Hard in the Paint: RX Bridge vs. IBT Recap
Updated: Jul 18
In the first game of Week 2 of the Brick League, RX Bridge and IBT each entered with a 1-1 record in pursuit of a top-four seed for the postseason. Both teams displayed high intensity, fast-pace, and excellent ball movement in what proved to be a physical game with fouls seldom called. Ultimately, this game was decided by one player’s effort and dominance in the paint which prevented the other team from generating enough momentum to overcome an uphill climb from the jump.
IBT’s Jihad Shockley dominated RX Bridge with his size and energy on both ends of the floor. Offensively, he saved a ball from going out of bounds which led to a Tyrel Jackson three-pointer to tie the game at 13. Otherwise, he dunked at will, tipped in missed shots, and made big plays defensively such as stealing an inbound pass for a coast-to-coast dunk. He even topped off his impressive first half with a buzzer-beater going into halftime for a 40-34 lead. On the other side, Shockley’s counterpart, Leon Rogers, also had a big game. He posted up against Shockley, and opened three-point opportunities for his teammates with passing to allow his team to remain competitive throughout the game. Behind Courtney Pilgram and Nate Miller, RX Bridge started the second half with a 14-8 run to tie the game at 48 before IBT called a timeout; seeming to have gained momentum after trailing for most of the first half. However, it struggled to sustain momentum throughout the second half even with its best efforts despite briefly having a one-point lead after the timeout.
IBT continued to hit three-pointers behind Tyrel Jackson and Jay Battle, while Shockley continued to dominate in the paint to keep RX Bridge at an arm’s length. One late sequence epitomized IBT’s advantage – Shockley had a tip-in, a blocked shot, and another tip-in to extend his team’s lead to 75-64 with 4:30 remaining. Despite enjoying its largest lead of the game, IBT let up the pressure with several turnovers and with minimal time of possession late which allowed RX Bridge a chance to repeat its fortunes from last Monday’s comeback win. Led by Courtney Pilgrim and Cody Ballard, RX Bridge hit crucial shots and free throws to stage a 7-0 run and cut the deficit to four points with 2:50 remaining. Although Shockley tipped in another basket for a six point lead, RX Bridge once again was able to cut the lead to four with 1:26 remaining. However, Jay Battle scored IBT’s final six points to seal the win 85-78. Even with a full team effort, Jihad Shockley’s force on both ends earned him Player of the game.
IBT improves to 2-1 and will face Outta Townerz (0-2) on Saturday, July 18th at 11:00 am. RX Bridge drops to 1-2 and will face Evans & Hill (0-2) on Saturday at 1:30 pm.