At Eastman Business Park, the pursuit of perfection takes many forms – whether in the lab, the clean room, the roll coating facility or assembly line. For the past few months, a similar quest for excellence was even being played out on the campus’ basketball court located in Building 28.
Here, during long hours of practices and preparation, a group of professional athletes kept their eye on a prize no other team playing in the Premier Basketball League has ever achieved: a third straight championship basketball season.
All that effort finally paid off April 24th for the Rochester Razorsharks. For the third year in a row and sixth time in franchise history, the PBL record books were re-written when the Razorsharks topped the Lake Michigan Admirals 93-92 in Game Two of the finals, 93-92 in front of a raucous crowd at the Blue Cross Arena at the Community War Memorial.
It is the second year in a row these same Razorsharks (21-2) have defeated Lake Michigan in the championship round but it is the team’s first title under head coach Chris Iversen.
Iversen himself capped off a perfect season as head coach. He went 19-0 after taking over when the team had a 2-2 record. It’s his sixth title overall as a member of the RazorSharks’ staff, and the Sharks’ seventh overall title since the team was formed in 2007.
Not one to take all the credit, Iversen was quick to point out the resiliency and perseverance of his players and staff, as well as the place where the team started working its magic: “Our championship was won because of our preparation,” he said. “And that doesn't happen without the help and use of our practice facility at Kodak’s Eastman Business Park.”
Iversen said it was one of the only times this year that the RazorSharks had to fight through adversity to nail down the win. They trailed by four points after the first quarter and were down by as many as 11 points midway through the second quarter. Rochester finished the first half strong and went into halftime tied at 40.
The RazorSharks never led by more than three and trailed by four points with three minutes remaining. But Corey Allmond and Jerice Crouch hit back-to-back 3-pointers to give the RazorSharks the lead.
Rochester was unable to close out the Admirals at the free-throw line, leaving Lake Michigan with a chance to win with 10 seconds left. But the Admirals missed a final shot and the mid-court celebration was on. Team veteran and reliable point guard Jerice Crouch led the RazorSharks with 26 points, 22 coming in the second half, and added seven assists. Melvin Council was named MVP for his outstanding performance in the postseason.
Our congratulations go out to Coach Iversen, his staff and the entire team for making all of us at EBP very proud of our award-winning tenant partner!