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Gameday Round Up #6 – Turow at Anwil

We were ready for a tough road game on satuday. We knew coming into this game it would be a hard-fought one. Anwil has a great fan base and it was deafening loud at times in the arena. The game was not a very pretty one to watch because many plays were not executed successfully but the energy and effort from both teams were at an extremely high level. In the first half Anwil started out strong and went on a run going up 8 points but we managed to close the gap and take a 2 point lead going into Halftime.

Our game plan was to limit turnovers and limit Anwil’s offensive rebounds and we had a good chance to win an important game for Turow. The second half was played similarly like the 1st half in which both teams could not find a solid rhythm but we were able to make defensive stops when we needed them. The pace at times was frantic both teams wanted to run the fast break but it was the execution down the stretch that allowed us to prevail with a 69-65 win.

Nikola Jovanovic led Anwil with 16 points and 8 rebounds, Paul Miller with 12 points and Eric Hicks with 9 points and 3 blocks.

David Jackson with 12 points, Marko Brkic with 9 points and 8 rebounds and myself with 23 points and 4 rebounds led Turow.

As soon as the buzzer sounded you can see the exhaustion on both teams’ faces because it was a hard fought battle. It is always great to get a win and even more important to get it when you’re not hitting shots that you usually make.

Right now after this important win we are heading to Olsztyn for a cup game and right after that we’ll hear the results for the All-Star game that is going be held next weekend in Kalisz. If I get selected then I will be part of the event on Sunday, if not that leaves us with a few free days to focus on the upcoming important battle against Polonia on the 22nd.

Gameday Round up #5 Trefl and Czarni

The nature of the game is hard to swallow. Coming off a great win last week vs Poznan this week we held a 10 point lead throughout the game but lost by 2 points in overtime to Trefl. The game was filled with excitement. We started off very strong executing our offense and playing solid defense to open up the game taking a 36-27 lead into halftime. In the second half of the game Trefl cut into the lead and came back into the game. We exchanged basket throughout the rest of the game and went into overtime! They ended with an 83-81 win over us in a heartbreaking loss right before the New Year.

I got a chance to go home for a few days.  It was exciting to see my family and friends but in the process I had a bad cold virus and was sick my time there and coming back to Poland out for the rest of the week!  Ivan Koljevic did a great job stepping up for the team and helping to secure this victory!

Tonight’s game was versus the number one team in the Polish Basketball League, Energa Czarni Slupsk. This is the way to start off the New Year with a huge win! The energy in the arena was great. The fans were really ready to support and cheer on their team! The game started off very intense and the score was close in the first half in which we took a 7-point advantage into halftime 49-42.

We followed our game plan very well tonight. We had to limit their fast break points because this team really runs very well and they play penetration and kick out to their shooters for open 3-point shots. They thrive off of open court 1-on-1 and we limited that tonight. In the 3rd quarter we really opened up the game. We went on a nice run making plays on the fast break and playing very tough defense. We did not let up this game and when the buzzer sounded 95-78 was the final result!

Czarni Slupsk was lead by Jerel Blassigame with 22 points, Mantas Cesnauskis 15 points, and Bryan Davis with 13 points and 7 rebounds.

We were lead by 5 players in double figures. Ivan Koljevic had 21 points and 6 assists, David Jackson 12 points, Robert Tomaszek 12 points, and myself with 11 points and 8 assists. This was a great team effort we had outstanding rebounding by Ivan Zigeranovic, Michal Gabinski, and Marko Brkic.

I would like to thank the fans for really making it a fun place to play and always cheering and supporting us! I love the chant “Torey…Thomas” at the free-throw line! Go Turow!

Game Day Round Up #4 – Turow at Poznan

It is not over until the final buzzer sounds! This was a great game for Turow! Poznan jumped out ahead with an early lead and kept building on it. By halftime they have exploded to take a 40-20 edge into the locker room. We came out very lethargic and did not play with the enthusiasm to match their energy. They played extremely good team basketball and if felt like there was a lid on our basket. We missed easy lay-ups, shot from the outside, and consecutive free throws. Poznan capitalized off of all our mishaps and converted them into baskets. Poznan is a very good team, very talented and was eager for this win.

The game was not over at halftime. Turow kept chipping away at the lead. We stepped up our enthusiasm and sense of urgency. The defense began to rise to the occasion we got stops and held them to 8 points in the 3rd quarter. Suddenly the momentum was shifting in our direction and we kept battling for every possession. All of sudden we are in the fourth quarter with 12 seconds remaining and I come off a high screen and roll with Marko Brkic and he nails a 3 pointer to tie the game!!

Overtime it is in Poznan, after being down by 20 points at halftime we have forced it to go into the extra session. The extra five minutes came down to the last 20 seconds of the game! Poznan takes the lead on a drive and dish by Hawkins to Stelmach. In the next possession I get it on the left wing drive baseline then spin back to the middle of the court I see Bartosz Bochno open in the corner I dish it to him and he sets his feet and hits the shot all net!!! Turow wins by 1 point!!

Patrick Okafor who put on a monster performance with 20 points and 10 rebounds led Poznan. Also in double figures for Poznan was Grzegorz Surmacz with 12 points.

The silent assassin Marko Brkic led Turow with 19 points including 5 triples! Also David Jackson had 16 points and 4 rebounds, I finished with 18 points 9 assists, 6 rebounds, and 4 steals. Bartosz Bochno was the hero of the match with his huge shot to win the game!

What a great effort by Team Turow to pull out this victory. We still had a nice cheering section right behind our bench! The loyal fans that still were cheering even though we were down 20points believed in us and we are very fortunate for your support! Go Turow!

Game Round Up #3 – Siarka at Turow

Wow what a game! We were clicking on all cylinders. This was an important game to build on a big road win vs. Zastal last week. Coming into the game we knew that Siarka was going to be hungry to get a win and we needed to limit their second chance points and transition baskets. Siarka actually jumped out in an early lead and was hitting shots in the first quarter (mostly by Kevin Goffney). In the second quarter we regained our composure played solid defense and went into halftime with a 19-point lead. Turow never looked back after halftime we defended very well and converted our defense into offense. The fast breaks were ran very efficiently which helped turn the lead up to 25 points!

Kevin Goffney exploded with 29 points and 12 Rebounds; and also Louis Truscott who had 12 points and 7 rebounds led Siarka.

Turow was lead by five scorers in Double Figures Ivan Koljevic had 17 points including five 3-pointers, Ivan Zigeranovic 15 points and 6 rebounds, Marko Brkic 15 points, David Jackson 11 points, and Konrad Wysocki 10 points. I ended up with 9 points, 5 assists, and 3 steals. This was well-balanced attack with tough-nose defense.  It was also great to see Mateusz Jarmakowicz and Jacek Jarecki play some quality minutes!

The first 100-point game of the season for Turow came in great fashion for the Turow fans! Even with the game time change to 8:15pm the Turow fans still showed up with high spirits routing their team on.

We definitely fed off of the crowd and would like to thank all of the supporters for a great atmosphere!

Gameday Round Up #2 – Turow at Zastal

Zastal is the 2nd place team in the Polish league standings. We knew coming into the game that we were in for a tough one. Going into Zastal is a hostile environment. 5,000 screaming fans, unique chants and deafening noise. The fans started before the opening tip and didn’t stop until the buzzer sounded getting louder and louder as the minutes ticked to 40.

Our game plan was to limit their fast break points, offensive rebounds, and limit them getting their crowd more involved into the game then they already would be. The individual players we needed to contain were Chris Burgess (7 points, 10 rebounds) and Walter Hodge (12 points, 5 assists) Zarko Comagic stepped up for them with 15 points and 11 rebounds. Also Marcin Flieger with 11 points.

The game was played in a up-tempo pace in the first half back and forth. We traded baskets early but then accumulated an 8-point lead. That lead quickly evaporated and we took at 2-point lead 40-38 going into Halftime. The 2nd half of the game was still a slugfest both teams playing hard nose defense and fighting for every possession to count. With about 28 seconds left to play up 2 points we played tremendous defense causing a 24 second shot clock violation to seal the game with 4 seconds left.

David Jackson was a clutch performer hitting huge shots and collecting 18 points. Marko Brkic was also another top-notch performer netting 17 points. Konrad Wysocki had 13 points and 6 rebounds with 2 clutch baskets at the end of the game. I collected 11 points 7 rebounds, and 4 assists. This was another great team effort to get the victory. The Turow fans were great we had a nice cheering section and they were well known in an arena that could have easily drowned them out. The Turow fans were top notch and hung right in there with 5,000 fans! We appreciate all the support!

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