SHAWNEE, OKLA —The Potawatomi Fire used a 37-20 second quarter surge to rout the Little Rock Lightning, 122–96. Seven fire players were in double figures, led by K.D. Moore with 20 points. Moore also had six rebounds and three steals. Theo Johnson was next on the scoring leaders list with 16 points off the bench including two treys. Tevin Foster also came off the bench to score 15 points. 2022 MVP Deshawn Munson had another solid line across the board with 14 points, eight rebounds, and nine assists.
Lyle Hexom had 12 points including 3 of 7 from outside to go along with seven rebounds. Chuck Guy also posted another strong all-around line, going for 11 points, nine assists, five boards, and four steals. T.J. Maston had 10 points and three rebounds. Je’lon Hornbeak had eight points including a pair of triples.
A competitive first quarter had the Fire leading by seven (26-19) before they opened things up in the second. Led by K.D. Moore (10 points) attacking the basket and Hexom (7 points) from outside, the Fire outscored the Lightning 37-20 to take a 63-39 halftime lead. In the third period, the home team extended their margin to 30 (89-59). With Saturday’s game being the middle of a busy three games in four days stretch, the Fire went with an all-bench squad through most of the fourth quarter. The Fire reserves kept the lead, with Potawatomi winning by 26 points.
The Fire ran away with several categories including assists (29-18), points off turnovers (27-6), and fast break points (38-17). Field goal shooting was in the Fire’s favor at 46.3% (44/95) compared to 37.4% (34/91) for the Lightning. The Fire led for all but 19 seconds of the contest. Not only were there seven Fire players in double figure scoring, but six Fire players had at least five rebounds. All 11 players on the Fire roster scored at least five points and had at least one rebound.
Percell Washington led the Lightning (0-4) with 18 points and 18 rebounds. Kevin Hunt had 17 points.
The Fire travel to Enid tomorrow Sunday, March 26 for an afternoon rematch with the Outlaws at 3 p.m. The next home game for the Fire is next Friday night, March 31 versus the defending TBL champs, the Shreveport Mavericks at 7 p.m. Fans can listen to all games, home or away, with Chris Cox on the radio call on KGFF 100.9FM / 1450AM – Shawnee’s Hometown Radio Station. Or you watch the live streams on TBLTV.tv with a paid subscription.
ABOUT THE FIRE AND THE BASKETBALL LEAGUE
The Potawatomi Fire concluded their first TBL (The Basketball League) season in June 2022, winning 21 of 29 games played including the playoffs. They were 18-6 in the regular season to earn the third seed in the Central Conference portion of the playoffs. They won their first round playoff series before falling in the conference semifinal round. The 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 TBL, a men’s professional basketball league, now with nearly 50 teams in over 20 different states across the U.S. and Canada. The Fire organization was named the 2022 winner of the Jim Koch Award as TBL’s Best Ran Business, despite the Fire being a first-year franchise. The dance team of the Fire, the Fire Girls, was named Best Dance Team.
The TBL season begins in late 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 or NBA’s developmental G-League and professionally overseas for several years and are continuing their careers closer to home or seeking a larger contract in another professional league.
Story by Justin Wollard • Photos by Landon Kidney