clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

The Basketball Tournament: Late rally lifts Eberlein Drive past Team Challenge ALS in Salt Lake City Regional Final

FILE: An Eberlein Drive staff member celebrates after the team wins game one to advance to the next round in The Basketball Tournament at the Maverick Center in West Valley City on Thursday, July 25, 2019.
FILE: An Eberlein Drive staff member celebrates after the team wins game one to advance to the next round in The Basketball Tournament at the Maverick Center in West Valley City on Thursday, July 25, 2019.

WEST VALLEY CITY — Through its first two games at the Salt Lake City Regional of The Basketball Tournament, Eberlein Drive relied on one player and one player only with the game on the line: Jerome Randle.

The former California Golden Bear and Pac-10 Player of the Year proved up to the task, as he hit the game-winning shot in each of Eberlein Drive’s two TBT victories heading into Saturday night’s regional final.

With the game on the line late Saturday night at the Maverik Center, and Eberlein Drive trailing Team Challenge ALS 67-66 — with the game-deciding Elam Ending point total standing at 68 — the No. 1 seed of course turned once again to Randle.

This time around, Randle came up short, however, his game-winning attempt bouncing off the front of the iron.

His Eberlein Drive teammates had his back, though.

After Keith Benson (Miami Heat) rebounded the miss, Donald Sloan (Brooklyn Nets) found Taylor Braun (North Dakota State) for the game-winning layup, and Eberlein Drive defeated Team Challenge ALS 68-67.

“I’m exhausted, but our team showed a lot of heart tonight,” said Randle. “They (Team Challenge ALS) did a lot of talking, but we let the game come to us.”

Randle finished with a game-high 18 points, while Braun chipped in 12.

Team Challenge ALS was paced by the duo of Marvelle Harris (Fresno State) and Dee Bost (Mississippi State), meanwhile, who scored 13 points apiece.

Eberlein Drive was forced to rally from a five-point deficit during the Elam Ending, all while Team Challenge ALS needed just a single field goal to end the game.

“I think guys are worried too much at hitting the home run shot,” Randle said. “You should just play basketball. It worked for us.”

With the win, Eberlein Drive moves within three victories of securing the $2 million winner-take-all grand prize, and will now advance to the tournament’s final stages, held in Chicago, Illinois.

“We have the most heart of any team I’ve seen,” Eberlein Drive head coach David Nurse (the nephew of Toronto Raptors head coach Nick Nurse) said. “To be down five, six, seven that late and to come back … it shows a lot of heart.”