Shuckers Hold Colonial Division Lead with Win over Northern Foe
By Dave Topp
Season after season, life in the American Professional Basketball League tends to have its fair share of new names and fresh faces.
The 2012 Bay Area Shuckers are adjusting just fine.
On Saturday, the Shuckers improved to 3-1 with a 131-117 victory over the visiting North Jersey Pros.
Every Bay Area player registered at least one point in the win, while guard Terry Hosley, once again, led the way with 34 points. Newcomers Gus Chase and Rocky Coleman chipped in 25 and 18 respectively.
“The team chemistry is coming along,” Coleman said. “Everybody is starting to know their roles.”
The victory keeps Bay Area on top of the Colonial Division.
“I thought everybody had quality minutes today,” said Shuckers coach Bob Topp. “Especially offensively.”
With a repertoire of post moves, Chase helped the Shuckers to a 7-point advantage after one quarter of play.
“He’s fitting in with the team concept better,” Topp said of Chase. “He is showing that he has great streaks in him that can say he’s going to carry the team.”
The Pros proved to be a tough test, as they would cut the lead to four at half time, 64-60. At times, the Shuckers were hurt by second-chance opportunities from the visitors. Former APBL MVP Antoine Morgano poured in 36 points for the Pros.
“It just came down to the one problem of second chances, put backs and stuff like that,” Topp said. “If we had controlled those it’s probably a 30-point win.”
Increased defensive pressure in the second half from the likes of Hosley, Coleman and Gerald Stansbury helped the Shuckers begin to pull away.
With 3:51 left in the third quarter, Chase converted his free throw after his basket and the foul to give the Shuckers an 86-74 lead.
“Defense creates offense. Especially when you’re not shooting the ball well or things aren’t going right on the offensive end,” said Coleman, who is often tasked with guarding the opponents top scorer.
Coleman was second on the team with three steals against the Pros. Guard Mike McKenzie recorded a team-high four steals, as Bay Area was credited with 14 steals against their opponents from North Jersey.
“Defensive pressure led us to easy buckets,” Hosley added.
Hosley, who scored a franchise record 56 points against the Metro All-Stars, added 24 of his 34 points in the second half.
“He has a quickness and a confidence that is just about unmatched in this league,” Topp said.
The Shuckers went on to defeat the Pros 131-117.
Five Bay Area players went on to score in double figures. Perry Wright added 14, while Danny Thompson scored 12 and had a team-high 16 rebounds.
The Shuckers will play host to its budding rival and defending league champion, the Beltway Bombers on Dec. 15.
“We took care of business tonight. Hopefully we can take care of business next week,” Hosley said. “It’s going to be a good game. It’s always a battle. It’s always exciting. Hopefully we come out on top.”
For all your Shuckers news please visit www.bayareashuckers.com. You can also follow the Shuckers on Twitter @bayareashuckers. Follow Dave Topp on Twitter @topper18.