Word of God 66 Callaway 63
In the semi-final game of the TJ Warren bracket, it was Word of God (10-6) going against Callaway (9-2) for the right to advance to the championship game Monday night. Both teams are quick, athletic and love to push the tempo. In a strategic move to offset dribble penetration by Callaway, head coach Byron Williams of Word of God implemented a matchup 2-3 zone. This move proved to be effective as it slowed down the high-powered offense by Callaway and take a 27-19 halftime lead.
Word of God’s first-half success was predicated on three major points. First, Word of God disrupted Callaway with their matchup 2-3 zone. Utilizing their length, athleticism, and defensive anticipation helped create 10 turnovers. Second, 6’10 Michigan commit Isaiah Todd asserted himself offensively by scoring 12 points going an efficient 3-of-5 from the floor, 2-of-3 from the 3-point line and a perfect 4-of-4 from the free-throw line. Third, Word of God held nationally-ranked Daeshun Ruffin to eight points, going 2-of-8 from the floor and committing four turnovers.
While both teams struggled to find any rhythm on offense, Callaway capitalized off careless turnovers and took a 41-40 lead with 4:50 remaining in the game. At the 2:31 mark, Callaway took a 46-42 lead only to have both teams traded baskets in the exciting two minutes of action. Trailing 53-50, Word of God’s Saiquone Harris made an old-fashion 3-point play to tie the game at 53-53. Callaway final attempt come up short and the game went into overtime.
In an action-packed overtime, both teams traded baskets and the lead. However, trailing by three with less than a minute remaining, Word of God found a way to capture a thrilling 66-63 win.
Word of God had three players in double-digit scoring. Leading the way Isaiah Todd with 18 while Chase Forte and Po’Boigh King tallied 12 and 10 points respectively. For Callaway, Daeshun Ruffin had a game-high 27 points while Kendarius Buckley chipped in 15 points.