The Wichita Skykings didn’t get the memo that Shreveport Mavericks were in the first place and needed a win for a chance at the top seed. The upstart Skykings took the final home regular season homestand for the Mavericks before a big crowd at the Centenary Gold Dome on Sunday afternoon. Wichita eeked out a 128-124 win over Shreveport. The Skykings dominated the boards outrebounding Shreveport 54-36. Wichita snagged 37 defensive rebounds to the Maverick's 13 offensive rebounds. A battle ensued on the other end with the Mavericks having 23 defensive rebounds to the Skykings 15 offensive rebounds.
According to Coach Steve Tucker’s Facebook post, the Mavericks didn’t play bad but Wichita made the plays needed to get the win. “Sometimes in Pro Basketball you drop a game,” Coach Steve Tucker said. “Everyone on the Pro Level can play and sometimes Pro Teams just play with Greater Desperation. Our S-Mavericks did not play badly today. We just did not make enough plays and Wichita did. Sometimes You just tip your hat and move on to the next game. Today was one of those days.”
Shreveport got the first run of the game started with a three from JevonLean Hedgeman. Patrick Meyers and Gracin Bakumanya followed with layups to close out the 7-0 run to give the Mavericks the early 12-9. Wichita fired back quickly later in the first quarter in a quick 6-0 run loaded by Julian Winton, Terrell Brown, and Dion Wright’s baskets. The Skykings took the 19-18 lead back with a 3:19 remaining in the first quarter. Tavin Cummings decided to push the Mavericks with 3 consecutive layups to give Shreveport the 25-21 lead. Shreveport took a 25-22 lead into the second quarter.
Wichita took the lead early in the second off of a 7-0 run kicked off by Dion Wright and then emphasized by a Terrell Brown three. Brown added two from the charity stripe. Wichita led 33-29 with 8:29 remaining in the half. Shreveport wasted no time to count as they kicked off their own 6-0 run started by Parks’ three-point shot. Bilal Richardson added a laup. Meyers chipped in a free throw. For the next minute and a half, the two teams tied each other three times. Parks said too close for comfort nailing two three-pointers and two free throws on a 10-0 run by the Mavericks. Kadavion Evans added a jump shot to push Shreveport to a 49-39 lead with a little under four minutes remaining in the first half. Brown not allowing the Skykings to be outdone cut the lead in the final two minutes with a 6-0 run fueled by another three from Brown. Shreveport held on for the 59-55 halftime lead.
The Skykings swooped out in the second half with a 6-0 run. Dion Wright added back-to-back layups and Derrick Colter popped a jump shot to give Wichita the 61-59 lead. Wichita rolled again on a three-point duo from Colter and Jachai Simmons. Wichita pushed the lead to 72-67 with 7:41 remaining in the third. Tyronne Jordan got hot for the Mavericks with back-to-back threes followed by JevonLeon Hedgeman layup to give the Mavericks an 8-0 run and the 78-74. Wichita took one more 6-0 run later in the quarter with scores from Johnny McCants, Kameron Williams, and Julian Winton and retook the 85-82. Wichita carried a 91-89 lead into the final quarter.
Shreveport had caught the Skykings early in the fourth quarter. Wichita then started on a 7-0 run. Johnny McCants and Terrell Brown scored layups. Kameron Williams added another jump shot. Coach Tucker's disagreements with the refs resulted in a technical foul. Mavericks called a timeout at 99-93. Tyronne Jordan was called for a technical and Wichita added another free throw to take the 100-93 lead. The Mavericks closed in as close as one point but Wichita went on a 9-0 run. Julian Winton kicked it off with a jump shot. Brown popped a three. Jachai Simmons emphasized the run with a dunk. Dion Wright finished it up with a layup. The Skykings were up 119-109 with 2:27 remaining. Shreveport cut the lead as close as two points but not enough time left as Wichita held on for the win.
Patrick Meyers led the Mavericks to a double-double with 29 points and 10 assists. Paul Parks scored 27 points and 6 rebounds. Tyronne Jordan finished with 20 points and 5 rebounds. Kadavion Evans contributed 18 points and 5 rebounds. JevonLean Hedgeman added 11 points and 7 rebounds.
Wichita’s Terrell Brown finished with 35 points. Dion Wright had a double-double with 22 points and 13 rebounds. Jachai Simmons also had a double-double with 17 points and 13 rebounds. Derrick Colter scored 14. Julian Winton added 14. Kameron Williams scored 11.
The next step for the Mavericks is the playoffs. More than likely Shreveport will finish as the second seed in the Central Conference playoffs. Potawatomi holds the tiebreaker over Shreveport but the Mavericks hold the tiebreaker over Wichita. The playoffs will be better known this coming weekend.
UNDER THE RADAR NWLA
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