Jamel Hatchett scored 27 points and Terrence Shaw added 24 points as the Grand Rapids Danger needed a fourth quarter comeback to secure a 114-99 win on their home court over the Kentucky Enforcers in ABA Basketball action Sunday afternoon at Grace Bible College.
On the heels of their two point loss to the Chicago Fury last weekend, the Danger found themselves in a battle early in this game. The Enforcers play an uptempo style and pushed the ball up the court quickly on every possession. The Danger’s point guard, Bradley Whitby (Godwin Heights HS ’07) helped Grand Rapids stay calm in the choppy waters of the first quarter as he started off the game with a 3-pointer and pressured the Kentucky guards throughout. At the first media timeout, the officials made a call about the late addition of an Enforcers player (DeMarco Foster) into the official scorebook, but seeing as Grand Rapids had one too many players (14) in uniform the double technical fouls off set. Foster got hot from the field and scored 12 first quarter points.
The second quarter belonged to the Danger as they outscored the Enforcers 29-14 behind Whitby and Derrick Brooks. Whitby had 16 at the half, Hatchett and Shaw each scored 13 points before halftime and Brooks added 11. Kentucky trailed 58-41 as the teams hit the locker room.
But the third quarter was an entirely different story. Coach Dustin Driskell’s squad came out in a panicked flurry of aggression and erased the Danger’s 17-point lead with a 23-point turnaround, leading by six at one point, before the Danger were able to respond and tie the game at 75-75 heading into the final quarter. Great rebounding late in the third by Jimmy Harvey and “Terminator X” Alex Mustert and Hatchett’s 10 points in the quarter helped the Danger keep pace.
In the fourth, the Grand Rapids crowd got behind their team and saw the Danger respond to the noise. Whitby and Hatchett continued their assault on the Kentucky guards, although Hatchett got posterized by Foster on a reverse pivot spin-move and tomahawk jam with 5:11 left. Shaw and Mustert held their own down low. Brooks hit a “3D” 4-pointer midway through and the Danger never looked back, outscoring the Enforcers 39-24 in the last 12 minutes.
Brooks would finish the night with 21 points and Whitby, the defensive star of the fourth quarter, added 18 points of his own. Foster led Kentucky with a game-high 29 points.
The Danger head out on the road this weekend (Saturday, February 18) to play the Northern Indiana Monarchs before returning to home to face the Windy City Groove on Saturday, March 4 and the West NY Thundersnow on Sunday, March 5.