ENID, OKLA. — After two close losses to their new in-state rival earlier this season, including a four-point loss one week ago, the Potawatomi Fire “came to play” on Friday night. The Fire controlled the Enid Outlaws, pulling away from the home team with strong second and third quarters, en route to a statement 113-91 victory.
Fire head coach Derrick Rowland was especially pumped after the win. “We played the game right. We came to play tonight and put two halves together. We stepped up and this was a statement game for us – a great team effort,” said Rowland. Rowland, however, cautioned that the team still has to take care of business on Sunday at home versus Rockwall or this win loses significance.
The Fire were led again by their big three, three men who have started every game this season and most often are at the top of the stat sheets. Friday night was another indicator as each player recorded a double-double. Deshawn Munson (East St. Louis, Ill. / Harris-Stowe) tallied 31 points, with 15 assists, 8 rebounds, and shot 65% from the field. Anthony Allen (Kingston, Jamaica / Oklahoma State) registered his third straight double-double with 19 points and 11 rebounds. Allen officially had six blocks, though that number was likely higher. Mustapha Traore (Philadelphia, Pa. / Monmouth) had 18 points and 11 boards. Tevin Foster (Lawton, Okla. / Abilene Christian) also had 13 points off the bench, while Deon Lyle (Hastings, Neb. / UTSA) had 12 points.
The Fire outshot the Outlaws 57-39% from the field and led across the board: in two-point field goals (68-42%), three-pointers (37-23%), and free throws (92-70%). The Fire also led in points in the paint at 54-42.
Kadavion Evans led the Outlaws with 19 points, while Ricardo Artis II had 15 points and 12 rebounds. The Fire improve to 7-2 on the season, a half-game ahead of Dallas for first place in the Central Conference.
The Fire return home this Sunday afternoon for a matchup with the Rockwall 7ers. Tipoff for the Fire-7ers game is 3 p.m. at FireLake Arena. It’s Family Fun Day for Fire fans as general admission seats are $5 online or at the door.
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 new men’s professional basketball league with 44 teams in over 20 different states across the country. The TBL season begins in March and runs through June, concluding with a championship tournament. The players that make up the rosters of the TBL teams are former NCAA (Division I to III) or NAIA athletes. Many have played in the NBA or NBA’s G-League as well as professionally overseas for several years and are continuing their careers closer to home.
Story by Justin Wollard • Photos by Landon Kidney