It wasn't the Bullets against the SuperSonics, but it wasn't a typical summer basketball league game either. There was crisp passing, strong rebounding, defense and even - heaven forbid - a four-corner stall offense.
But the four-corner offense employed by the Baltimore Lakers late in the second half yesterday sputtered under intense defensive pressure by the Big "M" Trotters.
The Trotters forced numerous turnovers and made up a 13-point deficit in 2 1/2 minutes to capture the final of the seventh annual Tournament of Champions, 108-105, at H.D. Woodson High School.
Trotter forward Greg Sanders, formerly of St. Bonaventure University, was awarded the most valuable player trophy. He tallied 26 points and hauled in seven rebounds.
Though Sanders was MVP, 5-foot-9 guard Bernard Vaughan sparked the Trotter second-half comeback, hitting 11 of 14 field goal attempts mostly on long-range jumpers that never brushed the rim.
Vaughan misses only one shot in the second half and Sanders tipped that in to pull the Trotters within one point with 40 seconds remaining.
University of Maryland's 6-10 center Larry Gibson then intimidated Laker forward Joe Miller on an attempted slam-dunk, the ball rolling off the rim to Vaughan, who picked up the loose ball and was fouled. He sank four free throws to complete the Trotter drive from behind.
"The Trotters came back by hitting the boards hard," said Laker leading scorer Charles Floyd who had 23 points and six rebounds.
Gibson, who took 10 rebounds to go with 14 points, muscled three of them in the last two minutes of the game.
In addition to improved rebounding, Gibson offered a simple reason for the comeback victory: "We just wanted to win it badly. We just made up our minds to win, that's all."
Gibson seemed to get as much enjoyment out of playing summer league game as he did squaring off against NCAA strongmen in the winter.
"Some of these guys in summer league games are ex-pros, ex-collegiate, NBA and college players," Gibson noted. "It is just as big a challenge to play tough against these guys as it is against college players."