By LEE HILLER, Journal Sports
ALBANY, NY – Shreveport rallied in the last minute of regulation to force overtime, then took over and defeated Albany, 137-132, to win The Basketball League Championship and “The Lillie” trophy at the Washington Avenue Armory Thursday night.
The Mavericks trailed 118-113 with a minute left when PJ Meyers converted on a 3-point play with :58 left and Tyrone Jordan hit a jump shot with :34 left to tie it at 118-118.
But a BJ Glasford driving layup with :13 left gave Albany a 120-118 lead.
Glasford then came up with a steal on the inbounds pass, but his driving layup was blocked by Paul Parks and Shreveport got the rebound with :03 left. Meyers’ jumper from the left baseline at the buzzer sent the game into overtime.
From there big Paul Harrison went to work and scored 11 of his game-high 36 points in the extra period as Shreveport never trailed in overtime.
“He’s just a tremendous player; I think he’s the best big in the league,” said a jubilant coach Steve Tucker of Harrison. “I thought their bigs played him really tough, but he’s delivered like that the entire playoffs. If they gave out an MVP of the finals, he might need some consideration.”
Meyers had another big night for the Mavericks — he tied his season high of 28 points, which he’d set the night before. Parks added 26 points and 11 rebounds and Josh Montgomery came off the bench to score 18. Jordan rounded out the double-digit scorers with 17.
“Well, this is the fifth one and this ties me with Dave Joerger and Bill Musselman for the most ever outside the NBA in the United States,” said Tucker when asked after the game how this stacks up with all the other championships he’s won. “It’s been a long while. We lost to Rochester in 2017 in what they call the greatest finals ever outside the NBA, and tonight to come to Albany with this tradition in this building, it’s pretty special.”
Former Shreveport Maverick AJ Mosby led Albany with 30 points, Kameron Williams had 22 and Glasford 20. For the Patroons, it was the only loss suffered at the Armory this season in 21 games.
Shreveport became both the first team in the five-year history of the TBL to win the championship on the road and the lowest seed to win.
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Photo courtesy KEVIN PICKENS PHOTOGRAPHY