Russian Championship — Confirming the axiom27 january 2007

BC Khimki’s players began the series of six home court games in the championship versus Dynamo Moscow Region. In three games of this series, Khimki has to win back its home court losses. Losing in the first half the home team exploded in the third quarter and made it clear who would win the game: 83-73 (21-21, 13-25, 31-16, 18-11).

The upcoming match in the National Championship will have Khimki face off against the Russian Champ on Saturday, 10 February.

Top Scorers: McCarty (17), Wolkowiski (16), Veremeenko (14), Fridzon (12).

In the dozen, the new coaches left Goliakhov and Okulaja, but included Mozgov instead of Podkolzin. Kestutis Kemzura didn’t experiment with the starting line up and the usual five tipped off: Booker, Fridzon, McCarty, Veremeenko, Lampe, and Wolkowiski.

The first attempts from both teams were unsuccessful, and the bleachers had to wait one minute 31 seconds to see the first field goal, after a toss at the net by Padius the score lit at 0-3. Melvin Booker made the first score for Khimki, and Davis scored from the perimeter, but luckily McCarty sliced the streak of bad plays scoring a 3-pointer.

At first Khimki’s players couldn’t match the opponent under the net, and faced with 4 points under, the coaches for Khimki had to call a time-out. After this, they sent Diatchok on court. The home team took up speed with Maciej Lampe as center. After Fridzon got his second foul, he was changed with Savkov. With 2.20 for the siren to blow signaling the first break, the yellow-blues leveled the score and the coaches changed McCarty for Okulaja, reinforcing the front line. Ademola Okulaja assisted Lampe just at the end of the first quarter, leveling the scoreboard.

The first offensive plays of the second quarter, Zama sky, Davis, and Giedraitis, scored, while their rivals were able to score only after 3.32 minutes into the quarter. After Kemzura called a time-out, launching Goliakhov and McCarty on court, the advantage doubled in favor of Dynamo. Kelly McCarty made an attempt and caught a rebound from his taller opponents. After this the visiting team erupted with an offensive play, making a steal. The home team’s disadvantage oscillated around 10 points for awhile.

Just in time, Khimki’s captain launched the ball from the perimeter (the fourth 3-pointer in 17 minutes and all but one were Wolkowiski’s).

Both teams took turn making attempts, but Dynamo made two 3-pointers (7 in two quarters), consolidating a lead of 12 points until the end. After the initial offensives in the second half, Likholitov took his team’s lead to 50-34, subsequently answered by Savkov from the perimeter, making it in. The home team kicked into gear, but Savkov was slapped with a fourth foul and landed Fridzon in his place on court.

McCarty with a good pass by Booker scored from the line, and Likholitov earned his fourth foul; Morgunov took his place and soon after fouled against Veremeenko. The home team’s disadvantage shrunk and Coach Paulauskas called a time-out. The captain, catching a rebound after an error by Booker, took it to -4, and immediately afterward –and for a second time — the yellow-blues took possession of the ball for a good 24 seconds. Dynamo, understood that they had lost this quarter, they even earned themselves a technical foul. Kelly made a field goal from the 3-point line and Melvin Booker took over and twice from the line gained the lead for the team 26-5. Nonetheless, the final victory was still off in the horizon.

Diatchok launched from the perimeter after a strong resistance. In the final quarter Wolkowiski, taking the score to 71-64, forced the visiting team coaches to call a time out and launch three players with four personal fouls each: Blakney, Zamansky, and Likholitov. With 5.17 minutes to go, Vitaly Fridzon made a field goal from the arc, taking Khimki’s lead, for the first time, to more than 10 above. After Kemzura called a time-out, he repeated this play. The home team understood that time was of the essence and fired themselves up in the offense, using no less than 18 seconds of attacks.

Their defense was such that the opponent had no chance to dispel their attacks; Khimki resisted with top form.

In the upcoming matches for the regular stage of the Russian Championship, Khimki will face CSKA (10 February), STK Lokomotiv (16 February), Spartak Primorie (20 February), UNICS (23 February), Universitet Yugra (come March).