Brilliance In Resilience As Fort Wayne Stuns Sioux Falls Skyforce
The Fort Wayne Mad Ants marched back from a 12-point deficit in the fourth quarter to edge the Sioux Falls Skyforce 113-111 in Game 1 of the Second Round NBADL Playoff series.
At the outset, Sioux Falls (0-1) knew to advance to the Championship Round it would take one road win. After falling at the Sanford Pentagon with 2,701 on hand to see it, the Skyforce will need two road wins.
Personification of playoff atmosphere permeated the proceedings. Emotional intensity nearly led to eruption in the fourth quarter as Ron Howard ended an extremely physical sequence by both teams with an elbow to the face of Larry Drew II with 6:33 to play. Players exchanged words and the officials wisely separated the troops for a time to cool down. A 2 point Skyforce lead swelled to 10 in the next 90 seconds.
Fort Wayne (1-0) answered immediately with a 5 point trip. A foul on a 3 point shot sent Sadiel Rojas to the line for three charity tosses. Rojas made the first two, but missed the third. The Mad Ants grabbed the rebound sending it to a waiting Matt Bouldin who buried a 3 pointer to cut the lead in half.
The Mad Ants methodically used the rest of the time to draw even, then overtake the home team with a twisting, off-balance shot from the lane by Tony Mitchell with 4.2 seconds left. It was incredible play. Take a look on the footage to see the dagger.
Rojas finished with 20 points to lead the Mad Ants with Mitchell adding 19. Sioux Falls got high production from Henry Walker with 24 points and DeAndre Liggins who posted 19 points, 13 rebounds, 8 assists with 2 steals.
Game 2 of this series will be Saturday night in Fort Wayne.