Records Fall, Milestones Reached in Flex rout of Tide
By Craig Fata
Bloomington, IL- The suspense as to whether A. J. Guyton would earn his fiftieth career victory as head coach of the Bloomington Flex didn’t last long. The Flex jumped out to a 13-0 lead over the visiting Chicago Tide Thursday at U. S. Cellular Coliseum and never looked back, scoring a team- and building-record for points in a 139-104 rout of the Tide.
Chicago didn’t score its first field goal until the 5:35 mark of the first quarter, but the damage was more than done, as the Flex were up 18-3 at that point. The first quarter ended with the Flex ahead 38-14.
The onslaught continued in the second as the Flex opened the lead to 39, before taking a 34-point lead into the locker room at halftime, 80-46. The eighty first-half points also set a club record.
The Flex outscored the Tide in the third quarter 34-30 to take a 114-76 lead into the fourth quarter. Chicago was finally able to outscore Bloomington in a period, 28-25.
Seven Flex players scored in double figures, led by Justin Bocot’s career-high 30 points. Bocot was the fifth Flex player to score 30 or more points in a game this season. Latrell Alford added 22, and John Washington pitched in a career-high 17 on the strength of four three-pointers. Cedric Ridle led the Tide with 28.
The Flex upped their league-best record to 17-0 and maintained the lead in the race for home-court advantage throughout the playoffs. The Tide finished their inaugural season at 3-14.
The Flex are back in action for the regular-season finale Saturday in St. Joseph, Michigan., as they take on the Lake Michigan Admirals at 6:00 p.m. E.D.T.
Express Start the Weekend Sour
Lima, OH - The Lima Express hosted the Pee Dee Vipers of Florence, South Carolina last night in their first match up of the 2014 Premier Basketball Season.
In the first half of the game, the teams went head to head and looked like two evenly matched teams. However, in the 2nd quarter, in front of one of the biggest crowds of the season for Lima, the Vipers began to pull away and stretch out the lead outscoring Lima 32-10.
Lima tried several times to make a comeback run with a few scoring outbursts, but the athleticism and in-the-paint scoring from Pee Dee, was too much for Lima to handle.
The final score of this match up was Pee Dee 120, Lima 89.
Pee Dee was led by James Helton with 24 points, 7 assists & 7 rebounds. Lima was led by Bryant Austin with 20 points, 13 rebounds and 5 assists.
Lake Michigan Unable to Put a Dent in the Flex Undefeated Season
St. Joseph, MI- There's a reason Bloomington is 18-0 in the Premier Basketball League. Lake Michigan found out the hard way, suffering their worst loss of the season 129-79 on Saturday, at home.
For one Admiral, Scott Odom, the game was a dream come true. Odom played in his first professional game with one leg, scoring 5 points and one rebound.
"I knew going in I'd be the smallest and slowest," explained Odom. "I was extremely tough, not only physical, but mentally."
Odom travels the country giving youngsters the message to never give up and live their dream. He lost his leg at 14. There was wheel chair leagues, but Odom started Amp 1, playing regular stand up ball.
"I bruised my knee tonight, but that's how I wanted it. I never want guys to take it easy on me.," he said I didn't want to be a crutch to the team, and I worried about them. By the faith of God, I hit some shots."
Unfortunately, the Admirals were out rebounded 63-38 and shot 32% from the field while while watching the Flex hit 55%. The Admirals also racked up 41 fouls and Bloomington sank 48% of those.
By the third quarter the Flex led by 39, 92-53, adding 37 more in the fourth. Six players were in double-digit figures for Bloomington, led by Chris Singletary's 22 points.
Kenny Brown scored 20 four Lake Michigan, Maurice Benson and Corey Neeley added 13.
Indianapolis Wins in Battle of Division Runner-Ups
By Nathan Pace
Indianapolis, IN- The Indianapolis Diesels won their final home game of the regular season Saturday night 120-113 against the Carolina Pee Dee Vipers.
The Vipers appeared to have control of the game in the first half leading 46-41 with 3:33 remaining in the second quarter. This is where the Diesels gained the advantage as they went on a 17-8 run to close out the half for a 58-54 lead.
Indianapolis would increase its lead to 87-78 at the end of the third. Carolina would reduce the deficit to 97-94 at the seven minute mark but would never regain the lead.
Five Diesels would score in double-digit figures with guard John Hart leading the way with 46 points. Hart hit seven 3-pointers on the night. Other leading scorers include Noah Douglas (24 points), Jermaine Dearman (16 points), Harry Marshall (12 points) and Chris Ames (10 points).
James Helton led the Vipers with 27.
Indianapolis moved to 10-5 on the season and became the fourth team in the PBL to reach 10 wins.
Rochester Has Big Game on National Television
Rochester, NY- The Rochester Razorsharks in their final regular season game defeated the Lynchburg Titans 161-103.
With the win Rochester now rides a 16 game winning streak as they head into the Premier Basketball League Championship Series against the undefeated (18-0) Bloomington Flex next Sunday April 6.
Rochester like they’ve done all season, played unselfish basketball which led to 41 assists for the game.
“Coach Moten stresses to us every single day in practice to do the extra pass,” Reggie Stallings said. “With the new rotation and new guys coming in we found we can win by a larger margin by sharing the ball more and more.”
Defensively the Razorsharks caused 27 Titans turnovers, 16 of which came in the first half.
Rochester got off to a fast start right off the tip as Dane Miller made a gorgeous behind the back pass to Reggie Stallings who finished the dunk.
With the game knotted at 4 apiece, Rochester went on an 11-2 run as they pulled away from the Titans and never looked back.
After the game Razorsharks head coach Lawrence Moten said, “We have a talented team and we are playing very unselfish which is leading to our success, plus the new guys coming in have done everything we’ve asked of them and playing there assigned roles.”
New comer Melvin Council led the way for Rochester in the first half of play with 11 points. The ‘Sharks had 12 different players score leading to an 81-44 lead at the break.
Lynchburg’s Jamal Francis who leads the PBL in scoring with 34.5 ppg scored just above his average with 35 points. Francis in the last matchup against the Razorsharks scored 46 points, 19 of which came from the charity stripe.
The Razorsharks had 10 different players score in double figures led by Aaron Williams and Scott Rodgers with 18 points apiece. Stallings scored 17 and Council finished with 16.
Jerice Crouch, Miller and Stallings put some extra exclamation points on the win with a number of highlight reel dunks bringing the home crowd to its feet.
“Our plan is to keep doing what we’re doing, and come together as a group defensively and bring the championship home to Rochester,” Stallings said.
The Razorsharks will now host the Bloomington Flex next weekend to tip-off the Premier Basketball League Championship Series on Sunday, April 6 at 2:00 p.m. at the Blue Cross Arena. This will mark the third consecutive season that the Flex and Razorsharks will play for the league championship.
Lima Gives Their Fans Something to Cheer About
Lima, OH - The Lima Express hosted the Erie Hurricane at home last night for the 2nd time this season. Lima was victorious in the two teams' first match up, but this game was definitely a good contest and much closer than last time when the Express won by 70.
Throughout each quarter, the game remained tight, with Lima outscoring Erie only by five points at best in quarters one through three. Lima nailed down their defense and took off offensively in the 4th quarter, outscoring Erie 37-23. The final score was Lima 128, Erie 102.
Erie was led by Jonathon Brown with 31 points & 8 rebounds. Lima was led by Bryant Austin with 34 points, 6 assists & 12 rebounds. Kyle Meyer for Lima also added 25 points and 13 rebounds in a strong effort, while Willie Tisdale contributed with 24 points and 4 assists.