In a thrilling matchup between top tier teams in Nevada County rec basketball it was the sharp shooting ballers from Dylan Mitzel Painting that overcame a six-point fourth quarter deficit to beat Papa Lee, 80-76, in the Nevada County Adult Sports Association’s A-League championship game on Sunday.
Led by Mark Kendall and Marc Hopkinson, No. 1 seed Dylan Mitzel Painting rallied past the No. 2 seeded Papa Lee with clutch shooting down the stretch.
After leading for the entire first half, Dylan Mitzel Painting hit a rough patch in the third as Papa Lee outscored them 29-17 to take a 66-60 advantage into the fourth.
“They made a huge run at the beginning of the second half and we were in a funk, we couldn’t respond to anything they were doing,” said Kendall.
Undeterred by the deficit, Kendall and Hopkinson went to work. Hopkinson would get Dylan Mitzel back in the game and Kendall slammed the door shut.
Hopkinson scored seven of his 22 points in the opening minutes of the fourth to help Dylan Mitzel regain the lead.
Papa Lee wasn’t ready to just hand the game over and responded with clutch buckets from Tyler Smith. Smith scored a game high 30 points, including a fast break dunk that put Papa Lee up 75-73 with just under three minutes left in the game.
A Steve Dehart inside jumper for Dylan Mitzel Painting knotted the game at 75, and Kendall did the rest.
After Kelib Thompson put Papa Lee up one with a free throw, Kendall hit his fifth 3-pointer of the game with less than a minute left to put Dylan Mitzel Painting up 78-76. Kendall, a speedy guard with a quick release then came up with a big steal and sank a pair of free throws with five seconds left to seal it for Dylan Mitzel Painting.
“We hung tough and chipped away and ultimately we came out on top,” said Kendall, who finished with a team-high 28 points.
Also contributing for Dylan Mitzel Painting was Justin Anthony with 12 points (10 in the first half), John Wivholm with nine points, Adam Miller with five points, Dehart finished with four points (all coming in the final five minutes of the game), and Dylan Mitzel with five rebounds while playing stellar defense in the post.
For Papa Lee, Smith had 13 rebounds in addition to his 30 points, Kelib Thompson had 11 points, Hari Jones scored nine points (all in the second half), Bobby Fortner chipped in 11, Vern Bridges had nine, and Sam Madison scored six.
To contact Sports Editor Walter Ford, call 530-477-4232 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.