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Sideline Cancer breaks away in second half

Sideline Cancer entered the Lakemont Park Men’s Summer Basketball League Division 2 championship game against top-seeded Appalachian Running Company as the third seed in the tournament, but proved that numbers can be deceiving.

Sideline Cancer converted eight 3-point shots and generally controlled play throughout the game, breaking away in the second half Thursday night for a 61-42 victory.

Former Bishop Guilfoyle Catholic High School standout Damon Rickens scored a game-high 19 points, including four 3-pointers, for Sideline Cancer, which also got 13 points from Dameon Turner and 11 from Jaden Delerme in a balanced team effort.

“I think that we played with a lot of energy as a team, and we worked really well together,” Rickens said of the Sideline Cancer squad, which built a 31-23 halftime lead before carrying the second half, 30-19.

Sideline Cancer exhibited a good running game that produced a lot of fast-break buckets to go along with the 3-point field goals.

“A lot of that has to do with our team energy,” Rickens said. “If you have a lot of guys with the ability to get up and down the court, it helps a lot.

“Getting guys in transition has been our thing all year,” Rickens added. “We play good defense, we get stops and rebounds, and get out and run when we can.”

Former Tyrone High School standout Blaine Hoover, who led Appalachian Running Company with 10 points, hit a 3-pointer from the right corner to pull ARC to within 37-29 in the second half before Sideline Cancer broke away.

Successive 3-pointers from Delerme and player-coach Jordan Griffith, along with a back-door layup from Turner, staked Sideline Cancer to a

45-32 advantage.

Rickens added a 3-point field goal and five free throws down the stretch as Sideline Cancer closed the game with a 16-6 edge.

“They shot the ball really well, and they played very well,” Hoover said. “We just weren’t able to do enough in the second half.”

Rickens said that Sideline Cancer’s inside-outside game is very effective.

“As a team, we love to shoot the 3, and our guys are good at driving into the paint and creating openings for our outside shooters,” Rickens said.

APPALACHIAN RUNNING COMPANY (42): D. Gripp 4 1-2 9, B. Gripp 2 0-0 5, Lucas 2 0-0 4, Rizzo 2 3-6 7, Hoover 4 0-0 10, Desch 3 0-0 7, Pugh 0 0-0 0. Totals – 17 4-8 42.

SIDELINE CANCER (61): Rickens 5 5-6 19, Turner 4 4-5 13, Delerme 4 2-2 11, Adams 2 0-0 4, Simpson 0 0-0 0, Barnes 4 0-0 9, Block 1 0-0 2, Griffith 1 0-0 3. Totals – 21 11-13 61.

SCORE BY HALVES

Applachian Running Company 23 19-42

Sideline Cancer 31 30–61

3-point goals: Appalachian Running Company 4 (Hoover 2, Desch, B. Gripp); Sideline Cancer 8 (Rickens 4, Turner, Delerme, Barnes, Griffith).

Officials: Rod Chism, Maireade Byrne, Luke Rhoades.

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