2021 FBA Season/20.11.13/PLY@BLV/Capsule

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In a grueling shootout in Crawdad Stadium, the rain season hit hard as both the Voodoo and the visiting Taproots hammered the backboards with relentless offense. Any other game with Biloxi's starters putting up three double-doubles and reaching at least 30 points a quarter would have been an easy win. But the defending champions never lost pace, never scoring fewer than 30 in any quarter either, making for an astonishing combined score of 151 points.

After taking a modest 4-point lead into halftime, the Voodoo faltered when the unusually aggressive play of Sterling Bengtzing--held to an agonizing 10 points against that fox-shaped California redwood some people call Jake Turner--picked up his sixth foul before the start of the final frame. Clawing back a bucket to enter the fourth, the Taproots took the lead for the first time in the final three minutes of play, getting the crowd on their footpaws roaring for a comeback. The wail of agony after Regulus Lowenthal was whistled out echoed through the last 60 seconds on the clock.

Desperate for help from their underperforming bench, the Voodoo put their legend, Ryan Malone, on the floor. Without a bucket and only hitting half his free throws, you could hear the murmurs of fans wondering why the team was turning to the aging legend. But you could also hear the older fans who knew Malone's long history of clutch game-winning shots. And in a moment that recreated the Skywalker of a decade prior, the veteran slid his giant feet behind the treeline, called for the rock, and put up an uncontested buzzer beater from the woods that stole the win from the defending champions by a single point.

T.matt.L

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