Shreveport opens the 2023 The Basketball League playoffs tonight at Wichita trying to become the first back-to-back or even two-time champions in the history of the league.
The Mavericks are the two seed after finishing the regular season 20-4 and the Skykings (19-7) are the three seed in the Central Division bracket of the TBL Championships. Potawatomi (21-3) is the top seed and plays Enid (13-11) in the other division best-of-three series for a chance at the championship of the Central.
Shreveport returns home for Game 2 on Sunday at the Gold Dome at 5 p.m. and if necessary will host Game 3 on Monday at the Gold Dome at 7:05 p.m.
Paul Parks leads Shreveport in scoring with a 26.4 points per game average and was named to the first-team TBL All-Central Division roster. Kadvion Evans, named to the second team, is averaging 19.6 points a game just ahead of Ty Jordan (18.2), a third-team selection. All three average a little more than 5 rebounds a game.
Point guard PJ Meyers makes it all go averaging 11.9 points, 6.3 assists and 4.1 rebounds a game. Forward Jay Hedgeman averages 12.4 points, 7.5 rebounds and 2.1 steals a game. The big man in the middle is Gracin Bakumanya, who averages 5.7 points and 5.7 rebounds per game.
The Maverick bench is deep with Josh Montgomery (8.5 points per game), Jeff Boyd (8.1), Tavin Cummings (7.9) and Bilal Richardson (7.8) all providing valuable and productive minutes.
Shreveport defeated Potawatomi in last year’s second round, 2-1, before winning the Central Championship over Enid, 2-1. It claimed the West Regional by defeating Southern California 2-0 to advance to the overall championship where it knocked off Albany 2-1.
Wichita is very balanced with six players averaging between 10.2 and 13.4 points per game. Terrell Brown averages 13.4, Jachai Simmons 13.2, Julian Winton 12.6, Kameron Williams 12.2, Brandon Watkins 11.4 and Derrick Colter 10.2.