By Ryan Chichester
Sensual Chocolate seemed to be experiencing the worst case of déjà vu late in the fourth quarter Monday night as Stranger Danger forced key turnovers to cut the Sensual Chocolate lead to two. Back in Week 1, Sensual Chocolate had a win against The Brotherhood in the bag before committing costly turnovers and missing key free throws down the stretch en route to a brutal loss.
Fast forward six weeks, and a wiser and more poised Sensual Chocolate team was able to hang on and secure a 70-66 win to increase their winning streak to five. Was the nightmare of Week 1 lingering in the heads of Sensual Chocolate during the closing minutes of the fourth quarter?
“A little bit,” Sensual Chocolate’s Derrick Edwards confessed. “But we maintained our composure and poise and pulled through in the end.”
As usual, Sensual Chocolate was led by Carmine Santorelli, who led all scorers with 25 points while hitting four of his nine three-point attempts. His hot start from downtown helped Sensual Chocolate outscore Stranger Danger 23-8 in the second quarter, and his free throws in the final minute helped seal the win.
Sensual Chocolate’s big second quarter came at just the right time, as Stranger Danger held an early lead behind Melquan Horton, who finished with a team-high 22 points. Santorelli and Sensual Chocolate responded with a 15-0 run at the end of the second quarter to put themselves in the driver’s seat going into the second half, before Stranger Danger began mounting their comeback.
Stranger Danger’s comeback effort hit a bump at the end of the third quarter when Zacarri Graham was whistled for a technical foul, which expanded their deficit from eight to 10. The technical foul was the only blemish in terms of team chemistry, as Stranger Danger continues to improve their internal conflicts which has led to better performances on the court. Unfortunately for Stranger Danger, Santorelli and Sensual Chocolate was too much to overcome.
Some of the biggest daggers of the game for Sensual Chocolate came from the other Santorelli. Nick Santorelli was the only other player in double figures for Sensual Chocolate, finishing with 14 points and three huge three-pointers to prevent another late collapse. Instead of a collapse, Sensual Chocolate continues to rise up the league ranks.
“We’ve got some good team chemistry going,” Edwards said. “We’re meshing at the right time.”