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Sideline Cancer comes up short at TBT

From Mirror reports

DAYTON, Ohio — The Sideline Cancer basketball team was eliminated from The Basketball Tournament on Saturday in the regional semifinals, falling 78-71 to Team 23 at UD Arena.

Team 23 started the game on an 8-0 run, and then used a 9-0 run in the fourth quarter to reach the semifinals for the first time since 2015. Sideline Cancer made it to the finals a year ago, but wound up as the runnerup.

“I don’t think we got off to a good start,” Sideline coach Billy Clapper said. “A couple of careless turnovers, and a couple of balls that bounced the other way hurt us. Our lack of execution allowed quick transition points for them.”

Sideline Cancer, which trailed 38-29 at halftime, got 19 points from Marcus Keene. Jamel Artis and Trey Lewis each added 12 points.

“After being down 10-2, we played them even pretty much the rest of the way,” Clapper said.

Eric Washington led Team 23 with 16 points, including a perfect 7-for-7 from the field. Still, Sideline Cancer played better in the second half and had the lead, too, before Team 23’s run in the final frame.

“Our defense improved (in the second half),” Clapper said. “We began to get penetration in in the paint and that created opportunities for us because they had to collapse on us,” Clapper said.

Eric Thompson had seven rebounds to lead Sideline Caner. Team 23 got a strong effort off the bench, outscoring Sideline 46-14 from that standpoint.

“Sideline Cancer will always and forever be a part of The Basketball Tournament,” Sideline Cancer founder Cathy Griffith said. “We have created a family with the players, fans at each location and worldwide. We can’t wait until 2022.”

The winner of the year’s tournament will receive a prize of $1 million. Sideline Cancer plays in honor of the Greg and Cathy Griffith Foundation, which raises awareness for pancreatic cancer.

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