Erie BayHawks 116, Sioux Falls Skyforce 93 (Box Score)
- Inside sources tell me that Gale Mazzella was sitting courtside at the game, celebrating her birthday. The last time I know Mazzella was at a BayHawks game, Erie also won. I'm fairly certain this isn't a coincidence and that she's a good luck charm. How else do you rationalize that Erie, without starters Cedric Jackson (call-up) and Jackie Manuel (stomach virus), was able to beat the hottest team in the D-League by 23 points - aside from, you know, by playing well?
- Oh, if you're wondering who Mazzella is, she's the wonderful mother of Erie's Mike Gansey (and Fort Wayne assistant coach Steve Gansey). Presumably wanting to give his mom a great birthday present, Gansey finished with 24 points, nine rebounds and four assists while playing all 48 minutes, again. Dude's an iron man. Since I don't really have to add anything about his game that you can't see for yourself in the highlights above, I'd like to point out that he's averaging 26 points and 9.3 boards while shooting 55% from the field and an insane 57% from beyond the arc in the month of March. Call this guy up (or at least let him hook up with Kaley Cuoco)!
- I'm of the opinion that Sioux Falls has the best defensive frontline in the D-League (we'll get to that later). John Bryant, however, did his best Bryant Reeves impression by dropping 24 points on them while adding seven boards. Most interesting, to me at least, is that 10 of his 11 made shot attempts were considered jump shots according to the play-by-play - that's a lot for a 6'11", 300ish pound center. He also picked up five fouls in 31 minutes, but hey, that'll happen.
- Blake Ahearn finally got to play point guard in the D-League, though it wasn't easy. First, he orchestrated a trade to Bakersfield from Dakota to play the point, but Jeremy Wise got the majority of the minutes. Earlier the month, he was traded to the BayHawks, but Cedric Jackson was pretty firmly entrenched as the starting point guard. Jackson was with the Spurs yesterday, though, leaving Ahearn to run the team. How'd he do? Well, he scored 20 points and dished 15 assists. He did shoot 0-for-10 from everywhere except beyond the arc and at the free-throw line, but that's still not a bad day at the office.
Ivan Harris played all 48 minutes and shot 9-of-15 from the field to finish with 21 points and five boards. I haven't watched Erie as often as I've watched many of the teams in the league, but this was the best he's looked in games that I've watched this season.
- Jarvis Gunter came off the bench to score 15 and add 13 boards. Kyle Goldcamp started, played solid defense and put up a decent 12 point, seven board effort. I don't think I've written anything about them, ever, but since they're two of the three Erie big men (Harris occasionally will masquerade as a power forward, but he's not big), you'll probably hear more about them soon. Interesting notes about both? Well, Gunter hadn't scored in his past five games. As far as Goldcamp, he reminds me of another former player out of Gannon, Geoff Husted - never the most talented player on the court, but he'll play harder than most.
- Actually, the only other guy Erie played was CLIFF CLINKSCALES, so we might as well talk about him. He had two assists and zero turnovers in nine minutes of play. If you want to learn more about Clinkscales, I'd like to refer you to the most in-depth piece that will ever be written about him.
- To me, Sioux Falls looked tired - probably due to being on the road for over a week, or maybe because they had to play at 11am. That said, the only player that really looked good was Alexander Johnson, even though it didn't come easy. Johnson shot just 2-for-5 from the field - which usually wouldn't allow for much production - unless the opposing team goes into "no easy buckets" mode, which is what Erie did. Johnson shot 13-of-18 from the free-throw line to finish with 17 points, nine boards, three blocks and two steals off the bench. He's probably deserving of a call-up. Like now.
Bakersfield Jam 118, Reno Bighorns 112 (Box Score)
- Bakersfield stole this one after Reno fell apart midway through the fourth quarter. Bakersfield announce crew attributed it to, essentially, a lack of on-court leadership. Also, since I didn't watch this entire game, I'm not going to give you the usual in-depth reports. Instead, here are the best players for each team:
- For the Jam, Alade Aminu had a pretty ridiculous 29 points and 10 boards before fouling out. Since Brian Butch was out due to injury, the rookie needed to step up - and he did.
- Reno's best player was Desmon Farmer - 28 points and nine assists. He did, however, pick up a technical foul with his team down two with a couple of minutes remaining. I'm not sure exactly what he was arguing, but it didn't come at a very opportune time - and the Jam followed it up by rattling off seven straight points.
I missed the other two games, but I encourage you to find the box scores here. Looking beyond the box score, here iss MassLive's recap of the Springfield @ Los Angeles game and here is David Hinojosa's recap of the Austin @ RGV game (highlights from good ol' ADB).