The Shreveport Mavericks took the first step to attempt to become the only team to win back-to-back TBL championships. Shreveport was out their powerhouse player Paul Parks but Winford Ross-Holmes came off the bench to pull in a double-double of 10 points and 10 rebounds to help win the first game in the best-of-three series. Patrick Meyers again had a big night with 27 points and 5 assists. Tyronne Jordan nailed 26 points. Kadavion Evans scored 15 points and 5 rebounds. Jevonlean Hedgemon added 10 points with 7 rebounds. Jeffrey Boyd contributed 10 points.
Jachai Simmons shared the top scorer with Dion Wright for Wichita with 18 points. Simmons also had 8 rebounds as Wright had 7. Brandon Watkins had a double-double with 14 points and 15 rebounds. Kameron Williams also scored 14 points and 5 rebounds. Terrell Brown chipped in 13 points. Johnny McCants netted 12 points and 6 rebounds. Julian Winton added 12 points with 8 assists.
Wichita would not allow the Mavericks to return the favor of a home spoiler in the first quarter. The two teams stayed within three of each other until Kameron Williams got hot. Williams hit a layup. Williams was then fouled by Evans. Mavericks called a timeout. Williams scored another layup to end the 6-0 run. The Skykings had taken the 15-12 lead. Wichita slowly builds a 10-point lead at 29-19 at the end of the first period.
Wichita try to expand on their lead with about 8 minutes remaining in the second as they went on a 7-0 run. Julian Winston started the run with a lay-up followed by Brandon Watkins with a jump shot. Jachai Simmons emphasized the run with a 3-pointer. The Skykings led 41-29 with seven minutes remaining in the second quarter. The challenge was accepted by Mavericks. Tyronne Jordan started a 14-2 run with back-to-back threes for the Mavericks where they would catch up to Wichita. Myers added a layup. Williams tossed in a basket in the middle of the run. Frustrated with the small starting run, Kameron Williams garnered a technical foul. Myers nailed the free throw. Jordan added another basket beyond the arc. Kadavion Evan scored and the Mavericks were tied at 43-43 with 1:42 remaining in the half. Wichita took the 48-47 halftime lead.
After a couple of ties and three lead changes, Wichita went on a 7-0 run with five minutes remaining in the third period. Dion Wright scored five consecutive points for the Skykings with a three and layup. Meyers fouled and send Julian Winton to the charity stripe for a couple of free throws. Wichita had jumped out to a 69-60 lead. The last two minutes belonged to the Mavericks as they captured Wichita again with a 9-0 run. Ross-Holmes hit the second of his two free throws to start. Meyers hit a floating jump shot followed by Jordan’s layup. Shreveport was within four points at 77-73. Johnny McCants was called for a technical foul sending Meyers to the foul line. Myers hit the free throw. Williams fouled Jeffrey Boyd sending him to the free throw line. Boyd nailed both free throws. Shreveport and Wichita went into the final quarter knotted at 77.
The Mavericks had enough of playing with Wichita. Shreveport started a 7-0 run in the first minute of the fourth quarter. Myers drove the lane for a layup and drew the foul. The Maverick completed the three-point play on the foul line. Jeffrey Boyd got down to business on Wichita with a dunk followed by another layup. Shreveport was up 84-79 with 11 minutes left in Game 1. Wichita chipped away at Shreveport’s lead to one point at 88-87 but the Maverick went on another 6-0 run with Ross-Holmes and Hedgeman hitting layups followed by a jump shot from Meyers. Shreveport had pushed the lead to 94-87. Once again Wichita got within two points and Shreveport started again. Ross-Holmes and Evan chipped in layups and Jordan was fouled and hit both free throws. Shreveport once again expanded their let to eight points at 101-93. The pesky Skykings got as close as 106-104 after Jachai Simmons was fouled on a three-point shot by Evans. Simmons hit all three free throws. Watkins made a layup with 11 seconds remaining. Shreveport would outlast Wichita to take the first game in the three-game series.
The Mavericks can wrap up the series on Sunday at 5 pm with a win at the Gold Dome. If Wichita gets the best of them in Game 2, they will play the tiebreaking game in Shreveport on Monday at 7 pm.
Potawatomi 103, Enid 101 (Potawatomi leads series 1-0)
Former Shreveport Maverick Paul Harrison led the top-seeded Potawatomi Fire to the first win of the other Central Conference semifinals. Harrison scored 23 points on Thursday night. Daylon Gray scored 21 points and added 8 rebounds and 6 assists. Kierre Moore netted 18 points and grabbed 7 rebounds. Deshawn Munson snatched a double-double with 15 points and 13 rebounds and added 7 assists. Lyletacoma Hexom contributed 13 points and 7 rebounds.
The Enid Outlaws were led by Marvin Johnson with 29 points and 7 rebounds. Caleb Coleman took 16 points and 6 rebounds. Martaveous McKnight also had 16 points and led with 7 assists. Ethan Chargois had a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Jakolby Long added 11 points and 6 rebounds.
The battle for Oklahoma supremacy series will return to Fire Lake Arena for Game 2 on Saturday, June 3 at 7 pm. A win by the Fire will end the series. If Enid pulls out the win, Game 3 will be Sunday, June 4 at Fire Lake Arena at 3 pm.
UNDER THE RADAR NWLA
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