The Brooklyn Blackout basketball team narrowly lost its inaugural game against the reviled Express from New Jersey 79–71 at the Aviator Sports and Event Center on Sunday night — but with only three practices under its belt, the rookie club could have done far worse against the 2013 American Basketball Association North-East Division champs.
“I’m definitely happy,” said Onez Onassis, co-owner of the team. “I told them after game, ‘don’t walk out with your head low. At the end of the day, they didn’t beat us — there’s just some things we need to work on.’ ”
To be clear, the Jersey Express did actually beat the Blackout — a team which only finalized its 14-man roster on Sept. 15.
But the young club put up a stiff fight and went into the second half trailing their veteran opponents by only a single point.
Jersey started running express early in the third quarter, and the Blackout was left 10 points behind.
That’s when the Blackout showed a quality that coach Mark Cook looks for in any team — heart — and the team rallied to take a brief lead before the buzzer.
“I was just proud we fought back,” said Cook. “Good teams do that, and a lot of teams will fall apart after they get that far behind.”
It wasn’t until the fourth that the Blackout started showing its inexperience, and the team suffered turnovers, missed shots, and came up short on the rebound, which all contributed to its defeat at the hands of its Newark nemesis.
“We need to work on ball control,” the coach said.
The Blackout may actually get some extra time to tighten up its game. The team’s second pre-season match is scheduled for Saturday against the Northshore Tides, but the Aviator Sports and Event Center has been closed indefinitely along with Floyd Bennett Field as a result of the federal government shutdown.