The Shreveport Mavericks took the first step to defending the TBL “Lillie” and attempting to become the first team to repeat as TBL champions. The Mavericks swept the Wichita Skykings 2-0 in the Central Conference Semifinals with a home 120-116 win on Sunday afternoon at the Centenary Gold Dome. The Mavericks will now have a repeat of the 2022 Central Conference finals as they will face the top-seeded Potawatomi Fire who eliminated the Enid Outlaws on Saturday night with a 101-86 win.
Paul Parks returned to the Mavericks lineup with a bang nailing a double-double with 31 points and 11 rebounds (all defensive). Jay Hedgman backed up Parks with his double-double of 26 points and 14 rebounds. Kadavion Evans added 12 points and 5 assists. Winford Ross-Holmes scored 11 points with 7 rebounds. Tyronne Jordan netted 10 points with 8 rebounds and 6 assists.
Terrell Brown was Wichita’s top scorer with 24 points and 8 rebounds. Jachai Simmons had a double-double with 21 points and 10 rebounds with 7 assists. Brandon Watkins added 18 points and 8 rebounds. Julian Winton had 16 points with 5 assists. Kameron Williams snagged 14 points. Dion Wright added 12 points with 7 rebounds.
Shreveport started the matchup early. The Mavericks got some breathing room on a 6-0 run started by a jump shot from Tyronne Jordan. Winford Ross-Holmes added a layup followed by Kadavion Evans's jump shot. Shreveport jumped out to the 12-6 lead. Wichita closed the gap to 12-11. The Mavericks jumped to another 6-0 run with three points from Patrick Meyers and a long shot from Jordan. Shreveport reached an 18-11 lead again. The Skykings took their own 6-0 run behind layups by Johnny McCants and Dion Wright and emphasized by a dunk by Jachai Simmons. The Mavericks held on to the slim 18-17 lead. The two stayed close and tied late in the first period but Shreveport never gave Wichita a lead in the first quarter. Shreveport carried a 26-25 lead into. the second quarter
Wichita scored the first shot of the second quarter and took their first lead of the game. Paul Parks brought a three-point barrage as he hit two and Gracin Bakumanya added a dunk for flavor as Shreveport jumped out on an 8-0 run took the 34-27 lead. Shreveport took another 8-0 run opportunity for two 3-point shots from Jay Hedgeman and Parks. Bakumanya added some free throws as the Mavericks took a double-digit lead at 47-31. Wichita tried to rein in the Mavericks with points from Kameron Williams and Brandon Watkins. The Skykings cut the lead to 47-37. Shreveport pushed the lead back to 16 with scores from Hedgeman, Parks, and Bilal Richardson. Wichita chipped away at the lead but Shreveport took the 61-50 lead into halftime.
The third period saw the see-saw scoring between the two teams. A technical foul on Bakumanya fueled the Mavericks. Bakumanya scored his free throw and followed with a dunk. The Skykings sent Jordan and Jeffrey Boyd to the free throw line which equaled four more points. The Mavericks pushed the lead up to 17 points at 86-69. Shreveport held on to the end of the third quarter with a 92-74 lead.
Wichita cut away at the Mavericks’ lead throughout the fourth quarter. The lead was only 12 with 7:02 remaining for Wichita’s season. Terrell Jones's floating jump shot started a rally. The Skykings called timeout to plan out the rally. Julian Winton and Dion Wright added layups and the lead was cut to 104-98 with 5 ½ minutes remaining. The Skykings once again had a late fourth quarter rally as Julian Winton hit his two free throws to start. Watkins added four points and Simmon let Shreveport know there still was life in the Skykings as the lead closed to 4 with a minute remaining. Wichita went into foul mode but the Mavericks were feeding Parks who was clutch on his free throws. Shreveport advances to the Conference finals with the 120-116 win.
The Mavericks will only get one game in the best of three Central Conference Championship series and that will be on Thursday night, June 8 against the Fire at the Gold Dome at 7 pm. Game 2 will be at the Fire Lake Arena in Shawnee, Oklahoma on Saturday, June 10 at 7 pm. If a Game 3 is necessary, it will be on Sunday, June 11 at 7:00 pm
Potawatomi Fire 101, Enid Outlaws 86
The Potawatomi Fire took the Battle of Oklahoma as the swept the Enid Outlaws 2-0 in the 101-96 win on Saturday night at Fire Lake Arena.
Kierre Moore was the Fire top scorer with 25 points and 9 rebounds. Daylon Guy added 18 points, 7 assists, and 5 rebounds. Deshawn Munson snatched a double-double with 16 points, 16 rebounds, and 9 assists. Lyletacoma Hexom also had a double-double with 15 points and 12 rebounds. Terry Maston added 15 points.
Ethan Chargois ended the season as the top scorer in the Outlaws last game with 26 points and 9 rebounds. Marvin Johnson had a double-double with 17 points and 11 rebounds. Martaveous McKnight scored 14 with 7 rebounds. Caleb Coleman netted 13 with 5 rebounds.
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