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Lynchburg Drops First in Last Series Against Pee Dee

Lynchburg, VA- The Lynchburg Titans fell to the Pee Dee Vipers once again 131-105. The leading scorers tonight were Rondell Dews with 24, Kenny Hunt and Damien Hubbard both pitched in with 17, Jeremi Booth added 14 and Cordaro Ellis scored 10.

James Helton lead the way for the Vipers pouring in 38 points. Noel Johnson added 23 points and Cameron Butler scored 20.
The Titans are in action tomorrow night for the second game of a back to back. The game starts at 7pm at the Lynchburg Armory. 

Indianapolis Drops to Lima for First Time this Season in Extended Time

By Nathan Pace

Indianapolis, IN- The Lima Express improved its postseason hopes Friday night after defeating the host Indianapolis Diesels 118-113 in double-overtime.

At 5-5, Lima is still in third place of the Midwest division but picked up a game on the 6-5 Diesels. Only the top two teams in the division will advance to the postseason so these matches are critical.

The game featured multiple lead changes as the Express carried a 54-53 lead into halftime. The Diesels responded in the third quarter and led 84-74 early in the fourth.

Lima would capitalize once a few Indianapolis players got into foul trouble and tied the game at 87 with 6:15 to go. The Express had a two-point lead with one minute remaining before Diesel forward David Inabnit hit a three to put his team up 98-97. Lima would hit one of two free throws on the next possession to force overtime.

Both teams would miss opportunities to win the game in first overtime. Inabnit hit two free throws to give Indianapolis a 107-106 lead. Once again, Lima hit one of two free throws on the other end to tie the game at 107. Indianapolis would fail to score on the final possession.

The Express went on a 5-0 run in the second overtime as forward Kyle Meyer scored and drew a foul for a 3-point play. Down 116-113, Inabnit missed a corner three with less than 10 seconds to go.

Bryant Austin and Meyer led the Express with 35 points each.

Greg Foster had a game-high 41 points for the Diesels. Inabnit had 32 with seven 3-pointers.

Indianapolis will play at Lima Sunday at 7 p.m. Lima will play at undefeated Bloomington Saturday at 1:05 p.m. 

Buffalo Wins Fourth Straight Game, Defeating the Erie Hurricane 

By Andrew Serrano

Buffalo, NY- The Buffalo 716ers beat the Erie Hurricane in convincing fashion 156-109 and improve their winning streak to four in a row. This win brings the 716ers record to 6-7.

Four players scored 20 or more points for Buffalo and another three players scored at least 10. Ajay Rutledge had 27 points, Glenroy Carr had 21 points and 12 rebounds, Travonta Gatewood had 26 points and 11 rebounds, Devon Dawson notched 24 points, Amir Billups put up 17 points, Devante Vanderpool with 12 points and last but not least was Joshua Parker with 10 points.

"We've got to keep winning, and keep pushing for that playoff spot," said Gatwood.

"We're going to play hard and keep striving for victory until we get to the playoffs," said Charles Tubbins.

The 716ers next home game is on Friday, March 21st at 7 p.m. at the Thunderdome. Tickets are available online at buffalo716ers.net.

Flex Cruise to Win in Rematch with Express

By Craig Fata

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – The Bloomington Flex, just six days after eking out a two-point win over the Lima Express in Ohio, handled the return engagement with much less drama, cruising to a twelve-point matinee win in front of 1,514 fans Saturday at U.S. Cellular Coliseum, 102-90.

For a while, it seemed like it would almost be a replay of last week’s game, with the Flex building a big first-half lead, ballooning it wider in the second half, only to have Lima start to come back.

The Flex jumped out to a 13-point first quarter lead, stretching it to 16 in the second quarter. But as the Express did last Sunday, they got to within five late in the half at 45-40, before Bloomington scored the final four points of the half to go into the locker room up 49-40. Brandon McGee led the Flex with 14 in the first half, while Gary Redus had 12. Anthony Pettaway had 15 for Lima.

The Express cut the lead to six early in the second half and hung around there for a while before their double-overtime win just 15 hours earlier in Indianapolis appeared to start taking its toll. The Flex went on a run late in the quarter, capped off by Nate Fuqua’s three-pointer to give them a 15-point lead at 71-56.

Lima cut the lead to 13 before the start of the fourth, and then got to within nine at 78-69 midway through the third.  The Flex then answered with a 9-0 run, effectively ending Lima’s comeback attempt with an 18-point lead at 87-69.

Redus led the Flex with 26 points, while McGee finished with 24.  Nate Fuqua added 14 points and 10 rebounds. Bryant Austin led Lima with 27 points. Pettaway, who led the Express with 15 at half, finished with 17. The Flex ran their record to 14-0 and overall win streak to 18 games, while Lima dropped to 5-6.

The Flex are back at home Thursday at 7:05 p.m. against the Chicago Tide.


Lynchburg Joins the Club of the Victorious

Lynchburg, VA- The Titans had simply just grown tired of losing. "We just wanted to win. We are tired of losing," Jeremi Booth said after the Titans finally got into the win column with a 98-92 victory Saturday night over the Pee Dee Vipers at the Lynchburg Armory.

Despite falling by 27 on Friday night to the Vipers (10-3), the Titans (1-8) came out with intensity and set the tone early.

"We knew we could play with them," Titans' Kenny Hunt said. "Playing them Friday night, we put in our heads that we could beat these guys if we kept the score below 100."

Hunt set the tone offensively for the Titans as he scored 21 points. He was the key component to lynchburg not becoming stagnant on the offensive end and highlighting a renewed defensive effort.

The Vipers' offense was flat at the beginning of the game, a direct result of the stifling pressure that the Titans placed on the ball.

"When you are losing, you get put down so much. We did not have a choice but to bounce back up," Booth said. "We came out with a lot of energy."

Crisp ball movement was a key element to the Titans exploiting the Vipers' weak help-side defense.

"The message to the team was that we need to play as a unit," Titans coach Derek Polley said. "Throughout the season, we have had guys play individually good on offense and defense but we need to play collectively as a unit on both ends."

"They could have easily said, we have seven losses this season, we can lay it down and lose tonight and no one will care," Polley added. "They took pride and knew this is more than just basketball. They represent their families in the stands, they represent Lynchburg and we take pride in that."

Lynchburg will host the Rochester Razorsharks in the Titans' final home games of the season on March 22nd. 


Rochester Successfully Sends Lake Michigan Packin'

Rochester, NY- The Rochester RazorSharks continued their winning streak today in grand fashion, with a 137-97 victory of the Lake Michigan Admirals.
The two teams squared off January 18, with Rochester coming away with their smallest margin of victory that day, 112-106.
Today the Admirals brought in a totally overhauled and revamped team with 11 roster changes since the two teams last met. The biggest addition, literally and figuratively, was 7’2’’ Center John Riek, who’s imposing size demanded respect down low.
Rochester was no stranger to new additions as well, with the Sharks bringing in former Razorshark and fan favorite Jerice Crouch. Accompanying Crouch on his way to Rochester were former Bloomington Flex sharp shooter Ryan Anderson, and guard Doug Herring. This new-look Razorshark lineup promises the same high octane and up-tempo style that has given the Sharks 14 wins on the season.
“I’ve known Jerice for a long time, he can do whatever you ask of him on the floor, he is a true leader and a true professional.  Anderson is someone I have not seen a lot of in person, but in watching film of him, everything they say about him is true, he moves well without the ball and is a knock-down shooter” said RazorSharks head coach Lawrence Moten.
The Razorsharks began their offensive attack by looking inside to 6’8’’ Power Forward Darren Moore, and 6’10’’ Center Ayodele Coker. The increased size of the Lake Michigan front court was tested early against the Razorshark starters. After a couple of slow-paced possessions, the Sharks began to dial up the energy. A big block by Ayodele Coker, leading to a Reggie Stallings alley-oop to Dane Miller opened up the holes in the Admirals’ fast break defense.
Rochester found themselves ahead 31-15 at the end of the first quarter, led by Dane Miller who had 5 points, 3 rebounds, and 3 assists.
Miller finished the game with a triple double with 15 points, 12 rebounds, and 10 assists. This is only the second triple double in RazorSharks history.
The second quarter began with the same offensive pressure and urgency that Rochester displayed in the first. Miller came out with a vengeance scoring seven points in the quarter.  Louie McCroskey sparked the offensive with easy baskets in transition.
Kenny Brown and Shimeek Johnson lead the offensive charge for Lake Michigan with 14 points and 7 points respectively. The Admirals sustained an offensive run late in the half capitalizing on sloppy ball handling and poor shot decisions by Rochester. This cut the Sharks’ lead to 12 points with around one minute remaining. Anderson’s “and one” along with Chaz Crawford’s buzzer-beating layup gave the Razorsharks a 60-43 led at the half.
The third quarter began with a quick 7-0 RazorShark run, as they hit open jumpers, highlighted by Jerice Crouch’s three straight three-pointers.
Points began to pile up, as the Sharks extended their lead to 79-50 early in the third quarter. The Sharks continued their inside offensive game looking to drive to the hoop, and feed it down low to Forward Aaron Williams. As the game tempo slowed down significantly, the score at the end of three quarters was in favor of the Razorsharks, 93-68.
As Khalil McDonald and Brown worked to keep Lake Michigan from falling further behind, the Sharks continued to apply the pressure.
The Admirals tried to fluster the Sharks’ attack with a full-court press on defense, but their wild three-point shots early in the shot clock hurt their comeback chances. Dwayne Gland’s highlight dunk and two consecutive three-pointers sealed the win for Rochester with a final score of 136-97.
Lake Michigan’s coach Chris Glisson was asked about the loss tonight, “ It has been very tough, our whole line up has changed since the January 18 match-up. We’ve had ten players shuffle in and out of the line-up, so the chemistry needed to win has been very difficult to put together. We were up against a mountain of a challenge today with an already good Rochester team adding Crouch and Anderson.”
“Tonight my shot was working for me, my teammates found me in the half-court sets we like to run, and my coaches told me to keep firing”, said Rochester’s Reggie Stallings who had 18 points for Rochester. “While we’ve been on this long winning streak a new guy steps up every game for us, and tonight was just my night.
Rochester improves to 14-1 on the season, as Lake Michigan fell to 5-8.
Rochester’s next game is Friday, March 21, as they will head to Carolina to take on the Carolina Pee-Dee Vipers. Lake Michigan will travel to Erie tonight and take on the Erie Hurricane tomorrow afternoon.

Erie Falls to Lake Michigan in Weekend Wrap Up

By AnneMarie Wapshare

Erie, PA- The Erie Hurricane fell to the visiting Lake Michigan Admirals 139-122.
Lake Michigan came to Erie with four players scoring over twenty points, led by Terrance Shaw. Shaw had 28 points, shot 81.2 percent from the field and had seven rebounds. MacDonald had a triple double with 24 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists.
Even though Lake Michigan won the game, Erie stayed in the game after a long strong fight. Lester Jones was the leading scorer for both teams with 41 points. In addition to scoring, he came up with 6 rebounds and 4 assists. Joe Jones and Blank were also major scoring contributors bringing in 22 points each.
The Hurricane will spend the week preparing for the next weekend’s games. The Hurricane are looking to finish the season out strong.

Lima Weary after Three-Game Weekend

Lima, OH- The Lima Express played their 3rd game in three days last night against the Indianapolis Diesels. This was the second time in the Express busy weekend that the two teams matched up. In Friday's game, the two teams went down to the wire, with Lima winning the game in double overtime 118-113.

This game shaped up to be pretty similar. Lima went down in the second-half by 11 points but came roaring back on a 15-0 run to put them up 83-81. After a timeout by the Diesels, with the clock quickly approaching 0.0, the Diesels nailed a 3 points with just 1.9 seconds left!  Lima took a timeout, which in turn advanced the ball. They were not able to get a good shot off after in-bounding the ball! The Diesels escaped Lima, OH again with another win over the Express 83-84.

The Diesels were led by Jermaine Dearman with 23 points & 16 Rebounds. The Express were led by Kyle Meyer, with 21 points and a great effort from Anthony Pettaway with 19 points & 11 rebounds.

The Diesels improved their record to (7-5), placing them 2 games above the (5-7) Lima Express. 

Lima is on the road this Saturday vs the Bloomington Flex for a 1:05pm CST game before heading back home for a first time match up against the Chicago Tide at 3:00pm EST. For more information, or to purchase tickets, please visit www.TheLimaExpress.com.