Mountaineers 33-49(4-4)

Rocky Mountain
Express 42-40(4-4)

Score (click for boxscore) Game MVP Hi Points Hi Rebounds Hi Assists
1. Express 144, Mountaineers 135 Alex English 41 Adrian Dantley 13 Joe Barry Carroll  9 Fat Lever
2. Express 128, Mountaineers 120 Fat Lever 29 Fat Lever 11 Alvan Adams 10 Fat Lever
3. Express 119, Mountaineers 116 Fat Lever 27 Adrian Dantley 11 Benoit Benjamin 11 M.Price/F.Lever
4. Mountaineers 141, Express 125 Cliff Robinson 25 Cliff Robinson 15 David Greenwood  8 M.Price/P.Washington
5. Express 132, Mountaineers 129 Fat Lever 30 Alex English 20 Fat Lever 13 Byron Scott
Rocky Mountain wins series 4-1

Game 1 – Adrian Dantley (14 points) and Joe Barry Carroll (9 points) led their respective teams to a 41-41 tie after one period. Both teams tallied 24 more in the 2nd frame and the game was tied at 65 at the half. Dantley tacked on 12 more in the 3rd, but Alex English countered with 16 points and the Express took a 107-95 advantage into the 4th. The Mountaineers opened the final frame with a 13-2 run to make it a one-point game. They kept the score close and trailed only 140-135 with 26 seconds remaining. Rocky Mountain got the last four points and the game one victory. Alex English was named game MVP with 32 points, 7 assists and 6 rebounds. Mark Price added 27 points and 7 assists; JBC finished with 21 points and 13 boards. A.D. led all scorers with 41 and hauled in 12 boards to boot. Byron Scott chipped in 28 points and 8 assists.

Game 2 – Alex English scored 10 points in the first period to lead Rocky Mountain to a 35-29 advantage. Fat Lever took over in the 2nd, scoring 11 points and the home team was up 73-54 heading into the locker rooms. Paul King motivated his squad behind closed doors and they responded by erasing all of the Express’ lead except one point. We had a brand new ballgame heading into the 4th. Both teams played tough in the last 12 minutes as there were 5 lead changes and 6 ties. A fast break bucket by Lever with 2:18 left knotted the game at 118. RME scored 10 of the game’s last 12 points to go up 2 games to none with the 128-120 victory. Lever was named MVP with a game-high 29 points, game-high 10 assists and rounding out the triple-double with 10 rebounds. Mark Price chipped in 21 points, 9 assists and 7 boards.

Game 3 – Mountaineers cruise to an 87 to 76 lead after 3 periods. The Express rally in the 4th scoring 43 points, led by Mark Price with 13 in the final frame (out of his 23 total), to defeat Andes 119 to 116. Bill Laimbeer’s ejection with 3:15 to go in the game proved to be critical as his presence was missed down the stretch. Wild finish, with the Express up 1, Benoit Benjamin loses the ball at the top of the key with 18 ticks left in the game. The loose ball is initially retrieved by David Greenwood who signals for a timeout but is not granted one. Cliff Robinson ties up Greenwood in the process. Jump ball. Greenwood wins the tip to Fat Lever forcing the Mountaineers to foul. Lever hits both free throws clinching the win for the Express. Adrian Dantley leads all scorers with 27 points. Big double-double contribution by Detlef Schrempf with 10 points and 10 boards off the bench for the Express. Express take a commanding 3 games to none series lead.

Game 4 – Cliff Robinson’s game-high 25 leads Andes to a 141 to 125 victory over Rocky Mountain forcing a Game 5 in Denver. The Express lead by 3 after the first fueled by Joe Barry Carroll who had 12 points in the quarter. But it was all Mountaineers after that opening up a 14 point lead by halftime. A lead the Express could never overcome with both teams trading buckets in the 2nd half. The Mountaineers were deadly shooting 58% percent from the floor and making 89% of their free throws. Carroll and Mark Price both added 23 in the loss for the Express. Bill Laimbeer with 16 points and 13 boards and Adrian Dantley’s 23 were exactly what the Mountaineers needed to put this game in the win column.

Game 5 – Despite only having 5 lead changes and 10 ties, this game was fairly close the whole way. Andes never led by more than 8 and Rocky Mountain’s biggest advantage was a dozen.  The biggest lead either team would have in one period was the Express’ 4-point advantage in the 3rd. The other three quarters were decided by only one point. The home team was up 91-87 heading into the 4th. Their 10-2 run to open the frame gave them their aforementioned biggest cushion. Paul King rallied his troups and they responded with 12 unanswered points and it was tied at 101 with just over 8 minutes to play. With under 6 minutes to go, tempers flared and Adrian Dantley and Alvan Adams got into a fist fight, and since punches were thrown, the referees pointed them to their respective lockers. RME would stretch their lead to 7 with 2:51 to go. Byron Scott responded with a trey and a minute later, Andes would only trail 125-123. The Express hit 3 freebies to go up by 6 with 16.9 remaining. Trent Tucker’s 3 with 6 ticks left made it a 3-point game again, but that proved to be the final score. The Rocky Mountain Express advance to the 2nd round of the playoffs with the 132-129 win, taking the series in 5 games. Fat Lever was named game MVP, just barely missing a triple-double with 19 points, 20 rebounds and 9 assists. Alex English led the Express in scoring with 30. Mark Price chipped in 25 points and 12 assists. Ricky Pierce topped the Mountaineers with 26 points. Cliff Robinson had 22 and Dantley 20 before the scuffle.