Sideline Cancer wins another thriller, now in The Basketball Tournament Championship Week
Within the span of four days, Charlie Parker could only watch as his team faced elimination in two separate games.
The Kennard-Dale High School graduate and head coach of Sideline Cancer trusted his players to get a stop on defense and score to close out the wins to survive and advance in The Basketball Tournament.
In Sunday's first-round game, it was guard Maurice Creek who hit the game-winning 3-pointer to avoid an upset in an 80-77 victory over Founding Fathers. After a relatively easy win on Monday, things got close again on Wednesday night, when the team's star showed up when his teammates needed him most.
Guard Marcus Keene was crucial to Sideline Cancer's 2020 runner-up finish in TBT and has followed up that effort in 2021. Keene was originally expected to miss the tournament, but arrived the night before Sideline Cancer's first game after a conversation with Parker.
Wednesday, with his team two points from a victory, Keene pulled up from Steph Curry range and hit a 3-pointer to send Sideline Cancer to the quarterfinals and one step closer to the $1 million winner-take-all prize. Sideline Cancer ultimately beat the Bucketneers on Wednesday, 58-57, to advance to the tournament's Championship Week.
After playing four games between Sunday and Wednesday, the team will be off until July 31, when it faces Team 23 at 7 p.m. on ESPN2. Team 23 features former Villanova center Daniel Ochefu.
The semifinals are set for Aug. 1 and the final will be played on Aug 3. Both games will be on ESPN.
In addition to Parker, Dallastown High graduate Four McGlynn is also a member of Sideline Cancer. McGlynn is an assistant coach this year after he joined the team as a player for the 2020 tournament.
Sideline Cancer gets its name from the foundation created to raise awareness for the disease that claimed the life of a man close to general manager Billy Clapper. Greg Griffith died from pancreatic cancer at the age of 50 in 2011. Griffith's son, Jordan, is also an assistant coach for the team.
Parker will attempt to lead Sideline Cancer back to the championship after his team's unlikely run in 2020. In a 24-team field, Sideline Cancer was seeded No. 22 last year, but just narrowly lost in the final game.
This season, Sideline Cancer returned its core players and received a No. 1 seed in the West Virginia Region. Parker is still motivated by last season's loss and wants to leave with the money this year.
"It still eats me, it's been eaten me all year what we did in the last few minutes of that game last year and losing a championship game," Parker said on Monday. "We're here to win and it's a great platform, but you have to perform and you gotta play hard and with effort and leave it out on the floor."
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