Atty. Deron Freeman All-Stars Take Game 1 In Greater Hartford Pro-Am Championship

GHPA Championship Series Game 1

The Attorney Deron Freeman All-Stars have had a team playing in the Greater Hartford Pro Am for the last 10 years.

They have never had one playing in the finals though until this year — unlike their opponent.

And they looked like they belonged. In fact, they looked a lot like the veteran Cricket Wireless squad they were destroying most of the game. And by the way, Cricket Wireless, played as Hot 93.7 Def Jam last year — the defending Pro Am champs.

The team up from Hudson Valley has claimed a spot at the GHPA final in four of the last five years.

But it was Atty. Deron Freeman's All-Stars busting the clock – scoring over 100 points –midway through the third quarter in building a 21-point lead, keeping offensive pressure on and taking away Cricket's three-point shooting prowess when it mattered on their way to a convincing 150-138 Game 1 win at SMSA Friday night.

Game Two of the best-of-three-series is Saturday at 7 p.m. Game Three is Sunday also at 7 p.m. — if necessary.

That's a big if for Game Three based on the way things went down Friday night.

In fairness, Cricket Wireless, which got within 11 late, is missing a couple of players that helped lead them to the title last year but Attorney Deron Freeman All-Stars might have found the right combination to make its first trip to the finals a good one.

"We've put together a good team, we're all friends, we ride up together in my car, a lot of 6 foot 8s and 6-9s in there and we're sweating but we're all friends and it's good," said Tobin Carberry, the former Long Island University and Southern Connecticut guard who helped put the team together and scored 37 points to lead Attorney Deron Freeman All-Stars Friday.

"They tell me to put together a roster every year and this year I was healthy, got the right guys, it's been great," said Carberry who has been a part of the team for the last five years. "It was about getting good guys. In previous years we had talent and we got far with the talent but when it comes to the playoffs everybody just wanted to jack shots."

Then, Carberry broke down a cohesive unit that includes former Yale big man Brandon Sherrod who was big early and finished with 15 points. Carberry called Quinnipiac twins Andrew and Aaron Robinson "the two smartest dudes I know." Their defense was a factor against Cricket. They combined for 15 points. Raiquan Clark added 32 and Eric Anderson 29.

All these scorers, all these points really were necessary against a very high-scoring Cricket Wireless team. Attorney Deron Freeman All-Stars had Doug Herring double-teamed the entire game. They were content with letting others beat them and doing what they had to do.

Herring went off with 45 points anyway. And he was involved in the six straight threes Cricket Wireless banged in to start the game.

"I was just trying to pick my spots and stay aggressive," said the high-scoring Herring who has been a problem to defend all summer. "We missed a lot of layups, gave up a lot of layups, missed a lot of box out free throws, we have to be better than this, we have to be more solid. There are going to be cold spells but when we missed shots we didn't get stops and once they got that lead up, you're trying to dig out of a hole. It was too much."

After the first six threes went in for Cricket the next five were off and that's when Attorney Deron Freeman All-Stars settled in led by the slashing, dunking, and jump-shooting Carberry who had a 51-point game last month. They led 81-67 at halftime and though Herring had 20 at that point the All-Stars were feeling good about keeping the rest of the team at bay.

Game Two won't be easy.

"The thing about this league," Sherrod said. "When you match somebody's energy you can play and once you get some stops that's the main thing. We really tried to buckle down on defense. They have great guards. Baby Paul Pierce (Herring's nickname at the GHPA) is tough. We're going to have to be ready in Game 2."

Yes, because well, let's just say Carberry doesn't plan on a Game Three.

Cricket Wireless is expected to have at least a couple more players ready to go in Game 2