‘We just always seem to find a way in this building:’ AfterShocks move to quarterfinals for second consecutive year


The magic of Koch Arena has secured the AfterShocks their third victory in The Basketball Tournament. The AfterShocks now prepare to head into the quarterfinals of TBT’s Wichita Regional.

The AfterShocks faced the No. 7 seed Bleed Green, North Texas, on Monday evening, where the AfterShocks secured a 70-69 victory.

“This is so much fun, we just always seem to find a way in this building,” Head Coach Zach Bush said. 

Both teams came into Monday’s match-up on highs. Bleed Green entered Koch Arena as TBT’s underdogs. In previous rounds, the No. 7 seed team defeated Eberlein Drive and Purple & Black. 

The AfterShocks, the No. 1 seed, took down We Are D3 and the Air Raiders.

Both teams started firing right away. James Dicky got things moving for the AfterShocks by putting up the first pair of points in the paint.

Unlike the AfterShocks’ previous matchups, they never secured a steady lead. The first quarter ended with a 20-14 lead by the AfterShocks.

The intensity only continued as the second quarter began. 

With their shooter percentage lacking, the AfterShocks needed to keep the focus on defense and keep the ball away from Bleed Green, who was electric on 3-pointers.

Team leader Conner Frankamp picked up the offensive slack. Frankamp ended the half with a two-point buzzer layup that had the crowd ecstatic.

Tied at 30 a piece, the crowd was hungry for the Koch Arena magic.

Halftime was just what the AfterShocks’ offense needed to recover. 

Bleed Green was quick to take a brief 32-30 lead. As a response, Frankamp and Tyrus McGee both put up three’s. The AfterShocks offense continued to thrive as six Shockers scored to open the quarter.

In a crowd-exciting feat, Markis McDuffie performed a 360 2-point dunk. Willis Jr. continued the excitement with a jump shot to extend the AfterShock lead 55-45, on an 8-0 run. 

Bleed Green’s Jordan Stevens ran his offense in the fourth. He scored eight straight points and dropped two 3-pointers to cut the Shocks’ 10-point lead to only three. 

As the clock hit 3:55 in the fourth, timeout was called and the “Slingshot Score” was set: the first team to 70 would win.

The AfterShocks carried the advantage with a 62-57 lead, but Bleed Green continued to put up threes. The teams’ Brandon Jefferson and Jordan Stevens took over the lead 63-62 off of two back-to-back threes.

Clevin Hannah regained the lead, by one, moments before Frankamp was fouled. He went 3-for-3 on free throws to extend the AfterShocks’ lead; however, the power duo, Jefferson and Stevens, struck again as they both put up threes leading 69-68.

It was Willis Jr.’s game-winning jump hook that secured the AfterShocks back-to-back regional victories and quarterfinal debuts. 

“The players: (I give) all the credit to them,” Bush said. “They battle, defend, they make big shots, they make big plays, and so much of it isn’t coaching at all. This is TBT, it’s 99% them.”

The AfterShocks return to Charles Koch Arena on Wednesday evening at 8 p.m.  They will face the Omaha Regional top seed Gutter Cat Gang. 

Tickets are available at goshockers.com/tickets.