Justin Carter leads Karsiyaka past Zielona Gora
Pinar Karsiyaka Izmir finished its first-ever Turkish Airlines Euroleague season in style by downing Stelmet Zielona Gora 81-83 in Poland in Group C on Friday. Karsiyaka finished fifth with a 3-7 record and joins the Eurocup Last 32 in Group K along with Dolomiti Energia Trento and Grissin Bon Reggio Emilia of Italy and Trabzonspor Medical Park of Turkey. Zielona Gora was sixth at 2-8 and will compete in Group L of the Eurocup Last 32 with Zenit St. Petersburg of Russia, MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg of Germany and Umana Reyer Venice of Italy. Justin Carter led the winners with 27 points, Juan Palacios added 13 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists and 4 steals and Josh Carter had 10 points for Karsiyaka. Mateusz Ponitka led Zielona Gora with 20 points and 10 rebounds. Dejan Borovnjak added 16 points, Dee Bost had 13 and 7 assists and Przemyslaw Zamojski scored 12 for the hosts. Ponitka shined early to give Zielona Gora an 11-9 lead, but Kenny Gabriel struck twice from downtown in a 2-11 run that gave Karsiyaka a 20-24 edge after 10 minutes. Karsiyaka found a new go-to guy in Justin Carter, who had 13 second-quarter points, getting help from Josh Carter and Kerem Gonlum to boost the guests' lead to 36-49 at halftime. Zielona Gora used a 15-2 run to return to the game at 61-63 with 10 minutes to go. A wild three-pointer by Justin Carter seemed to seal the outcome at 71-76, but Zielona Gora had a shot to tie it, which J.R. Reynolds missed. Justin Carter sealed the outcome with free throws.
First quarter: Gabriel, Sipahi put guests ahead
Ponitka got Zielona Gora going with a free throw and Cal Antintig also split attempts for a 1-1 tie. Dejan Borovnjak stepped up with a layup and a fast break basket by Ponitka gave the hosts a 5-1 lead. Josh Carter scored off the baseline and a three-pointer by Altintig gave Karsiyaka its first lead, 5-6. Reynolds hit foul shots and Bovornjak hit a close jumper, but a three-point play by Kenan Sipahi tied it at 9-9. After Ponitka took over with a reverse layup, Gabriel answered from downtown and another layup-plus-foul by Sipahi boosted the guests' lead to 11-15. Vlad Moldoveanu hit free throws, but Juan Palacios scored down low and another triple by Gabriel made it a 7-point game. Zamojski made foul shots, but Colton Iverson banked in a jump hook. A layup by Ponitka kept Zielona Gora within 17-22. Free throws by Josh Carter and a three-pointer by Dee Bost fixed the score at 20-24 after 10 minutes.
Second quarter: Justin Carter takes over
Justin Carter buried a three-pointer early in the quarter, but Bost quickly answered with a fast break slam. Justin Carter kept pushing Karsiyaka with an off-balance basket, which Zamojski bettered with a triple that made it 25-29. Palacios scored around the basket, but Zamojski took over with a backdoor layup. A three-pointer by Josh Carter boosted the guests' lead to 27-34. After Szymon Szewczyk answered from downtown, Gonlum sank an off-balance jumper and a big basket by Justin Carter gave Karsiyaka a 30-38 margin. Josh Carter buried a wide open corner triple to make it a double-digit game for the first time. Ponitka shined with a put-back layup which Justin Carter matched with a one-handed slam. Gonlum scored in penetration, but Borovnjak hit a mid-range jumper. Justin Carter restored a 34-46 Karsiyaka edge. Borovnjak made free throws before a three-pointer by an unstoppable Justin Carter gave Karsiyaka a 36-49 halftime.
Third quarter: Zielona Gora roars back with 15-2 run
Borovnjak scored in penetration soon after the break and erased Justin Carter's free throws with a jump hook. Ponitka took over with a step-back triple in transition, which Zamojski followed with a layup to give Zielona Gora hope at 45-51. Palacios rescued Karsiyaka with a three-point play and an outstanding Justin Carter followed a huge dunk in traffic with a stop-and-pop three-pointer that seemed to break the game open at 45-59. Borovnjak scored around the basket, but Sipahi hit free throws. A corner triple by Ponitka brought Zielona Gora within 50-61. Moldoveanu struck from downtown and a wild dunk-and-foul by Ponitka got the hosts within 5, after which Karsiyaka called timeout. Moldoveanu swished a mid-range jumper and free throws by Borovnjak made it 60-61 after a 15-2 run. Gonlum tried to change things with free throws and Adam Hrycaniuk split attempts to bring the hosts within 61-63.
Fourth quarter: Carter seals it with a big, big shot
Palacios scored down low early in the quarter and a three-pointer by Soner Senturk gave Karsiyaka plenty of fresh air, 61-68. Zielona Gora kept struggling to score and a fast break layup by Palacios made it a 9-point game after a 0-7 run. Hrycaniuk stepped up with a layup and Bost dunked again to bring Zielona Gora within 65-70. Bost sank a stop-and-pop jumper and made free throws to bring the hosts within 1. Altintig banked in a three-pointer from the left wing, but Zieona Gora improved its defense when it mattered most. Meanwhile, Ponitka stepped up with a driving layup for a 71-73 score with two minutes left. Karsiyaka found its regular go-to guy in Justin Carter, who struck from way, way downtown for a 71-76 advantage. Altintig split free throws before Szewczyk buried a three-pointer. Bost got the hosts within 78-81, but with the game on the line, Reynolds missed from downtown and free throws by Justin Carter allowed Karsiyaka to put the victory on ice.
Friday, December 18, 2015