By LEE HILLER, Journal Sports
The Shreveport Mavericks and Potawatomi Fire have been building their respective teams in The Basketball League for big matchups like the one that will take place tonight at 7:05 p.m. in the Centenary Gold Dome.
Potawatomi comes into the game with a 15-2 record while Shreveport, the defending TBL champion, is sitting right on its heels at 15-3 and looking to knock off the Fire to get into first place.
“We’ve been really good all year, but It’s been a work in progress of putting this team together,” said Mavericks head coach Steve Tucker. “We’ve put it together piece by piece. We’ve got the two big kids that just really gave us the depth up front that we really needed.”
Those two big men are Madit Maliet and Gracin Bakumanya, both added lately.
“Bakumanya is really, really good, he’s really high quality big,” said Tucker. “He’s the best true big man we’ve ever had here. Madit is more a project that has a lot of skill.”
The leaders of the team throughout the season, however, have been guards Paul Parks, Kadavion Evans and Tyrone Jordan — who lead the team in scoring. Parks, last year’s leading scorer, is again setting the pace at 26.6 points per game. Evans is next at 18.8 and Jordan isn’t far behind at 18.1. P.J. Meyers runs the show from his point guard position and averages 5.7 assists and scores in double figures at 10.5 per game.
Forward Jay Hedgeman is the next man averaging double figures at 11.9 points and grabs 7.5 rebounds per game. Bilal Richardson and Winford Ross are the big guys in the middle with Richardson scoring 8.2 per game and, like Ross, grabbing 4.5 rebounds a game.
Josh Montgomery has been a key player off the bench scoring 9.6 per game and another key contributor is Tavin Cummings, a combo guard that can play the point and averages 8.6 points per game. Jeff Boyd also comes off the bench and provides some long-range scoring, averaging 8.7 points per game.
The Fire is led by forward Deshawn Munson, who averages a double-double at 18 points and 11.9 rebounds per game and is a very good passer averaging 7.1 assists per game. Darrin Johnson is next in scoring at 17.6 per game. K.D. Moore averages 17.2 and Chuck Guy 15.4 points and 10.1 assists per game.
Ricardo Artis II just joined Potawatomi after a stint in Germany. He — along with Guy, Johnson and Moore — played for Enid last season.
“It’s two really great teams matching up against each other. It’s going to be a war,” said Tucker.