, as their second quarter prowess certainly did the NEAC proud.
The pair rattled off plenty of big buckets for their respective teams. Davis and a platoon of Upstate scorers kept their fingers on the trigger as the Motivated continued to nurse a lead of close to 10 points at any given time.
Davis got much of his work done on the outside, draining four threes en route to 14 second quarter points and a 25 point total at the half.
The difference was, Upstate needed to find a go-to scorer to match Davis’s production. They found their man in Golembiowski.
The big man caused plenty of havoc, and at one point even stepped outside to knock down a three, as Upstate ate a chunk out of the Motivated lead with a 12-6 run late in the second quarter to hold up a 25-19 quarter advantage.
Golembiowski finished the quarter with ten points, and the half with 16, as Motivated held a slim 50-45 lead at the halftime break.
Also worthy of note was the block party Morton was having for Upstate as the half came to a close. The Geneseo star swatted Motivated’s Alshawn Hymes not once, but twice to deny the former Canisius guard a pair of easy buckets.
Hymes would come back with a vengeance at the right time for Motivated. In a third quarter where Upstate drew to within as close as three points, Hymes chipped in ten points as his former high school teammate, Triche, also began to heat up with eight of his own.
Motivated went on a 19-8 run over the first six minutes of the third quarter to break open a 69-55 lead.
Upstate inched a bit closer, aided by another Golembiowski three, but Motivated kept a double digit, 76-65 advantage intact as we went to the fourth quarter.
In a league where absolutely no lead is safe until the final buzzer, Upstate Swagger came roaring back in the fourth quarter seemingly on cue.
Golembiowski was continuing to pick up points, and former VVS star Scott Knapp made a huge contribution with eight of his own.
But Morton would ultimately be the guy to step up in seemingly all areas, and take Upstate Swagger from an eleven point deficit, to trailing by as few as six and in a seemingly plausible fouling situation with under a minute to go.
With Morton trying everything he had in his arsenal to keep Swagger in it, Triche nailed down five of six free throws to close out the game and give Motivated a 106-99 victory.
Davis finished the ballgame with 40 points to lead all scorers, Morton, Golembiowski, and Moore all finished with over 20 points.
Hymes closed out the game with 19, and Triche was close behind with 18. Morrisville head coach Joe Smith didn’t put up a lot of points, but he did have a great day on the glass with eleven rebounds.
For more on the King of Kings program, visit KingofKingsUtica.com. Congratulations to everyone involved in making this a KOK season to remember!
Two other titles were handed out on Sunday as Utica Select beat 315 Elite 82- 71 in the College Prospect final.
The Women’s Division bragging rights went to Utica Select as they cruised to a 73 to 52 win over Lo-Entertainment.
Motivated 106 Upstate Swagger 99
1 2 3 4 Total
Motivated 31 19 26 30 106
Upstate Swagger 20 25 15 34 99