Hornets Venom Shakes Off Slow Start, Rallies to Beat Celtics Crossover Gaming

Snubby Scores 20+ PTS in All 3 Games, Team Defense Sparks Comeback Victory 

A 15-day layoff may have contributed to some early rust for Hornets Venom GT, but they turned things around just in time midway through the series to pull out a 2-1 win over Celtics Crossover Gaming on Wednesday night.

Trailing by two after the opening quarter of Game 1, Celtics Crossover outscored Hornets Venom, 23-13, in the second to enter halftime with an eight-point lead. The visitors eventually stretched the lead to 17 heading into the final frame, providing them with more than enough cushion down the stretch for an 82-67 opening win.

Guards Justin “Snubby” Stemerman (23) and Alex “Expose” Whelan (21) each had 20 points for Hornets Venom GT, which also got eight points, six rebounds, eight assists, two steals and three blocks from center Xavier “Type” Vescovi. Guard Albano “oFAB” Thomallari erupted for 44 points in the win, marking the highest individual scoring total against Hornets Venom this year.

The hosts compiled a better start in Game 2, sliding into the break with 37-31 advantage. Towards the end of the third though, Celtics Crossover began an 18-6 run to take a five-point lead with around four minutes remaining in the contest. Hornets Venom responded with a momentum-swinging 14-2 stretch of its own, which helped close out the 77-71 Game 2 victory.

Snubby (season-high-tying 29 points), Expose (17), Type (15) and forward Zaeya “Zae” Ishak (14) all scored in double figures in the victory, with the big man Vescovi also racking up nine rebounds, seven assists and four blocks. oFab had another 39 points for Celtics Crossover, forward Bobby “Easy” Wilson had 13 points and center David “TooxCool” Urena had eight points, 11 rebounds and six assists.

The late run in Game 2 followed Hornets Venom into Game 3 as they finished off the first six minutes of play with a 19-9 lead. Continued defensive pressure and disruption was the theme the rest of the game as Charlotte rolled into halftime with an 18-point advantage and never looked back on its way to a series-clinching 82-60 blowout win.

Snubby (23) notched his third 20-point game of the night, with Expose (20), Type (18) and Zae (16) tallying double-digit scoring performances as well. Type added to his line with 13 rebounds, six assists and a season-high six blocks and lock Gio “Trap” Elizondo matched his yearly high with six steals. Fab led Celtics Crossover with 30 points on just 13-of-29 shooting and TooxCool chipped in nine points, 16 rebounds, five assists, two steals and two blocks.

Celtics Crossover shot 59 percent from the field in the opening contest (11-of-19 from three; 58 percent), but the Hornets Venom defense forced that number down to 52 percent and 38 percent, respectively, across the final two games. Hornets Venom also committed just 14 total turnovers in Games 2 and 3 after coughing it up 13 times in the opening loss.

Hornets Venom will be back in action for a road game against Jazz Gaming on Friday, June 12 starting at 9 PM EST. Catch the action on ESPN2, Twitch.tv/NBA2KLeague or YouTube Gaming.

by Sam Perley