From Case Manager Daren Mills...
Once again, March Madness is upon us. This is the time of the year when people go crazy for basketball. The basketball madness kicked off here in the Bronx with Round 1 of the Bronx Community Solutions Basketball League Playoffs.
In the first game, the BCS Bombers, ranked 3rd this season, took on the police officers from Patrol Borough Bronx - in what was their first meeting of the year. The officers of Patrol Borough Bronx are no strangers to the playoffs, having eliminated the Bombers in previous years. Coach Willie Bernardez, a Resource Coordinator at Bronx Community Solutions, made sure that was not the case this year.
With the adrenaline pumping and excitement in the air, the Bombers jumped out to an early lead with excellent ball movement and stellar shooting. After an early time out, Patrol Borough Bronx stopped the momentum and used their experience and size to rally back and tie the game. At the end of the first half, the Bombers were clinging to a 26-25 lead.
The second half saw a change in strategy as the Bombers made use of their youthful energy and began utilizing a full court press. The Bombers continuously drove to the basket despite the distinct height advantage of Patrol Borough Bronx. The game continued to be a back and forth battle, and Patrol Borough Bronx took a 6 point lead with 3 minutes left in the game. Given the circumstances, most teams would've started to panic, but the Bombers' experience kept them in the game. Free throws brought the Bombers to within 3-points, and a buzzer beating 3-pointer by Bomber Bobby Harris sent the game into overtime.
In overtime, tough defense took over and the game was ultimately decided at the free throw line. Led by Community Affairs Officer Eliu Feliciano, Patrol Borough Bronx took an early lead after getting to the free throw line on three straight possessions. The Bombers did not surrender, and were kept in the game with a combination of assists and free throws by Ed Johnson. Johnson's clutch free throws with seconds remaining in the game put the Bombers up for good, as Patrol Borough Bronx missed what would've been a game tying three pointer as the buzzer sounded.
The game was truly a great start to what promises to be a month of great basketball, as the Bombers continue their run for the Championship.