ENID, OK – The Potawatomi Fire started their run toward a second straight Lillie with a statement victory over the Wichita Skykings in Game 1 of the Central Conference Semifinals.

The Fire beat Wichita 160-116 to take a 1-0 lead in this best of three series, setting a new team record for points scored in a game.

“I thought we played really well on both ends of the floor,” said Fire head coach Mark Dannhoff. “I thought we were focused tonight and started off really strong. Give a lot of credit to Wichita because they never gave up and we know they can come back in a hurry with the ability to shoot the three. We did a good job of playing our game and keeping the pressure on.”

All ten Fire players that played scored in double figures which was a season high for the team. Paul Harrison led with 25 points while Ricky Artis II had 21 points. Four players (Deshawn Munson, Jachai Simmons, Chuck Guy and K.D. Moore) each had 18 points. Myron McGowan had 12 points while Ruston Hayward, Jaylen Mahone and Isaiah Wade each had 10 points. Due to in-game technical issues, only points scored are available at this time. A full box score and more individual stats may be available later.

With the win, the Fire lead the Central Conference Semifinals 1-0. They can close out the best of three series on Saturday when they host the Wichita Skykings on Saturday, June 1. Game 2 will take place inside FireLake Arena in Shawnee with tipoff set for 7 PM. you can watch a live stream of the playoff games on TBL TV or listen to the games on KGFF Radio (100.9 FM/1450 AM/KGFF.com).

Be sure to follow the Fire on social media (InstagramFacebookX) to stay up to date with all the latest information on the Fire.

The Potawatomi Fire are the first professional basketball team owned by a Native American tribe (Citizen Potawatomi Nation) in Oklahoma. The Fire compete in the Central Conference of The Basketball League (TBL), a men’s professional basketball league, now with 38 teams across the U.S. and Canada. Along with winning the TBL championship in 2023, the Fire organization was named the 2022 winner of the Jim Koch Award as TBL’s Best Ran Business. The dance team of the Fire, the Fire Girls, were named TBL’s 2022 Best Dance Team and Central Conference Best Dance Team in 2023.

The TBL season begins in February and runs through June, concluding with a championship playoff tournament. The players that make up the rosters of the TBL teams are former NCAA (Division I, II or III) or NAIA athletes. Many have played in the NBA’s developmental G-League and/or professionally overseas.

Story by Chris Cox / Photos by Garret Fisbeck