(Photo courtesy of Ben Solomin)
By Parker Fields
We had another thriller at the Cintas Center tonight. Zip EmUp TBT hosted Sideline Cancer. This was a game between two powerhouses with tons of talent on the floor. Zip Em Up is headlined by Semaj Christon and Trevon Bluiett, while Sideline Cancer is headlined by Former NCAA leading scorer Marcus Keene and 16- year NBA vet C.J Miles. We knew from the start we were in for a good one.
The first half started with a dominating Zip Em Up defensive effort. Zip Em Up was able to force Sideline Cancer to tough shots over and over again. This led to Zip Em Up getting out and scoring in transition. This led to Zip Em Up having a commanding 27-19 lead at the end of the first quarter. In the second quarter, there was a bounce back from Sideline Cancer. They started finding rhythm offensively and playing at their own pace. The scoring ability of Marcus Keene started to show signs in that second quarter of his capabilities. Kerem Kanter was dominant the whole first half for Zip Em Up as he was unguardable on the block. At the end of the second quarter, Zip Em Up led 46-43. Kerem Kanter led Zip Em up with 16 points and 8 rebounds in the first half. Marcus Keene led Sideline Cancer with 13 points.
The beginning of the third quarter was all Marcus Keene. Keene scored 11 points in just the first few minutes of the half and gave Sideline Cancer their first lead of the game. From there Xavier began to calm down and get better shots on the offensive end. They bounced back with the big-time play of former Vanderbilt Commodore Riley Lachance. Lachance played great with 9 points in the quarter and gave Zip Em Up the spark that they needed. At the end of the quarter Zip Em Up reclaimed control and now led 69-63.
In the fourth quarter, Zip Em up continued control. They never let Sideline Cancer take the lead back and played good basketball throughout. This quarter was led by Zip Em Up's leader Semaj Christon who controlled the pace of the game. He constantly got to the rim for himself and set up others. Marcus Keene struggled a bit in this quarter and could not get in the offensive flow he was in during the third quarter. JP Macura ended this one with the Elam Ending stepback three over his teammate in Italy Mike Daum. Macura hit the dagger to reach the target score of 87. Zip Em Up won the game 89-81 and has advanced in the TBT tournament.
Zip Em up was led by Kerem Kanter who finished with 21 points and 11 rebounds. Semaj Christon had 17 points and 8 assists. Sideline Cancer was led by Marcus Keene who ended the game with 30 points.
Zip Em Up will now play Florida TNT tomorrow night at 7:00 E.T on ESPN Platforms.