Thurgood Marshall Phoenix basketball team rise to the occasion in final quarter

Devin Chen/Special to The S.F. ExaminerThurgood Marshall’s Mark Alexander (55) gave Lincoln’s offense plenty of trouble with seven blocks and 22 rebounds. Alexander also scored 16 points.

Devin Chen/Special to The S.F. ExaminerThurgood Marshall’s Mark Alexander (55) gave Lincoln’s offense plenty of trouble with seven blocks and 22 rebounds. Alexander also scored 16 points.

Down seven points with 5:13 left in the game, it seemed Thurgood Marshall was exhausted and out of gas.

But the Phoenix (16-12) went on a 14-0 run over the next four minutes, and hung on for a 52-47 victory over Lincoln High School to advance to the Academic Athletic Association championship.

Senior center Mark Alexander was the catalyst once again for Marshall, leading the Phoenix with 16 points,
22 rebounds and seven blocks.

“What Mark did today was unbelievable, just phenomenal,” Marshall coach Dezebee Miles said. “But that’s what he’s been doing for us all year. We’re never out of it with him and we depend on him to do what he does for us.”

Sophomore forward Preston Demming contributed 13 points, including 10 in the fourth quarter, as Marshall will be aiming to win its first championship in school history.

“It got grim there for a minute in [the fourth quarter], but one thing I knew was that my guys wouldn’t stop fighting until the game was totally over with,” Miles said. “I knew if we could get two stops and two baskets, we’d be right back in the game.”

Marshall virtually led throughout the contest until the Mustangs’ Douglas Snoddy made a free throw that gave Lincoln a 31-30 lead with 2:35 left in the third quarter.

Lincoln (20-13) then got back-to-back 3-pointers from guards Mitchell Lee and Chris Young, part of an 11-2 Mustangs spurt, giving them a 37-32 lead.

But the one area that led to Lincoln’s demise was the free-throw line. The Mustangs shot 9-for-26 from the charity stripe, and six turnovers in the final frame were too much to overcome.

“We weren’t strong with the ball and we didn’t show enough patience [offensively], especially when we got the lead,” Lincoln coach Matt Jackson said. “Going 9-for-26 from the line did not help. We’ve been around a 70 percent free-throw shooting team.”

After Snoddy’s layup gave Lincoln its largest lead of the game at 44-37, Marshall’s comeback began.

After two baskets cut it to 44-40, Alexander’s block started a Marshall fastbreak, with Demming finishing a layup.

From there, the momentum was all on the Phoenix bench.

Preps sports coverage provided in partnership by The San Francisco Examiner and www.SanFranPreps.com

LincolnPhoenixPrep Sportssports

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

San Francisco leaders argue that plans to develop housing in the region’s transit-heavy urban areas are at odds with goals to increase equity for people of color.
SF officials fear regional housing strategy could increase displacement of people of color

Equity and climate goals at odds in plan that concentrates development in transit-rich urban areas

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Authority cut most of its bus service last year due to the pandemic, and has been slow to bring it back due to budget concerns and low ridership. (Samantha Laurey/ Special to S.F. Examiner)
Supes urge SFMTA to expedite restoration of Muni lines

Resolution emphasizes focus on seniors, individuals with disabilities and community routes

San Francisco Police Chief Bill Scott listens at a rally to commemorate the life of George Floyd and others killed by police outside City Hall on Monday, June 1, 2020. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Will the Biden Administration help SF speed up police reform?

City has struggled to implement changes without federal oversight

Reports say that the number of American visitors to Mexico’s Quintana Roo, where Tulum and Cancun are located, increased by 23 percent between 2019 and 2020. (Shutterstock)
Stop going to Mexico

Travel during pandemic is ‘vacation colonialism’

Snow covering the mountains surrounding Lake Tahoe appeals to skiers and snowshoers. (Matt Johanson/Special to S.F. Examiner)
Winter Wisdom: 50 lessons in 50 years, Part 1

Series offers tips for adventurers seeking enjoyment in nature

Most Read