ENID, OKLA. — In their fourth matchup of the season with their in-state rival, the Potawatomi Fire ran into a motivated and hot-shooting home team and suffered their third loss of the season, falling 121-91 to the Enid Outlaws. 

After a close first quarter, the host Outlaws club broke the game with a 34-17 second quarter and then followed that up with a ten-point edge (38-28) in the third quarter. After the Fire controlled the matchup a week ago between these teams on the same Stride Bank Center floor, Potawatomi just could not get anything going on this night. The Fire were outshot from the field (54-41%) and from three-point range (41-20%). The Outlaws also won the battle in assists (23-7), fast-break points (15-6), and points in the paint (58-50).

Deshawn Munson (East St. Louis, Ill. / Harris-Stowe) had 21 points, seven rebounds, and five assists. Mustapha Traore (Philadelphia, Pa. / Monmouth) had 16 points. Dwayne Lathan (Ruston, La. / Indiana State) and Fire newcomer Joel Wright (Brooklyn, N.Y. / Texas State) each came off the bench with 14 and 11 points, respectively. Lathan also had six rebounds. Drelan Tripplett (Oklahoma City, Okla. / York (NE) College) had seven points and five boards. Anthony Allen (Kingston, Jamaica / Oklahoma State) had nine boards. 

Chuck Guy and Kierra Moore each had 23 points for the Outlaws. Guy also had 11 assists. Kadavion Evans added 22 points for Enid.

The loss drops the Fire to 8-3 on the season, with all three losses coming to Enid. Both teams are tied in second place with identical 8-3 records. The Shreveport Mavericks are a half-game on top of the TBL Central Conference with an 8-2 record, after defeating Dallas Skyline on Friday night. Questions from some league teams remain regarding the unbalanced TBL Central Conference schedule that allows teams such as Dallas to avoid playing some of the top teams in the league. The Fire are not scheduled to play the Dallas Skyline at all during the 2022 regular season. The Fire also do not have a game scheduled with the 1-10 Waco Royals, though Dallas and Waco play each other five times. Enid also plays both Dallas and Waco only one time each.

The Fire continue on their road swing with a contest Saturday night at 5 p.m. at Little Rock. Then it’s a break for TBL All-Star Weekend on April 15-16 in Syracuse, New York. The all-star festivities include a three-point contest, a dunk contest, and an international battle between the TBL All-Stars and the NBL-Canada All-Stars. The next home game for the Fire is against Rockwall 7ers on Friday night, April 22 at 7 p.m.

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 began 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.

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Story by Justin Wollard • More photos coming later